The Cold War

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic

This was an essay that I wrote for my History finals paper. I am not quite sure about if all my ideas are correct, so will all you history fans out there help me out? I'd appreciate it!

The Cold War- A clash of two different Ideologies’

The two main powers that participated in the *1Cold War, which was, in my opinion, a clash between Communism and Capitalism, as Russia, which was known then as the U.S.S.R (which stood for the Union of Soviet Socialists in Russia) was Communist, since Communism is the Radical form of Socialism, whilst the other power, who opposed the U.S.S.R, was the United States of America, of whom were very Capitalist in its methods of marketing and also in other prospectives. In this essay, I will tell you about my point of view on several incidents and quotes that appeared during the Cold War, and why I think the way I think about those events.

*2Near the beginning of the Cold War, the United States issued an agreement that they would try to “Contain” Communism from spreading across the globe. This strategy became known as Containment (much like the meaning of this practice) and was a success, although there were losses along the way, such as those in Vietnam, Korea and various other countries that fell to Communism. Henry Truman, the 33rd President of the United States of America was the President that issued the strategy of Containment to Congress, and upon being approved, began executing it immediately. In my opinion, Henry Truman was a great president, as he was thrown into office when Franklin. D. Roosevelt died and was presented with great many a shock, as he didn’t know much about what FDR was up to. Concerning the decisions that he had to make, such as dropping the Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima, and then, on Nagasaki, I would consider him to be quite a merciful person, since if *3Operation Downfall, which was the operation designed by the allies to invade Japan, had been released and readied, than countless of millions of Japanese would have lost their lives, due to the fact that they would probably fight until the end for their country and wouldn’t care for anything otherwise. The Truman Doctrine and the Berlin Airlift were also great feats preformed by Truman, because he finally realized what the U.S.S.R and Joseph Stalin were up to, and so he helped out those countries that had no wish to become communist, and drove those that wanted to force Communism into those countries out and restore the way of Government to those places. Anyways, Containment was a strategy that was, in my opinion, was a bit of a failure, as the original plan was to get rid of communism, but in the end, not only did they not stop the spread of Communism, but they also couldn’t prevent some countries, such as Korea, from becoming truly Capitalist and Democratic, instead letting it fall into a half and half situation.

The Cold War also resulted in the “Red Hunts”, which were basically the hunting and exterminating of supposed “Reds” or anyone who was in the league of the Russians and the communists. In my opinion, the Red Hunts were a waste of time, as the US government didn’t manage to kill as many “Reds” as they supposed they only managed to get rid of ONE actual Russian spy, but in the process of doing so, killed many loyal United States citizens along the way. The Red Hunts were highly unnecessary in my point of view because you can usually tell when a person is a spy because you can usually determine that by watching and observing over a period of time. The Red Hunts may have been necessary at the time of the Cold War, but from the view of a modern student or citizen, it would seem a folly and wholly unnecessary waste of people and the military. I also do not like the way the Red Hunts were preformed. Why would anyone betray his or her own neighbor? Why would they betray those that you know are loyal to your government? And why should you betray them? Well, that was what the United States Government did. *4 They made people testify and confess against their neighbors and the people close to them. Many people were killed because of something they didn’t do. During the Red Hunts, people were so frightened at being signed out as a Red spy that they would turn in their neighbors and others just so they could remain innocent of crime. Also, this was also a time when people turned in the people they hated, and still remain innocent, while the innocent people who were taken into custody were made suspicious of, for doing something that they never actually did. *5 The man that caused all this, Joseph McCarthy, is a crazy lunatic in my opinion, because he didn’t think rationally about the consequences of his actions, of the lives that may be lost for pitiful reasons such as hatred, instead of out of righteousness. McCarthy’s punishment was an ideal one, as he was scorned and laughed at for having no proof or claim for charging the poor Federal employees who were actually innocent, but was caught up in his frenzy to round up the Reds.

*6 Near the beginning of the Cold War, Joseph Stalin, the dictator who ruled Russia, or the U.S.S.R, built a buffer zone, which was also called the Iron Curtain.

