Origins of the Cold War Essay

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Origins of the Cold War

Revisionist historians tend to regard the outbreak of the "Cold War" as a result of American hostility or, at least , diplomatic incompetence, while the more traditional view lays the responsibility squarely at the feet of the Soviet Union. Assess the validity of each view.

The Cold War,said to have lasted from the end of World War II to the dismantling of the Soviet Union in 1991, was one of the most significant political events of the 20th century. For nearly 40 years the world was under the constant threat of total devastation, caught between the nuclear arsenals of the United States, Great Britain, and France on one side and the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China on the other. Any
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One such act of aggression came when the Soviets attempted to gain complete control of Berlin by forming a blockade against all of the other Allied forces. Despite the barrier, the United States airlifted tons of supplies to those who were in need of them in Berlin. This was the very beginning of antagonistic relations. Another form of aggression that angered the Americans was Stalin's refusal to hold free elections in Eastern Europe, while he covertly set up their governments to act as puppet satellites, forming a protective barrier around the U.S.S.R. The Soviets' reluctance to reunify Korea and the strong Communist atmosphere in North Korea also disgruntled Americans and hurt diplomatic relations. Overall, each step that the Soviet Union took to strengthen its power and the power of the Communist party was viewed as an act of aggression, and there are many historians who strongly believe that the Soviets were at fault in the instigation of the Cold War due to these immense acts of aggression. The period in the United States following World War II could more aptly be named American Hysteria rather than history according to the more revisionist historians. As the Soviet Union grew more and more powerful, every American grew more frightened of the Communist movement. No event greater exemplified this than McCarthy's Communist witch hunt of the 1950's. The Cold War tensions stemmed from the fear and paranoia that

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