Duration And Perspectives

Who was to blame for the cold war? America or the Soviet Union?

The cold war was a tension that arose between the Soviet Union and the United States after the Second World War (Hopf, 2014). The exact dates of the cold war are not clear but it is said that it could have happened between 1947 and either in the year 1989 or 1991.The two regions which are America and the soviet unity did not fight directly against each other but instead, they had their support on the proxy wars which were the greatest regional wars (Hopf, 2014). America was to blame for the cold war.


The Development of the Cold War

The cold war development was due to the unstable conditions in Europe which were as a result of the communism and capitalism ideologies (Gaddis, 1997). Americans wanted to exercise their ideology, strength and interest on all the countries around the world. The United States of America (USA) was seen as the aggressor by the Soviet Union. They therefore charged the Americans with attempting to dominate the world and with being a threat to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' (USSR) security (Gaddis, 1997).

The superpowers

Due to the cold war, the USA and the Soviet Union were left as the superpowers whose political and economic differences were profound. The Second World War ended in 1943 and two years later is when the cold war's first phase began (Kennedy-Pipe, 2010). The USSR controlled the states that were on the eastern bloc. On the other hand, the United States started to threaten the soviet power by offering their financial and military support to the countries that are found in the western part of Europe. The USA and the USSR later started competing on which of the two would have the greatest control on Latin America, also on which would successfully decolonize Asian and African states (Kennedy-Pipe, 2010).

Additionally, the United States of America was the first country to successfully deploy and use the atomic bomb (Hopkins, 2011). This move sent military and political waves which eventually led to the surrender of Japan making Americans as the winners. This was not welcomed by the other superpowers since they knew the potential of America. Later, the Soviet Union begun to prepare itself for bombing and by 1949, it tested its first nuclear weapon bringing to an end the monopoly of the US over the atomic weapons (Hopkins, 2011). The United States is therefore to blame for the thought of coming up with the atomic weapons since if they had not used it on Japan, other countries would not have thought of coming up with the weapons. America is therefore to blame for the cold war since the thought of bombing by the Soviet Union was in itself a cold war.

Those responsible for the cold war

In 1956, the soviets stopped the Hungarian revolution (Hanhimaki and Westad, n.d). This led to emergence of several crisis like the 1956 Suez crisis, the 1961 Berlin crisis and the 1962 Cuban crisis on missile. People around the world became increasingly concerned about the testing of the nuclear weapons in Japan, the US and in Europe. A movement of peace which aimed at encouraging peace and unity and opposing war was formed in the 1950's. In 1968, there was a crush of the liberalization program called the Prague spring by the USSR and later, Vietnam which had been backed by the US was defeated leading to the need for more adjustments.

The industrial complex of the military in America was uncontrollable since it required more advanced and superior weapons than the Soviet Union making them to come up with more expensive, more complicate and more powerful weapons which was meant to outdo the Soviets' (Halle n.d). On the other hand, the Soviet Union came up with very many weapons that outmatched those that were possessed by the United States in number. If America had not built the weapons, then the Soviet Union would not have seen the need of coming up with more weapons. The move by America lead to the need by the soviet to come up with more weapons. America is therefore to blame for the production of all the weapons.

Following the stagnation of the economy by the communist state, the US exerted more economic, military, and diplomatic pressure on the Soviet Union (Ziff and Musteen, n.d.). There was a public outrage in New York that called for the end of the cold war in the early 1980's. Later, there was an introduction of reforms on liberalization by Mikhail Gorbachev who was a leader of the soviet which led to the stop on the involvement of the soviet in Afghanistan. The USSR was formally dissolved in 1991 due to weakening of the Soviet Union making them to lose control following the fall of the communist regime (Ziff and Musteen, n.d.). The United States was therefore left as the only super power in the world.

Conclusion: Who is to Blame?

Even though there was a war between the capitalist and the communist ideologies, America is to blame for the cold war. This is because the United States wanted to control all the countries in the world which led to the need for the Soviet Union to go against it. Secondly, America used atomic bombs on Japan during the Second World War. This led to a political and military outcry around the world. The Soviet Union therefore saw the potential of America and they thought of coming up with weapons which was mostly due to the fear that America was capable of bombing. Thirdly, the industrial complex of the military in America was uncontrollable since it required more advanced and superior weapons than the Soviet Union making them to come up with more expensive, more complicate and more powerful weapons. Due to this, the Soviet Union came up with very many weapons and also tested their first nuclear bomb. America was concerned about the quality of their weapons whereas the Soviet Union was concerned about the quantity of their weapons. Therefore, America fuelled the cold war and it is to blame.

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  • Gaddis, J. (1997). We now know. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Halle, L., (n.d). The Cold War as History
  • Hanhimaki, J. M. & O. A. Westad (eds.) (n.d). The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts
  • Hopf, T. (2014). Reconstructing the Cold War. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Hopkins, M. (2011). The Cold War. London: Thames & Hudson.
  • Kennedy-Pipe, C. (2010). Origins of the Cold War. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Ziff, J. and Musteen, J. (n.d.). The Cold war.

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