This iron curtain was said to be the start of the Cold War, the dividing of Eastern and Western Europe. In my opinion, this was not so, as the Iron Curtain came after the Berlin Wall that divided Eastern and Western Berlin. In my opinion, I believe that the Iron Curtain was not exactly the Start of the war, but that it was one of the leading events that led up to it. I say this because, after WW2, the tension between the Eastern and Western European countries began to grow tenser and tenser, while at the Yalta Conference, the tension between President Truman and Joseph Stalin also became tense. In a sense, the Iron Curtain was what broke that large bubble of tension between the Easterners and the Westerners because by putting up that invisible Wall between the East and the West, Stalin managed to split Europe into two, and the gap he created may very well never mend, as the Russians had always feared the Western powers, and this gap provided them to fear each other even more. The split between Europe became apparent in the countries that fought civil wars to gain different governments, such as the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The Korean War’s result was very much like the result of Europe, whereas Europe was split into East and West, Korea was split into North and South, but the results were the same, as one side was Communist, while the other was Capitalist. According to my thoughts, I believe that, if Stalin hadn't formed his Iron Curtain, and hadn’t formed the barrier between the East and West, than the Cold War would probably have been averted, for some time, at least.

My least favorite event during the Cold War, which I enjoy studying immensely, was and is probably *7 the Cuban Missile Crisis, partly because John. F. Kennedy failed in his part to try and take Cuba out of Castro and the Communists hands, but that he also made the tension grow tenser with his many foolish attempts to assassinate Castro. This, in my personal opinion, was an exceedingly foolish move, because he forced Castro to contact the Russians, which was kind of paranoid, considering the situation the two countries were in. But however much I hate about war and what Kennedy did to make it flare up even worse than it was before, I still disapprove the U.S.S.R placing missiles in Cuba, which convinced the United States that they were about to be engaged in Nuclear Warfare, as the United States also put missiles in Turkey. In my opinion, the United States and the U.S.S.R are both to blame, because many situations could be resolved passively, but they just had to put missiles and threaten each other with an all out war, when they just finished fighting WW2! I can’t really tolerate that there are people in this world that think that violence is the way to resolve everything, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower had worked so hard to create the “Flexible Response”, but they still had to result to violence and MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) and as if that wasn’t enough, they had to wait for the last minute to say “ok, fine. Let’s not fight anymore”.

I never did like warfare, whether it was an all out fight like the two World Wars, or if it was a passive war like the Cold War, but I just have never liked War, and I am sure many others besides me will be quite willing to agree with me on this matter. War leads to hatred that surpasses anything that has ever been seen in this world, and hatred will lead to the distrustfulness that can and will break apart this world.  If I had a say in this world, it would be to stop all the wars in this world, to stop all the bloodshed that stains the world and Mother Earth a crimson red. During the time that I have been learning about the Cold war, I have come to realize that friends can easily become enemies, and that the distrustfulness between these nations will always be there, however slight it may be, because look at the world now. China and the United States are at each other’s throats about many different things, and that was probably resulted of China being a Communist country, as well as an ally of the U.S.S.R, and now, the East German citizens and the West German citizens still can’t get along with each other due to the separation of Berlin with the use of the Berlin wall.  People rarely chance their opinions, and each generation will repeat and continue repeating the same patterns. If only people could learn to trust one another, than the world would be a much more harmonious and wonderful place to behold and live in. Personally, I like the Cold War because of the fact that we can see that distrust between allies are very high, as *8 Stalin and Truman didn’t really trust each other, and that Stalin was mad at Truman for not sharing the information about the fact they had been developing nuclear weapons without Soviet knowledge. This can be used to prove that the US’s distrust of the U.S.S.R had started long before the “guns stopped in Germany and in the Pacific”

Bibliography

*1 http://www.essortment.com/were-causes-cold-war-21575.html as well as class discussions

*2 http://www.history.com/topics/cold-war and class discussions

*3 http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/operation_downfall.htm and a discussion during English Class with Mr. Billy

*4 http://www.history.com/topics/red-scare and class discussions

*5 http://www.history.com/topics/joseph-mccarthy and class discussions

*6 http://www.wisegeek.org/what-was-the-iron-curtain.htm and class discussions

*7 http://www.history.com/topics/cuban-missile-crisis and some knowledge from before in BSB.

*8 http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/coldwar/summary.html and further research of the subject beforehand

 


Submitted: August 09, 2013

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