History 365 - Recent America: 1945 to the Present
Beginning in 1947 and lasting until 1991, the Cold War can be defined as the sustained state of military, as well as political, tensions that existed between western hemisphere countries and their NATO allies and the Eastern hemisphere that was dominated by countries in the Warsaw Pact dominated redundant by the USSR. Following the success of the wartime alliance formed temporarily against Hitler’s Nazi Germany, the only two superpowers in global affairs were the United States and the Soviet Union. However, these two countries had profound differences in ...view middle of the document...
From being egged on by the Europeans, we as a country took over the resistance to the communist Eastern Bloc to head it and influence the European powers. For those European countries that immediately were not up to standard such as Turkey, Greece, and Spain, we used economic leverage. As a country, we projected an image of minimal constraint, economic robustness, and civility that highly contrasted with that of imperial USSR, and so began the Cold War in earnest. This last point could have been developed in a separate paragraph
Following the devastation that was meted on Europe and large parts of the Soviet Union by the war, our country’s promise of democracy reverberated across the world. The United States emerged from the war as the only major country that had escaped massive damage. While we faced a period of reconversion, our European allies faced a period of reconstruction. The war had completely overturned the old order and two countries arose from the rubble, the US and USSR. Together, we were eager to seize the opportunity to extend our influence, and we clashed over policies of occupation in Korea, Austria, Japan, Italy, and Germany. This led to a new bi-polar structure, which ensured that the decisions we made determined the manner in which other countries made their decisions. However, the bi-polar nature of the world was more of an asymmetry than a balance, as we held predominant power that enabled us to build up even more. Our economy was also much stronger than all the rest and our power as a country arose because all other nations were weakened. These issues repeat the introduction and introduce a new thesis; therefore, they are a distraction.
The atomic bomb, which effectively ended the Second World War, ensured that the nuclear race continued to destabilize the world during the Cold War as we and the USSR looked for ways to deal with it as atomic development programs spurred on. The bomb throughout the Cold...