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    the cold war


    المساهمات : 39
    تاريخ التسجيل : 11/03/2010
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    the cold war

    مُساهمة  molydris في الخميس مارس 11, 2010 5:03 pm

    Contents :
    Pre-Cold War .
    World War II and Post-War (1939-1947) .
    Crisis and escalation (1953-1962) .
    The "Second Cold War" (1979-1985) .
    End of the Cold War .

    Introduction :

    World War II (1939–45; war in which Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, the United States, and their allied forces defeated Germany, Italy, and Japan), the largest conflict the world had seen to date, had come to an end in the blinding flash of an atomic bomb. Yet, the end of this war did not signal the end of hostilities. A new war began, one that was fought both directly and indirectly. It was a war that influenced virtually every significant event or development in world affairs: political, military, economic, and cultural. It was a war about global domination and global destruction. It was called the Cold War (1945–91), and more than anything else, it started the race into space. By the end of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union had risen to the status of superpowers. (The Soviet Union, technically the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a country made up of fifteen republics, the largest of which was Russia. In 1991 it became fifteen independent states.) These two extremely powerful nations dominated world politics. Their differing ideologies, or set of doctrines or beliefs, brought about a period of mutual fear and distrust that was termed the Cold War.

    Pre-Cold War:
    There is some disagreement over what constitutes the beginning of the Cold War. While most historians say that it began in the period just after World War II, some say that it began towards the end of World War I, though tensions between Russia/USSR and Britain and the United States date back to the middle of the 19th century.
    The ideological clash between communism and capitalism began in 1917 following the Russian Revolution, when the USSR emerged as the first major communist power. This was the first event which made Russian-American relations a matter of major, long-term concern to the leaders in each country.
    Several events led to suspicion and distrust between the United States and the Soviet Union: US intervention in Russia supporting the White Army in the Russian Civil War, Russia's withdrawal from World War I in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, the Bolsheviks' challenge to capitalism, the US refusal to recognize the Soviet Union until 1933. Other events in the period immediately before WWII increased this suspicion and distrust. The British appeasement of Germany and the German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact are two notable examples.
    World War II and Post-War (1939-1947) :
    During the war, the Soviets strongly suspected that the Anglo-Americans had opted to let the Russians bear the brunt of the war effort, to insert themselves only at the last minute so as to influence the peace settlement and dominate Europe. Historians such as John Lewis Gaddis dispute this claim, citing other military and strategic calculations for the timing of the Normandy invasion. Nevertheless, Soviet perceptions (or misconceptions) of the West and vice versa left a strong undercurrent of tension and hostility between the Allied powers.
    There was severe disagreement between the Allies about how Europe should look following the war. Both sides, moreover, held very dissimilar ideas regarding the establishment and maintenance of post-war security. The Americans tended to understand security in situational terms, assuming that, if US-style governments and markets were established as widely as possible, countries could resolve their differences peacefully, through international organizations. Soviet leaders, however, tended to understand security in terms of space. This reasoning was conditioned by Russia's historical experiences, given the frequency with which the country had been invaded over the last 150 years.
    At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the Allies attempted to define the framework for a post-war settlement in Europe but could not reach a firm consensus. Following the Allied victory in May, the Soviets effectively occupied Eastern Europe, while the US had much of Western Europe. In occupied Germany, the US and the Soviet Union established zones of occupation and a loose framework for four-power control with the ailing French and British.

