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The Cold War And Reagan Essay

1404 words - 6 pages

The Cold War and Reagan


What was the cold war?

What were the causes?

The Cold War at Home.

-The U.S. involvement.

What major roles did President Reagan serve in the cold war?

A cold war is defined as "a conflict between nations for national advantage conducted by political, economic, and psychological means instead of direct military action." The Cold War defined by the same source was determined to be "the contest for power between the communist nations headed by the Soviet Union and the nations of the West headed by the United States that began after World War II"(Barnhart & Thorndike, 198).

Causes of the Cold War included the struggle between conflicting values, those of Democracy in the West and statism in the East. After WWII the re-establishment of Eastern European countries destroyed in the war led to much disagreement about governmental structures, the West wanted Democracies with capitalist systems while the East (USSR) wanted a communist regime. The USSR would then be able to use the countries as buffer states against any further attack. This attack on the Soviets that might come would not take long to go through the buffer states protecting them against the new mechanism of war. World War II had created fear in the Soviets, mainly because of the use of the Atomic Bomb, and therefore they pushed towards nuclear technology. The label "iron curtain" was placed on the barrier existing between the Soviet bloc and the rest of the world, this idea was pushed by Winston Churchill to further British power in Western Europe. Forty-six years of a blind war followed and the West and the East fought "a war of nerves."

As soon as World War II had ended threats of war with the Soviet Union began to circulate. Since Americans and Soviets both fought for what they thought right, when the war ended neither could come to an agreement with each other as to how to rebuild the broken European nations so Europe was split in two. Europe had been annihilated and it was up to those outside of Europe to re-establish life for those who lost everything. Western Europe went mainly to the United States for control; Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union.

The United States put the Marshall Plan into action, it was "a plan adopted by the United States for giving financial aid to European nations…"(Barnhart & Thorndike, 631). By 1960 Europe had fully recovered and life was better than before the war, the people of Western Europe received a lot out of the Marshall Plan. Eastern Europe had been allotted to USSR to take care of, Eastern Europe suffered due to the economic strategy of Josef Stalin. While all the progress was taking place in the west Stalin transported factories to the Soviet Union from the eastern countries to make Russia wealthy while the small eastern countries suffered great losses. Stalin then used the countries as buffer states to protect his country against war, war most probably caused by the United States. ...

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