From the start of the Cold War post World War II, when the opposing ideologies of the United States and Soviet Union clashed, to the end of the Cold War signaled by the break of the Soviet Union in 1 991 , each superpower had its own way of stepping toe to toe with their divergent economic policies, various forms of aid to other countries, covert operations abroad and ideological competition. By looking at the aforementioned means of waging the Cold War, one can better ascertain the role each played in continuing the rivalry for so many years. The superpowers had two opposing ideologies that shaped their economic policies.
The United States is a capitalistic nation, whose economics focuses more on free-trade without government restriction and the Soviets, a monistic nation, sought to create a more centralized economy that focused on industrialization and acclimatization. The capitalism of the united States is defined by James Fletcher, in his work, Capitalism: A Very Short Introduction is an investment of capital in order to gain a profit. 2 The United States used its capitalistic economic policy to not only help with its containment policy, but obtain more global markets.
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This can be seen within the Marshal Plan speech given by Secretary of State George Marshall, when he suggests that it is over the next three or four years Europe will be buying cost products primarily from the United States until they can rebuild from war devastation-3 Leslie Holmes, author of Communism: A Very Short Introduction discusses how there are multiple communist ideologies. By evaluating these, one can see the influences on Soviet communist ideology. From Leninism, the Soviet Union got their skepticism of capitalism, calling their imperialistic tendencies exploitation. From Stalin, they got the ideals of the centrally planned economy of agricultural acclimatization and rapid industrialization. What made this a strategic part of the Cold War rivalry’ for the Soviet Union, was hat they were able to convince other nations that by centralizing the economy, social classes would no longer exist. This was quite appealing to newly independent nations post MINI, who for years had been exploited and was looking for something new. The United States and the Soviet Union gave different types of aid to other countries as a tactic of the Cold War.
The United States started this off in 1947 with president Trauma’s containment policy better known as the Truman Doctrine. The primary principle of the doctrine was to “contain communism where it exists today,” it was doing so by providing financial assistance to Turkey and Greece. 5 The United States believed that by giving Turkey and Greece funds, they could rebuild their economies to keep from the lure of communism, which given the positional of the countries as gateways to the Middle East, was extremely important.
In an additional attempt to contain communism and win the rivalry of the Cold War, the United States also provided a large amount of financial aid to the French in the late sass’s, in order to pay for the French-Indo China War. The war was an attempt to gain Vietnam back as a colony as the small Asian county cleared its independence during World War II following the Nazi invasion of France. By 1953, the United States was funding 80% of the war, as well as providing its top military advisors. Soon after in 1958, the United States would be back in Vietnam for over a decade helping the South Vietnamese fight off the North Vietnamese at a last attempt to keep more Asian countries from falling to communism. Similarly, the Soviets did their fair share of providing aid to countries in hopes of getting a leg up in the Cold War. One important aid project that the Soviet Union undertook was providing military and financial aid to Yemen, who had recently become the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PADRE).
In the late 1 ass’s to early 1 ass’s the Soviet’s granted Yemen armaments and troops for security and funding for development projects. This was benefiting the Soviet Union however by providing them a strategic location in the Arab world where they could counterbalance United States influences. Having placement in Yemen also allowed for the Soviet union to launch reconnaissance missions to keep tabs on the United States in Africa. 7 The Soviet Union again got positional in Africa when it sent 5450 million dollars of financial assistance to Ethiopia in 1 977 to ensure the success of the socialist revolution led by Meningitis Miriam.
This benefited them by keeping a check on the United States position on the horn of Africa, as well as helping create a socialist presence in that region. 8 Covert operations were yet another tactic used by the United States and the Soviet union during their rivalry. One of the most important operations was the United States role in the disposition of Jacob Urbane Gunman in Guatemala. The United States was unhappy with additional communist influence in Latin America which was created by the 1950 election of Jacob Urbane in Guatemala.
The United States decided to take action after discovering an arms deal had been signed between Urbane and the Soviet union on April 22nd, 1954. The CIA helped in creating a coup in Guatemala, replacing and exiling Urbane, and placing Carols Castillo Arms in leadership. 9 This not only helped get a communist nation out of their hemisphere, but also allowed the United States to keep the Soviet Union from making another arms deal. One of the most important covert operations that the Soviet Union held was the Hungarian Revolution.
The citizens of Hungary never fully embraced the idea of becoming a socialist state when they became part of the Soviet bloc in 1959. This was mostly because the Hungarian were very religious people. On October 23, 1 965 a national uprising began in Hungry, as protestors got angry over a radio station refusal to share their sixteen grievances, crowds gathered in the squares. After attacking the crowd with tear gas, a more capitalist leader Inane Nagy was put in power. On October 26th, Nagy quested withdrawal of Soviet troops. This was honored four days later, as Soviet troops left Hungary.
However, when Nagy announced neutrality and that Hungary was leaving the Warsaw pact a day later the Soviets decided to take action. Four days later on November 4th, Soviet troops stormed into Hungary to make an example of its former satellite. Within the day, Nagy was arrested and killed. 10 This proved the Soviet Join would not tolerate events that would make them look worse, and showed that they still were a strong superpower competing in the Cold War. Ideological competition occurred frequently throughout the Cold War tenet the superpowers in both militaristic and societal ways.
Two ways in which competing ideologies Were showcased Was in the first armed conflict Of the Cold War manifested in the Korean War and the Cultural Exchange that occurred between the two nations during the Cold War thaw of 1959. The Korean War happened in context of the Cold War. Northern leader Kim IL Sung had been trying for years to get Mao and Stalin to aid him in the invasion of South Korea. With tensions with the United States at a high, Stalin finally agreed in 1949. Ending in 1953, the War was essentially a ping pong able that did nothing but kill many soldiers on all accounts.