Studying Causes and Effects of the Cold War
If all of this hadn’t been a problem, a rivalry between communist and capitalist societies had led to what is known today as The Cold War.
It has been known to this day that The Cold War not only had many causes but also had many effects.
Free society would have called this war World War III, but instead they used a fancy-pants name “cold war”.
It was called The Cold War, because it didn’t actually lead up to armed or “hot” conflict (as they would put it), it just kind of led away from using weapons.
At the end of World War II, Germany was divided into four sections of occupations that were controlled by Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States.
A lack of agreement on Germany to be unified marked the beginning of the Cold War.
The Cold War was the most important political issue of the postwar period.
As the Cold War came to a halt, the United States experienced phenomenal economic growth.
The measure of goods and services produced jumped from $200 thousand million in 1940 to more than $500 thousand million in 1960.
After this enormous jump in economy more and more Americans were considering themselves middle class people.
Starting from just after World War II and continuing to what is known as the end of The Cold War; will show how it resulted from tension between communist and capitalist societies.
Going into detail with each known cause of the war will give you the chance to experience The Cold War in your mind so to speak.
Communism, Nationalism, Arms Race, Space Race, The Berlin Wall, and The Cuban Missile Crisis; are known causes of this war.
Communists thought of democracy as an evil system.
They thought the only correct path was communism and that it should be brought out throughout the whole world.
In the west, they believed that World War II was a fight for this evil system known as democracy and they weren’t going to let it be over looked upon.
The west hated the thought of communism and just brought it up like another totalitarian system.
The “never back down” attitude that was given from both sides, was a factor that almost caused The Cold War to breaking point.
Years before World War II, Allied forces learned that after one side backed down, the other side would obviously take advantage of it.
It would be known to man that the side that backed down usually lost.
The Arms Race was a way to show how each side was able to create and show off their nuclear powers.
Because of this race, many countries in the word now own nuclear weapons of some form.
In 1945 America created and used the atomic bomb, which made the USSR feel insecure so they had to create one of their own.
The United States exploded a hydrogen bomb in 1952 and then both nations rushed to develop missiles that were capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
After the United States tested their hydrogen bomb in 1952, the USSR managed to come up with their own hydrogen bomb in 1955.
The Soviets used a missile to launch a satellite, Sputnik 1 into orbit about the earth.
The Arms Race then became the Space Race as the U.S rushed to launch their own set of satellites, mostly for military purposes.
“We shall have an arms race, said one of the high priests, John Foster Dulles, and we shall win it because the Russians will go broke first.
We were then put on a permanent wartime economy, which is why close to two thirds of the government’s revenues are constantly being siphoned off to pay for what is euphemistically called defense.” (Gore Vidal, Scratching the Cold War Itch) The Space Race was an opportunity for the United States and the Soviet Union to show off their technological capabilities.
After launching the satellites, the next level to The Space Race was the sending of a human into orbit around the earth.
An 18-minute flight in 1961, which carried a chimpanzee was how the U.S began its Mercury program.
The Apollo 11 mission, which carried 3 humans, began its launch in 1969.
Neil Armstrong became the first person on the moon and therefore brought the US to win the space race to the moon.
Another causes that brought tension to The Cold War was The Berlin Wall.
It was built in 1961 with a total length of 166 km and was about four meters high.
It was first blocked off with barbed wire then was replaced by the wall itself.
In the time of 20 years, 37,800 people had successfully made it over The Berlin Wall from the East to the West.
In attempts to climb over it, over 100 were killed.
Looking at the effects of The Cold war, some have been looked at in depth whereas others aren’t known.
The goal of the point four program was to modernize and strengthen the economies of developing nations and to discourage the growth of communism throughout the different nations.
In 1949, President Truman the Congress approved nearly $400 for the development of technical programs in Latin America.
A guy by the name of Mikhail Gorbachev made a policy known as Glasnost.
This policy got rid of the censorship that the government had for hundreds of years practiced.
In Russian, Glasnost means openness, which allowed the Soviet citizens to speak openly about their society’s problems.
Restructuring was Gorbachev’s next step was it was not an attempt to destroy communism but an attempt to end the disasters that were common with the nations.
The United States thought of another effective method of containing the spread of communism, which was to form alliances.
In 1949, the US approved the North Atlantic Treaty in which they joined eleven other nations in a collective security agreement.
Members of this agreement pledged that an attack on any nation would be an attack on all of them.
The defense agreements were then coordinated through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
NATO still exists today.
It has shown that most causes and effects of The Cold War have had something to do with communism in some way.
The causes had brought tension to the build up of the war but the effects of it have been beneficial to a lot of people in the end.
“I feel that the Cold War was beneficial in the end for the following reasons: it was a cease in fighting between the European countries, it gave a period to allow war-torn countries to revive.
The Cold War was also bad in many ways: it resulted in a great increase in strategic arms and it resulted in the fall of the USSR.
It formed an iron curtain between Eastern Europe and the US.” (Rahul Maitra, NY, May 31, 1999) At the end of the war, the United States had hoped to share with the other countries its impression of liberty, equality and democracy.
With the rest of the world being in turmoil, struggling with civil wars and disintegrating empires, the nation hoped to provide the stability to make peaceful reconstruction possible.