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

1916 Words 8 Pages
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 and show the differences of opinions within each of them and also between the groups as whole. To give some order to the individual ideas of each school, I’ve chosen four main points that will help me understand the approach of each school: 1) Who is, according to them, responsible for the start of the Cold War 2) Where do they see the start of the Cold War 3) How they view the U.S. foreign policy? 4) Dissenting opinions within each group. 5) The main authors and their ideas.
I will include only the Western perspective. To cover the opinions of historians from around the world would be really difficult in such small space as this short essay.

As I already mentioned, there are three main schools. However, I liked to briefly mention ideas and…