The Causes And Effects Of The Cold War

1384 Words 6 Pages
As the Second World War (WWII) ended, the United States of America (USA) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) were left on the international scene as two superpowers. The onset of the Cold War in Europe marked the end of wartime alliance between the USSR, the USA and its allies. The ideology rivalry and indirect competitions between them led to the Cold War from 1945 to 1991. The Cold War was not a direct war but a period of tensions between both states, through proxy wars, intimidation, propaganda and espionage for many decades until the Collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
This essay seeks to analyse the competing ideologies of the Cold and its effects. Firstly, it will contrast the ideological clash between Capitalism and
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The major source of conflict during the Cold War was the Ideological divergence between the USA and its allies, contra the USSR. The USSR was communist, a system where everyone own the means to create common wealth, which is redistributed equally and centrally controlled. On the other hand, the USA and its allies were capitalist democratic states, which praised freedom and free markets for private profits that led to competition and unequal income. The Cold war in Europe mirrored failure to enforce the principles agreed at Yalta and Potsdam Conferences (1945). Moreover, post WWII; a power vacuum was present in Europe and Asia due to the defeat of Germany and Japan. The Soviet Union expressed its desire for reparations from Germany but the USA wanted to reconstruct Germany. The military and political expansion of both ideologies created an increasing feeling of threats and fear on both sides. Subsequently, the Cold war supplied context and pretext for nuclear weapons development. In addition, the lasting Chinese revolution of thirty years ended with the victory of the Communists in China under Mao Zedong. This had a crucial impact on Asian matters, but also, on attitudes on Moscow and Washington. Both the USSR and China wanted communism expansion worldwide, which the USA strongly opposed (Scott, …show more content…
In 1949, the USA tried to stop communist hegemony into French Indochina and other states of Asia. Moreover, the limited Korean and Vietnam Wars were seen by the west as a general communist offensive. Subsequently, the USA, through the United Nation Council Security, responded to the Korean attack as a ‘breach of the peace’ and stepped into the conflict, which led the Soviet Union and its ally (China) to intervene. The Korean War lasted three years and both sides suffered many casualties. The outcome of the Korean War represented a no victory for either side and drew a line of the Cold War in Asia; it resulted in the ideological and territory division of Korea in 1953 (North Korea: communist and South Korea: capitalist). North and South Korea have endured perpetual hostility, even after the end of the Cold War. Additionally, in 1955, the USA entered the Vietnam War. Washington legitimised its support to South Vietnam (Non-communist) contra North Vietnam (communist) due to the domino theory; which viewed a possible defeat of South Vietnam that would open to communist rise in bordering countries and elsewhere in Asia. Vietnam War was a difficult war and lasted for twenty years before the USA withdrew. The power-struggle between the two ideologies brought about ‘hot wars’ in Asia and cost millions of

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