The Causes and Development of the Cold War 1945 – 1990 Essay
The Causes and Development of the Cold War 1945 – 1990
The Cold War was not like any war that had occurred before hand. It started from 1945 and went on for nearly half a century. The reason why this war was so special was the fact that it was not fought with weapons or armies but it was a war of words. It was more like a test of nerve, who could scare the other the most? There was a huge threat of a nuclear war between Russia and the west. It was not very active but the threat was still there. The cold War gets its name because of the cruel relations between the two sides; it was extremely icy and cruel.
The war all started out because of each nation losing their trust in each other after the Second World War. Russia had reasons to mistrust the west because Russia had been invaded by Germany inn 1914 and the west joined them to crush communism. Also Britain and France refused to join alliance with Russia in 1941, this then resulted in Germany invaded Russia. Suspicions were very high that America was keeping secrets from them and they were right. America had finally invented the A-bomb, now they had this Russia had no importance to the United States whatsoever.
But at the same time The U S were had their own suspicions of Russia as well. After the Second World War all the armies had removed their troops from Eastern Europe, but Russia still kept theirs there. The U S knew Stalin was up to something, and he was! Stalin took over all of the countries surrounding the Soviet Union. America was not happy about this at all. But Stalin promised that he would hold free elections in these countries and to not force communism upon them. He lied! He knew that the only way the west could stop him from creating the countries in to communists was to go to war and he knew they would not want to do that because of the consequences they had suffered in the War. America was not ready for another war she was financially crippled.
With all the surrounding countries under his rule Stalin knew that if countries were to invade Russia they would have to go through these first. This created a barrier; it bought him time before anyone could reach Moscow to attack. Churchill described this blockade as the “Iron Curtain”. It separated Russia from the rest of the world.
The U S decided they needed to take action, so they devised up a plan of Containment. This was a policy that meant that they would help any country to defend themselves if they were threatened by communism. America and the West were trying to make sure that communism did not spread.
Then came the Truman Doctrine. Turkey and Greece were having a lot of problems with the Russians. They had to defend themselves against Russia and its communist regimes. Britain was aiding them with weapons and supplies but an economically crippling winter in 1946 meant that they could not afford to help no longer. So the U S came in to help. The Truman Doctrine that was made was a policy of Americas
Commitment against communism. Any country facing a war against Communism would be helped by the U S.
Then came another plan by the U S, this one was called the Marshall Plan. A man called George Marshall who was the Secretary of State for the U S at the time of 1947 devised it. George Marshall pledged that the U S government would give Billions of dollars to the poorer countries in Europe. On the outside this was looked upon as a very unselfish and kind gesture. But if looked upon closely you could see that it was just part of a scam. It was in Americas greatest interests to give Europe the money.
The reason why? To stop communism! It did this because all the poorer countries were heavily stricken with poverty and hunger, the people were extremely dejected and needed something to look up to, more like a light at the end of the tunnel. To them with the help of Stalin’s propaganda schemes Communism looked like a way out of poverty. With the U S giving them money it made them happier, they had no more problems, thus giving America the edge on containing Communism away from vulnerable Countries.
In 1962 a major development had been revealed. Russia was sending over nuclear missiles to Cuba. This meant that America was now under threat from nuclear attacks. But America quickly intervened they told Russia that if they were to send any more shipments over that they would take immediate action and destroy the vessels. Russia was not expecting that reply they assumed no action would take place. America set up blockades and arranged air strikes over the ocean; Khrushchev decided to deploy their ships back to Russia before another conflict took place.
After seeing and hearing of these events taking place it must have been extremely frightening for the people in the world at this time. There was a huge threat of a nuclear war, which could have drastically destroyed the world completely. Each countries nerve was tested to the limit, but luckily no one decided to retaliate in a major way. With the U S inventing new plans and technology the west made it extremely hard for Russia and Stalin to take over the world and make it communist. The Cold war changed the world forever, no longer would wars be fought in trenches and battlefields. They would be fought with words, and with just one switch of a button the whole world could be destroyed.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 8 September 2017
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