The Origins of the Cold War: Viewed from the Three Schools of Thought

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Introduction The term “Cold War” refers to the second half of the 20th century, usually from the end of the World War II until 1990, when the Soviet Union collapsed. Since the 1940s and 1950s the scholars have disagreed on the topic of the origins of the Cold War. There are several groups of historians and their interpretations are very different, sometimes even contradictory. The three main schools are the orthodox, the revisionist and the realist. The classification is not completely accurate because we can find several differences in theories of scholars within the same group and often the authors reevaluated their ideas over time. The purpose of this paper is to analyze each of the three main schools; to introduce their main ideas…show more content…
This school emerged in the early years of the Cold War. The basic ideas of this interpretation can be found in the famous speech of Winston Churchill in Fulton. During the first Cold War years, most scholars accepted the official interpretation created by Western politicians. The historian’s belonging to this school see the Truman doctrine from 1947 as the point when the Cold War started. They put the responsibility for the Cold War on the Soviet Union and its expansionist policy. According to them, this is the reason, why Soviets broke promises from the negotiations during the World War II, especially the Yalta agreement. On the other hand, the U.S. politicians wanted to continue the cooperation between the Allies even after the defeat of the Axis. They put a lot of hope to the newly created organization – United Nations – and the principle of collective security. However, the U.S. needed to react to the Soviet aggression in Europe. They adopted the policy of containment. The orthodox scholars view this policy as necessity because without it “the Soviet Union would have become the master of all Europe, instead of only the eastern Europe” . The views of the traditional school were strongly supportive of the U.S. foreign policy against the U.S.S.R. and it had several advantages. Scholars received money for research from governmental and private
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