In this essay I briefly cover the Cold War, but first you must understand why there was the Cold War. After discussing the reasons behind the Cold war, this essay outlines what happened during the Cold War in five-year segments. The Cold War started because of the Soviet rejection of the Marshall Plan. The United States viewed this rejection as hostile and a ‘declaration of war’ regarding the control of Europe. The governments of the two major aggressors in the Cold War would like you to believe the Marshall Plan reason; but the Cold War really came about because of the fundamental preferences between socialism and a capitalist democracy.
Socialism and capitalism cannot function in the same place at the same time. Socialism undermines capitalism because it is about working for the good of the people instead of working for the good of oneself. Capitalism is about working for oneself instead of the good of the people, the extreme opposite of socialism. The period between 1945 and 1950 was a time of rebuilding war torn countries. What happened during this period set the foundation for most of the Cold War.
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It was the start of the Marshall Plan, the reaction and resulting actions of the US and USSR that pitted these great nations against each other for many years to come, although they had been allies in World War II. The main focus of the Marshall Plan was on Europe, especially Berlin. Berlin and the rest of Germany were divided into four parts at the end of the World War II. One part was for the British; one part for the Americans; one part was for the French; and an Eastern part for the Soviets. The Lignite States and Soviet Union both tightened their borders in Berlin, to keep each other out of their designated areas.
The Soviet leader at this time as still Joseph Stalin; the American leader was Harry Truman. Stalin broke all his promises in his part of Europe; he didn’t have free elections, rather he imposed his communist rule on all of his Eastern European territories. In Stalin’s opinion there had been a free election, with only one name on the ballot. He didn’t allow free elections because he felt that Russia had suffered the most in the war. Because of this he felt he needed to protect Russia from any western capitalistic threats by creating buffer zones; thus, the suffering of the previously free Eastern European nations began.
Times were difficult in Europe as Herbert Hoover wrote to Truman, “A serious situation in food still exists in certain areas, and particularly those in Europe occupied by our forces. ” Herbert Hoover meant that there were food shortages in Europe, even in the American occupied parts of Europe, those under the Marshall Plan rule. Food shortages existed despite the fact that the Marshall Plan provided help for Europe to rebuild itself by giving the Europeans money and food to help them jump-start their economy. Among other important events, the United Nations was formed during this period.
Israel was also formed, which history sadly has shown has lead to great unrest in the Middle East. During this period the Soviets also created their own atomic bomb, increasing the threat of ‘Nuclear Winter. ‘ Nuclear Winter is the theory that if enough nuclear weapons are Set off, the sun would be blotted out for at least a month and darkness would kill most organisms on Earth. The threat of a Nuclear Winter fueled the Cold War. The atomic bomb dropped on Japan in World War II had given the world a glimpse of the devastation that an atomic bomb blast can have on a country.
With two of the most powerful and yet ideologically different countries having the same devastating nuclear power, the threat of an atomic bomb being dropped seemed a possible reality and increased the fear of each other in the IIS and USSR which further promoted the Cold War. However, the nuclear fear factor did promote some positive results with the formation of NATO or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The period between 1950 and 1955 saw war again. This time the war was in Korea, the North Korean communist government against the South Korean democratic government.
The Korean War ended in an armistice that still lasts to this day. Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected President in 1952. He was the first and some would say the only president who tried to achieve world peace, and peace with the Russians. For more information on this read the Dwight D. Eisenhower speech ‘A Chance for Peace’. The United States theory of the ‘domino effect’ came about during this period. The ‘domino effect’ was the theory that if one nation in East Asia went to communism, then another would, and another, and so on until communism would be more dominant than democracy.
The United States didn’t want that. The thought that communism might spread to Latin America escalated at this time and gave life to the domino theory; so, the CIA also created ‘Hit Lists’ in Latin America. Another significant event was the Warsaw Pact, the Soviet response to NATO, which was formed in 1955. The H-bomb (hydrogen bomb) was first built by the United States during this period, and not surprisingly the Soviets soon followed. In 1953 the United States staged a coup in Iran to overthrow the Cockades government and establish a new government.
These varied events were just a few of the battles in the Cold War of the US capitalist democracy vs.. Communism. Between 1 955 and 1960 lay a time of dashed American hopes, hopes that the Soviets would be overthrown. The American leader was still Eisenhower, and the Soviet leader was Nikkei Khrushchev. The Hungarian had a revolution; which lasted for 12 days before the Soviets literally crushed it with tanks and strong military support. The Soviet response of tanks and military might scared all the Soviet satellites, in perhaps the saddest moment in Cold War history.
In the race to dominate space and truly have world power, the 1 958 Soviet launch of the first space satellite called Sputnik woke up the Americans to a rater danger than just that on earth. Also during this time, the United States had begun to feel threatened by a possible Soviet threat from Cuba. Eisenhower and Khrushchev were going to a summit to talk about a potential nuclear weapons ban, but Khrushchev backed down because an American 0-2 spy plane crashed in Soviet territory. In 1 960 John F. Kennedy was elected President. In Dwight D.
Eisenhower Farewell Speech to the nation, Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the Military Industrial Complex, which Eisenhower was afraid might become too powerful and influence public policy in a negative way. Eisenhower was trying to warn the American people to be careful not to let the industries that support the military affect public policy and the direction of the nation. As President, he knew very well how military policy can be influenced by industries that may be needed in war, but can have too much power and drain a nation during peace time.
