Analysis of The Cold War Essay
The Cold War developed between USA and the Soviet Union after the World War II. Many major events took place during this time, the most important of which were the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Berlin Wall being some of the major events. However, the most worrying issue was that of the nuclear weapons available to both countries which if used would have caused equal destruction to both countries.
After the World War II it was seen that the United States and Russia underwent a competition in the field of economics, race and politics to gain superiority in the world. The Cold War for Soviet Union was to take control of the communist nations under their policy whereas the United States had the aim of removal of communism from the world. The relationship of the Soviet Union and America was never to the par as the communist nation was an ally of the Germans before it attacked them. Communism was prevalent in the Soviet Union since its birth under the leadership of Lenin (McMahon 2003). This was followed by the rule of Joseph Stalin who further enforced communism over the states that fell under the jurisdiction of the Union. It was then that anti communist policies started to escalate in the United States creating hate amongst the masses. Yalta Conference which took place in February 1945 was start of rough relations between the two superpowers of the world. The American President at that time was Truman who was strictly against the communists and this led to the worsening of bilateral relations between the two countries. The invention of atom bomb and the use of it in the World War II created fears for the Russian government which further led to the Cold War (McMahon 2003).
After the victory in World War II events followed which led to the Cold War among the superpowers. The Iron Curtain Speech was delivered by Winston Churchill on March 5 1946. He urged the United States for a coalition against the union because of their policies against the democracy of the world. In 1946 it was found that Soviet spies were in America looking for information regarding the atomic bomb. Moreover an agreement was violated by the Soviet Union when they did not withdraw their troops from Iran because of its resources of oil. Instead a region of Iran was annexed by the Soviet Union which later came to be known as the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan (Gaddis p. 30, 165-168).
In the latter part of the 1950s it was seen that the Russian President got even more furious at the actions of the United States. After the World War II it was seen that several of the nations faced the problem of famine. It was here that the United States launched a plan known as the Marshall Plan to provide the famine struck places with food and other supplies. The foreign ministry of the Soviet Union replied to the Marshall plan in a negative manner stating it as an act sought to infiltrate the European countries. This aggravated the situation between the two countries leading to other problems. Another issue arose between the two states in 1948 when Stalin stopped supplies to reach the Soviet controlled area of Berlin. This led to the problem of starvation in the city and the Allied forces launched a campaign known as the Berlin Airlift which helped in supplied materials in the region. The blockade however stopped in 1949 due to the negotiations which took place between the two states. A proxy war was fought by the Soviet Union against US armed North Koreans. The Soviet Union and Republic of China helped the South Korean communists to fight against their counterparts so that they could weaken the stance of the United States (McMahon 2003 p. 30-35).
After Stalin’s death the Soviet Union was ruled by Nikita Khrushchev who openly gave arguments against the Allied forces. The United States started to build upon their containment strategy which was implemented in order to contain the power that the communist forces had in the region. Nuclear Weapons were targeted by both the nations in the 1950s and presidents from both states threatened of using them against each other. In 1955 the communist nations signed a pact known as the Warsaw pact through which the assigned nations had to fight any external force that may try to harm them (Hobsbawm 1994; McMahon 2003).
In 1959 a young leader known as Fidel Castro launched a movement against the Cuban government to take control. Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union developed and Castro signed a deal with them that they would buy oil from the soviet. The U.S. oil companies were taken possession of as they refused to provide oil to the country. The relations between the United States and Cuba became worse. In 1961 the people who had migrated from Cuba to U.S. because of their resentment of the policies of Fidel Castro hatched a conspiracy against his government in 1961. This was known as the invasion of the Bay of Pigs. This invasion was not successful and the forces of Castro won against the enemies. In the following year the U.S. imposed complete ban on trade with Cuba. Cuba and Soviet Union turned out to be allies and once again the Soviet Union was fighting a proxy war against the United States through Cuba (McMahon 2003).
The issue of Berlin was a key issue in the cold war and it was further aggravated in 1961 when the United States did not respond to the proposal of withdrawing soldiers from Western Germany. It was because of this that the Soviet Union built a wall famously known as the Berlin wall in 1961 to stop the immigration of people from East Germany to the West (McMahon 2003; Gaddis 1997).
Another major problem of the Cold war occurred in 1961 when the issue of Cuban missile crisis came on the frontlines. Ever since the independence of Cuba the Kennedy government was planning to kill Fidel Castro. Another attempt on his life was foiled by the Russian spies which gave a way to the Soviet Union to deploy its nuclear weapons for Cuba. The United States responded in a positive manner by giving an ultimatum to the Soviet Union which was accepted on the condition that Cuba would never be invaded again (McMahon 1997)
One of the last major events of the cold war was the intervention of the Soviet Union in the Afghanistan war. This led to the worsening of the state in the USSR itself and thus its downfall in 1991.
The major clash between the two superpowers mainly USA and the Soviet Union was due to the conflicting ideologies of USA and the Soviet Union, although both the countries were allies in World War I but because of the two major events that is the Berlin Blockade and the Cuban Missile Crisis caused conflict of ideas between the two countries and both the countries then started working for the benefit and welfare of their own particular state.
Hobsbawm, E. J. (1994). Age of extremes: The short twentieth century, 1914-1991. London: Michael Joseph.
McMahon, R. J. (2003). The Cold War: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Gaddis, J. L. (1997). We now know: Rethinking Cold War history. Oxford: Clarendon Press.