The Cold War Informative Essay
The US and USSR were the major players in the cold war. The term ‘Cold War’ basically refers to that period of conflict exhibited by the superpowers. The more immediate and tangible cause of the cold war is the World War II itself as well as a relatively new development of USSR’s relation (Kreis). The two superpowers prior to their emergence were a united bloc; the USA was a supreme capitalist while the USSR was originally communists and since there could no longer ignore each other in a world of global finance and communication it led to the arousal of certain insecurities. However, there was a subsequent splitting of the wartime alliance which resulted to hostility and mutual contrariety.
World War II (WWII) was the immediate predecessor of the cold war. The implications of the cold war were not confined to the allies of the two superpowers: they had the power to dominate others through either ideological coercion or military intervention. Europe and Asia were hence polarized to balance these two forces. In Europe, nations were divided both geographically and ideologically. Germany, for instance, was partitioned into four occupied zones with Britain, France, and the USA occupying the western part while the USSR took over the eastern part. The western part of time joined forces and operated under a common government and currency which displeased Stalin who retaliated by initiating the Berlin Blockade in an effort to get half of the city to seek his assistance and submit to the Soviet influence (Miller 3-10). The West then responded with the Berlin Airlift which involved flying supplies to the blocked part of Berlin so as to ensure that it would be able to survive without having to turn to the Soviet Union. At this juncture, Germany was permanently divided into West and East Germany. The West was alienated to the capitalist (USA) and the East was linked to communism (USSR). Countries in Eastern Europe were, however, imposed with communist government hence leading to them being influenced by the Soviet Union (Miller 3-10). Some of the countries were Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Belarus among others.
In the Asian Continent, things were no different; the Indo-China region was the key battleground for the Cold War. North Vietnam was aligned to the communist forces and the Americans viewed this as a threat as they believed that the influence would rapidly spread to South Vietnam if left uncontrolled. As a result, they sent troops in support hence enabling them to retain its democratic government. In China, communism was taking roots as their leader was an ally of the Soviet Union and willingly propagated the communist ideology. Americans, however, tried various diplomatic maneuvers to ruin this links their efforts proved futile. Since the US defined any communist oriented nation as an enemy, its relations with China rapidly deteriorated (Sunysuffolk). Japan, on the other hand, was still recuperating from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki attacks and chose not to invite more trouble by taking a neutral stand during the cold war.
The Truman Doctrine was a significant thing in the 20th century. On March 12, 1947, President Harry S. Truman spoke to a joint session of Congress in what was referred to as the Truman Doctrine (National Archives). According to the Doctrine, the president established that the USA would provide different sorts of assistance including political, economic and military to all countries that were under any form of threat (US Department of State). Turkey and Greece were examples of such countries and with the withdrawal of the British support which they solely depended on the US, Truman doctrine was initiated to come to their aid. Truman requested the congress to provide $400,000,000 in support of the Greece and Turkey governments (US Department of State). The Truman Doctrine was effective and actively reoriented the American foreign policy since they often shunned from regional conflicts not directly involving them.
- Kreis, Steven. “The History Guide: Lectures on Twentieth Century Europe.” Historyguide, http://www.historyguide.org/europe/lecture14.html. Accessed on 10 April 2017.
- Miller, Roger. To Save a City: The Berlin Airlift, 1948-1949. Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2008.
- National Archives. “Truman Doctrine (1947).” Ourdocuments, https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=81. Accessed on 10 April 2017.
- SunySuffolk. “The Cold War.” Sunysuffolk.edu, http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/westn/coldwar.html#The%20Cold%20War%20in%20Asia. Accessed 13 April 2017.
- United States Department of State. “The Truman Doctrine, 1947.” Office of the Historian, https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/truman-doctrine. Accessed on 10 April 2017.