Cold War Research Paper

Submitted By drock88944
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Pages: 31

Hist 211 – History of the Cold War
Dr. Mckercher
From World War to Cold War
A new Cold War?
Pro Eastern and Western Ukraine
 sanctions against Russia by Western World
Conflicts in North Korea and Afghanistan
Mostly just conflicts from the Cold War that occurred
Cold War
Stuggle between 2 superpowers
 US and USSR (destined to collide with each other)
 describe two competing powers
 dozens of small wars (other countries fighting)
Cold (not a shooting war)
 “peace impossible, war improbable”
US and USSR did not fight one another
Geopolitical contest
 control of territory; directly or indirectly (through allies, proxies)
 “West” vs. East
 Western Bloc versus Eastern bloc
History full of instances of Great power
Ideological competition
 Capitalism vs. Communism **
 Democracy vs. Autocracy
 Free World vs. Socialism
Cold War mixed geopolitics with ideology
Economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state
Came to dominate industrial economies in the 1800’s
 linked with industrialization (mining, railroads), urbanization
Concentrated wealth/large inequalities in society
 1% vs. the world
Ideology: Marxism
Proletariat (working class) exploited by Bourgeoisie (capitalist class) who own the majority of wealth and means of production
Historical progression: inevitable that Proletariat would overthrow Bourgeoisie
 Capitalism would become Communism: new society in which all property is publicly owned and each person is paid according to their abilities and needs
Universal Call: “let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletariats have nothing to lose but their chains”
Marxism would be put into practice in Russia
 unlikely place for the success of Communism (it was an agricultural place)
Famines and starving by 1917
Imperial govt. overthrown by vaguely democratic power
 war in this area stopped
Small group of Communists  Bolsheviks
Vladimir Lenin (1917-24)
Marxist Revolutionary
Overthrow of the government, to make a peace with Germany
Lenin believed in accelerating history
 Communists could act as the “Vangaurd of the proletariat” and agents of liberation
1917 Bolshevik Revolution
- put in place a dictatorship of the proletariat, a totalitarian govt. responsible for 10-11 million deaths from 1917-41
Union of Sovier Socialist Republics, a federation of Soviet Republics (Ukraine,etc.) tightly controlled by Moscow
Bolshevik revolution seen as the first of many revolution
 Lenin sees a duty to promote revolution abroad
 USSR forms Communist Internation organization of communist parties controlled by Moscow
“As long as capitalism and socialism exist, we cant live in peace”
Failed revolutions in Germany and Hingary in 1919-20; strikes across the world 1919 and early 1920’s
- “Red Scare”
- 1917 Western forces invaded Russia to support the anti-Bolshevik “white Russians”
Woodrow Wilson (1913-21)
 traditional American focus on Western Hemisphere
 “Fortress America”
 Resistance to entry in WW1
- kept them neutral
 Wilson reluctantly brings US into war in 1917
- when the allies looked like they were going to lose the war
- large investment in the war
- American cargo ships were shot down by Germans
Wilson declares that US will:
 make “a safe world for democracy”
 show mankind the way to liberty
Historical belief in an American mission
 Thomas Jefferson’s “Empire of Liberty”
 Manifest Destiny
Spread of democracy
Free trade
Self determination (people should choose their own path)
Arms control
Collective security (League of Nations)
But US isolationalists defeat Wilson (didn’t join League of Nations)
 don’t want to be part of further wars
Stalin (1924-53)
Bloodthirsty dictator
Focus on USSR rather than revolution abroad
 belief that capitalist countries will fight each other