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The 4 Major Causes Of The Cold War

2008 words - 8 pages

The US and the Soviet Union were the two superpowers during the Cold War, each leading its own sphere of influence. The War was the continuing state of conflict, tension and competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union and their allies from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s. Throughout this period, rivalry between the two superpowers was expressed through military buildup, propaganda, espionage, weapons development, industrial advances, and competitive technological development such as the space race. Both superpowers engaged in costly defense spending, a massive conventional and nuclear arms race, and numerous wars in third world countries. Although the US and the Soviets had been allies during World War I, they both sharply disagreed after the conflict on many topics, particularly over the shape of the post world war. No actual physical fighting occurred between the Soviets and United States but it was considered a War because of the battle and struggle for world supremacy. Each of these nations wanted to crush the other and shape the world to their own views.The blame for the Cold War cannot be placed on one person. 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. Since it was impossible for these ideologies to coexist together, the Cold War grew hot and the US and Soviets expressed their conflict towards each other in many different forms.Many historians believe that mutual misperception played a major role in the cause of the Cold War. This means that both sides saw their ideology and actions were justified and would benefit the whole world. In the United States, the government is elected by free elections. The people can form political parties to voice their political opinions. They also possess the right of assembly, of speech and of the press. In the Soviet Union, the government is formed by the Communist Party. The people do not have the right to form their own political parties. They do not enjoy the right of assembly, of speech and of the press; the USSR was a one-party Communist dictatorship with a state-controlled economy where private wealth and initiative was all but outlawed.Since these two systems of government are opposed to one another, there can be little compromise between the United States and the Soviet Union. The main reason the Cold War started was because of this ideological conflict between the Soviets and United States. Both these super powers' dreams were to cast their ideology over the entire world and this led to conflict and mistrust between the two. However, Russian mistrust for the U.S. began long before the Cold War, during the 1680s when Peter the Great tried to westernize Russia to catch up to the West. This hatred reheated after the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the USSR emerged as the first major communist power; tensions between Russia and the West turned intensely ideological. This...

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