For example, overstating the Cold War threat so the IIS invests more in the military and the industries that supply and support the military would prevent the CSS from moving in a more peaceful and progressive way. The years between 1960 and 1 965 were very sad years. John F. Kennedy became President but was assassinated three years later. The soviet premier was still Khrushchev, and Lyndon Johnson became President after Kennedy’s death. Soon after Kennedy’s election, he launched an attack on Cuba, later known as the Bay of Pigs.
The Bay of Pigs was an attempt to overthrow the Cuban government. It failed miserably. It used an attack force created by Eisenhower. The attack force was made up of Cuban expatriates. It failed because Kennedy decided not to use air support, for fear the Soviets would retaliate and give the Cubans air support. The Berlin Wall, a huge wall that separated East Berlin from West Berlin, was built during this time. It was built to keep Berliners in East Berlin and westerners out of Berlin. Guards along the wall either penalized severely or shot anyone trying to cross the border without a permit.
The wall caused West Berlins population to decrease dramatically. To fight this problem the federal government imported people as workers from other countries. The Vietnam War started during this time. Vietnam was a series of battles fought by the United States, French, and South Vietnamese against the North Vietnamese, supported by the Russians and Chinese. It was a war similar to Korea in the fact that South Vietnam was trying to break away from the communist North Vietnam to start a democracy as South Korea had broken away from North Korea. It was a very long and very bloody war.
The Cuban Missile Crisis also happened during these years. The Cuban Missile Crisis was when the Soviets put CUBIC, Inter Continental Ballistic Missile, launchers in Cuba. This caused the United States to create an embargo on Cuba. The united States also threatened to blow up the world if the Soviets didn’t remove the weapons. Despite the chilling moves and battles of the Cold War during this period, a gain was made toward world peace with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, written and signed in 1963. It was a ban on any further testing of Nuclear Weapons.
France and China didn’t sign it. The half-decade between 1 965 and 1 970 was a time of social turmoil. Lyndon Johnson and later Richard Nixon were presidents of the United States. Lentoid Brethren was the Soviet Secretary General. The United States sent a man to the moon in 1969, usurping the Soviets of being first on the moon. Off the coast of North Korea, North Korean Mix jets and naval vessels attacked and sunk the US Pueblo, which was on an intelligence mission. There were approximately 80 survivors who were taken prisoner for 1 1 months.
People such as Henry Kissing entered government around this time, and still work as advisors in government. The Vietnam War continued into this period. The American public began protesting almost everything the American government did. Civil rights and the Vietnam War were major issues taken on by protestors against the government’s position. Martin Luther King Jar. Was assassinated in April 1969, which left hundreds of people dead from rioting. War protests also continued. In 1968 Reagan, as governor of California, sent the US National Guard into a park in Berkeley to evict the hippies that were using the land.
This was the time when nonviolent protests were at their peak, the classic ‘hippies’ roots of love and peace dominated the cultural and student political scene. These protests eventually swayed the LIST government to pull out of Vietnam, which was then overrun by the North Vietnamese. The park in Berkeley later became People’s park. Another Kennedy also was assassinated during this time. With several assassinations of very liberal leaders, mistrust in the government became more prominent, which tended to decrease the ability of the government to promote the Cold War and the domino theory of years past.
The social political climate allowed for another step toward world peace and an attempt to decrease the world wide nuclear threat by not allowing nuclear proliferation. The Non-Proliferation Treaty on nuclear weapons was created at this time. It basically said that any non-nuclear nation couldn’t become a nuclear nation. Iraq, India, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are just some of the countries that didn’t sign it. The United States also began to feel more threatened by South East Asian countries especially China around this time.
The US previously feared the Chinese in the ass’s because of the threat that they would invade Taiwan. The US also supported and put Saddle Hussein in power at this time in an attempt to gain better control of the Middle East. The years between 1970 and 1 975 were when Nixon was the United States President, and Brethren was still the Soviet Premier. During these years Pakistan became a country, or rather broke away from India. In 1974 Nixon resigned from the presidency, and Gerald Ford became president. BAM (Anti Ballistic Missile) theories came about around this time, and still last to this day.
An BAM shield is a fictional missile shield, which some people would like to be reality so it could potentially stop an CUBIC before it detonates. So far it has been a waste of money. It became famous when Reagan named it Star Wars. Not much happened during this time. Between 1 975 and 1980 Gerald Ford was still President, and so was Brethren. In 1 977 Gerald Ford failed to get reelected, so Jimmy Carter took his place. In 979 the Soviets had their version of Vietnam; they had Afghanistan. Under Jimmy Carter the United States had one of the best economies they’d had since WI.
By this time the threat of nuclear attack had decreased. The Cold War was starting to come to a close, although, it died a slow death, lasting almost another ten years. The half-decade of 1980 to 1 985 was an interesting time. The Cold War was almost over. Jimmy Carter left office, and Ronald Reagan took office as the US President. Brethren was still the Soviet Premier, but he would leave office by 1982. Yuri Namedrop would become Premier, but he left office by 1984. Then Constantine Coherence would become Premier.
Despite his onset of Alchemist’s, it was at the end of the Reagan presidency that the Cold War ended. The opening of East Berlin in 1989 was the beginning of the true end of the Berlin Wall and all that it symbolized regarding the Cold War. By 1 990, with George Bush Senior, in his first year as President, the Cold War was over. The breaking up and complete destruction of the Berlin Wall symbolized the end of the Cold War between the US and USSR and all it had been for so long in the history of these two great nations. The Cold War caused suffering for millions of people.