Cold War Essay examples

Submitted By grotywr2
Words: 1412
Pages: 6

Jeff Grotjahn
March 22, 2011
Gen Ed 111

Research Paper

The Cold War was the defining event of the second half of the twentieth century. It began just two years after the resolution of World War II in 1945 and lasted until 1991. The Cold War involved many nations which involved two major alliance systems. The communist alliance was dominated by the Soviet Union and its conquered satellite states. Satellite states was a political term at the time used to refer to a country that is formally independent but is under heavy political and economic influence control by another country. The other alliance that participated in the Cold War was known as NATO which was heavily represented by the United States. NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which consisted of Britain, France, U.S., Canada and eight other western European countries. Military tension and political conflict resulting from World War II were the main causes of the greatest arms race in world history. The Cold War was a traditional power struggle between the two greatest military giants of that age, whose command for massive nuclear weapons caused a world wide scare for humanity (Klingaman 224-227). The main issue between the United States and the Soviet Union was politics. The United States strongly believed in democracy as the right form of government while the Soviet’s were strong communist promoters. Democracy nations like the United States always pursue liberal imperialism to ensure the spread of democracy. Liberal imperialism in the sense “the very constitutional restraint, shared commercial interests, and international respect for individual rights that promote peace among liberal societies can exacerbate conflicts in relations between liberal and non-liberal societies” (Werner 346). Non-democratic nations like the Soviet Union react negatively to this in fear of such liberal imperialism. They respond with pure force and violence in desperation to save their political and economic systems. Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union began to flare because of this in 1947 when the Soviet Union created Cominform. Cominform was an attempt by the Soviet Union to spread Communism internationally. The American Government responded by adopting the idea “Containment”, which was simply a goal to stop the spread of Communism. The United States Government also enacted the Marshall Plan which was a large-scale economic program for rebuilding and creating a stronger economic foundation for the countries of Europe including the Soviet Union. This was an attempt by the United States to rebuild the democratic and economic systems of Europe to ensure the fall of Communism. Soviet Union’s leader Stalin responded by preventing Eastern communist countries from receiving the Marshall Plan aid because he thought the economic integration in the West would allow the United States gain control over their satellite states. The spread of communism through out the eastern portion of the world gave democracy and the United States a serious threat (Schwartz 9-15). Even thought the Cold War consisted of no physical fighting, it still heavily influenced conflict in other places of the world. For example, the Cold War had a major impact on the Korean War and help cause the Cuban Missile Crisis. The rising conflict in Korea in the 1950’s resulted in the first military action for both sides since the start of the Cold War. The main issue occurring in Korea was the temporary separation between North and South Korea since the end of World War II. The Soviet Union had troops in the north while American troops resided in the south. Stalin and the Soviet Union encouraged North Korea to invade the South because they wanted Korea to become fully communist. President Truman of the United States ordered an invasion of Korea to protect their allies (South Korea) and most importantly to protect democracy through out Asia. This