A Single Factor As The One Most Responsible For The Origins Of The Cold War.

2408 words - 10 pages

Pick a single factor as the one most responsible for the origins of the cold war. You can choose a person, an event, even an ideology or belief system, but provide a thorough and convincing explanation as to why you consider this factor to be the most significant. You may also, if you choose, argue that the cold war was inevitable, but again you must support this claim with the use of specific evidence.As World War II came to a close, the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as the world's two most powerful nations in terms of military and political power and influence. The origins of the Cold War can be found in the specific post war aims of the United States and the Soviet Union. The confrontation between the incompatible political, economic and ideological systems of America and the Soviet Union resulted in a struggle to oppose and limit the power and influence of each other. This struggle included everything, short of open military conflict, between the two nations. This resulted in the Cold War.The Cold War was the result of a clash between communism and capitalism, two opposing world-views. Another cause of the build up to the Cold War was the inflexible attitude of both sides. The Soviet Union was extremely concerned about its security after having been invaded twice in the twentieth century, "Stalin was not only pushing westward but also trying to hamper his allies' advance eastward"#. In 1945 America created and used the atomic bomb against Japan and the USSR was determined to create one of its own. One of the main issues that strained relations between the Soviet Union and the west was the threat of nuclear war. Both the Soviet Union and the United States knew how to make nuclear weapons. This knowledge made the consequences of their actions much more cautious.However tensions between the two countries had originated long before World War II. The Soviet Union had not forgotten that in 1918 Britain and the United States had tried to destroy the Russian Revolution by getting involved in the civil war and aiding the White Army in an attempt to overthrow Lenin's communist rule. Stalin also thought that they had not given him enough help in the Second World War. The numerous causes and events which in the end finally brought about the Cold War mostly occurred between 1945 and 1955.The blame for the Cold War cannot be placed on one person. It developed as a product of a series of chain reactions as a struggle for supremacy. It can be argued that the Cold War was inevitable, and therefore no one's fault, due to the differences in the capitalist and communist ideologies. It was only the need for self-preservation that had caused the two countries to sink their differences temporarily during the Second World War. "Only an imminent threat had brought them together, and with that threat removed, the competitive edge of their relationship quickly emerged"#. Yet many of the tensions that existed in the Cold War can be attributed to Stalin's...

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