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The Positive Aspects Of The Cold War: 1946 1991 Describes The Positive Aspects And Outcomes Of The Cold War, And How It Helped To Create A Stable World Economy And Political Structure

1518 words - 7 pages

Although the Cold War had many negative influences on global society, it also helped to create a stable political world, as evidenced by the fact that during the Cold War era, civil wars, nationalistic uprisings, and ethnic cleansings were almost non-existent. As well, the world economic situation was subsequently greatly improved by the military build-up caused by the Cold War. The implementation of the American "Marshall Plan" and the Communist "Molotov Plan", the nuclear arms race, and the global military build-up all served to create global political stability and economic prosperity.The "Marshall Plan" created by United States Secretary of State George Marshall and the "Molotov Plan" ...view middle of the document...

The war essentially became a war of Communism versus Capitalism and Democracy. The Americans were eventually forced to pull out from the war after suffering large numbers of casualties and with support of the war at home diminishing rapidly. South and North Vietnam were quickly unified under the communist government. As a result of both superpowers' efforts to expand their spheres of influence, the world became largely polarized, with very few nations managing to remain neutral during the Cold War. This polarization led to unprecedented stability and peace, as a deep distrust developed on both sides, and helped to ensure the loyalty of the otherwise volatile nation-states.The nuclear arms race and the development of nuclear-capable missiles that could travel great distances significantly influenced American and Soviet policies of non-confrontation. Both superpowers rightly believed that a nuclear war would lead to mutual holocaust and most likely global annihilation. Thus they attempted to stay out of direct confrontation with each other, preferring instead to indirectly support other governments and/or revolutionaries that were aligned with their own political beliefs. An excellent example of how much both superpowers would sacrifice to prevent a nuclear war is the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 . The Cuban Missile Crisis was caused primarily by the failed "Bay of Pigs" invasion of Cuba in 1959 . Prior to that time, much of Cuban industry and mineral wealth was owned by Americans. But in 1959, Fidel Castro and his socialist revolutionaries succeeded in overthrowing the corrupt dictatorship that had been in power in Cuba and that had been loyal to American policy. Fidel Castro had promised his people that he would end the economic hardship and depression, and in an attempt to help Cuba's economic recovery, he decided to nationalize most of the foreign-owned business. This greatly angered the Americans, and in 1961, 1500 U.S.-backed Cuban exiles landed at the Bay of Pigs . The invasion attempt was a disaster and greatly embarrassed the American government. The Missile Crisis developed in 1962 because Fidel Castro believed that America would soon try again to invade his country. He asked the Soviet Union for help in defending his island nation. The Soviet Union replied by sending small arms, tanks, and infantry units to Cuba, as well as secretly transferring nuclear missiles to missile silos that were under construction in Cuba. The Americans were shocked when one of their U-2 spy planes discovered the nuclear silos under construction in Cuba because it meant that for the first time the Soviet missiles were within range of most major U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C. This created a very difficult problem for American President John F. Kennedy for which he needed to find a solution. He could not allow the missile silos to finish being constructed because that would place the United States in danger. That meant that either he would have to try...

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