    Crisis and escalation (1953-1962) :
    In 1953 changes in political leadership on both sides shifted the dynamic of the Cold War.[21] Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated president in January 1953. During the last 18 months of the Truman administration, the US defense budget had quadrupled; and Eisenhower resolved to reduce military spending by brandishing the United States' nuclear superiority while continuing to fight the Cold War effectively. In March Joseph Stalin died, and the Soviets, now led by Nikita Khrushchev, moved away from Stalin's policies.
    Eisenhower's secretary of state, John Foster Dulles initiated a "New Look" for the "containment" strategy, calling for a greater reliance on nuclear weapons to US enemies. Dulles also enunciated the doctrine of "massive retaliation," threatening a severe US response to any Soviet aggression. Possessing nuclear superiority, for example, Eisenhower curtailed Soviet threats to intervene in the Middle East during the 1956 Suez Crisis.
    There was a slight relaxation of tensions after Stalin's death in 1953, but the Cold War in Europe remained an uneasy armed truce. US troops seemed stationed indefinitely in West Germany and Soviet forces seemed indefinitely stationed throughout Eastern Europe. To counter West German rearmament, the Soviets established a formal alliance with the Eastern European Communist states termed the Warsaw Pact Treaty Organization or Warsaw Pact in 1955. In 1956, the status quo was briefly threatened in Hungary, when the Soviets invaded rather than allow the Hungarians to move out of their orbit (see Hungarian Revolution of 1956). Berlin remained divided and contested. In 1961, the East Germans erected the "Berlin Wall" to prevent the movement US, Wisconsin snt of East Berliners into West Berlin.
    Cold War (1962-1979):
    In the course of the 1960s and 1970s, both the US and the Soviet Union struggled to adjust to a new, more complicated pattern of international relations in which the world was no longer divided into two clearly opposed blocs by the two superpowers. Since the beginning of the postwar period, Western Europe and Japan rapidly recovered from the destruction of World War II and sustained strong economic growth through the 1950s and 1960s, increasing their strength compared to the United States. As a result of the 1973 oil crisis, combined with the growing influence of Third World alignments such as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the Non-Aligned Movement, less-powerful countries had more room to assert their independence and often showed themselves resistant to pressure from either superpower. (EB) Moscow, meanwhile, was forced to turn its attention inward to deal with the Soviet Union's deep-seated domestic economic problems. During this period, Soviet leaders such as Alexei Kosygin and Leonid Brezhnev embraced the notion of détente.

    The "Second Cold War" (1979-1985) :
    In November 1982 American ten-year-old Samantha Smith wrote a letter to the Soviet leader Yuri Andropov expressing her fear of nuclear war, and pleading with him to work toward peace. Andropov himself replied, and gave her a personal invitation to visit the country. Smith's visit was one of few prominent attempts to improve relations between the superpowers during Andropov's brief leadership from 1982-1984 at a dangerously low point in US-Soviet relations.
    The term "second Cold War" has been used by some historians to refer to the period of intensive reawakening of Cold War tensions in the early 1980s. In 1980 Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter, vowing to increase military spending and confront the Soviets everywhere. Both Reagan and Britain's new prime minister, Margaret Thatcher, denounced the Soviet Union in ideological terms that rivaled that of the worst days of the Cold War in the late 1940s.
    End of the Cold War :
    Cold War (1985-1991):

    In a famed address, United States President Ronald Reagan challenges Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall, 12 June 1987
    By the early 1980s, the Soviet armed forces were the largest in the world by many measures—in terms of the numbers and types of weapons they possessed, in the number of troops in their ranks, and in the sheer size of their military-industrial base.[35] However, the quantitative advantages held by the Soviet military often concealed areas where the Eastern bloc dramatically lagged behind the West. This led many US observers to vastly overestimate Soviet power.
    Post-revisionism :
    The "revisionist" interpretation produced a critical reaction of its own. In a variety of ways, "post-revisionist" scholarship, before the fall of Communism, challenged earlier works on the origins and course of the Cold War.
    During the period, "post-revisionism" challenged the "revisionists" by accepting some of their findings but rejecting most of their key claims. Particularly, post-revisionist historians argued that revisionists put too much emphasis on U.S. economic considerations while ignoring domestic politics and perceptions held at the time. Another current attempted to strike a balance between the "orthodox" and "revisionist" camps, identifying areas of responsibility for the origins of the conflict on both sides Thomas G. Paterson, in Soviet-American Confrontation (1973), for example, viewed Soviet hostility and U.S. efforts to dominate the postwar world as equally responsible for the Cold War.
    The seminal work of this approach was John Lewis Gaddis's The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941–1947 (1972). The account was immediately hailed as the beginning of a new school of thought on the Cold War claiming to synthesize a variety of interpretations. Gaddis then maintained that "neither side can bear sole responsibility for the onset of the Cold War." He did, however, emphasize the constraints imposed on U.S. policymakers due to the complications of domestic politics. Gaddis has, in addition, criticized some "revisionist" scholars, particularly Williams, for failing to understand the role of Soviet policy in the origins of the Cold War.
    Out of the "post-revisionist" literature emerged a new area of inquiry that was more sensitive to nuance and interested less in the question of who started the conflict than in offering insight into U.S. and Soviet actions and perspectives.[27] From this perspective, the Cold War was not so much the responsibility of either side, but rather the result of predictable tensions between two world powers that had been suspicious of one another for nearly a century. For example, Ernest May wrote in a 1984 essay:

    Conclusion :
    From this view of "post-revisionism" emerged a line of inquiry that examines how Cold War actors perceived various events, and the degree of misperception involved in the failure of the two sides to reach common understandings of their wartime alliance and their disputes.

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