Cold War notes 1945-2001.docx - CHANGING EUROPEAN WORLD...

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CHANGING EUROPEAN WORLD ORDER O AN OVERVIEW AS BACKGROUND OF THE NATURE OF THE ORIGINS AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF THE COLD WAR TO 1948 INCLUDING THE IDEOLOGICAL, CULTURAL AND POLITICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE SOVIET UNION; AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TRUMAN DOCTRINE, THE MARSHALL PLAN AND THE BERLIN BLOCKADE WHAT WERE THE KEY FACTORS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COLD WAR? LONG TERM CAUSES o The seeds of ideological conflict were in place by 1917 following the Bolshevik revolution – there was an irreconcilable conflict between the ideologies of the two nations; on one side there was Capitalism and democracy has represented by the West and on the other, communism which lacked the liberal democracy, as personified by the Soviet Union o Open markets- one of the principles of capitalism is the free market, this would require the dismantling of trade barriers and spheres of influence that limited the freedom of capitalism throughout the world. From the perspective of the west, communism and its hostility to capitalist economic development posed a threat to the greater freedom of world communism o Western intervention in the Civil war o The Nazi- Soviet pact SHORT TERM / IMMEDIATE CAUSES o The exceptional circumstances of 1945 following the defeat of Nazism in Europe saw a power vacuum in much of central and eastern Europe, providing greater opportunities and much higher stakes for both the USSR and the West to not only pursue their foreign policy aims but to come into conflict with each other. o Despite the sources of ideological conflict being in place by 1918 the cold war did not develop until after the end of the cold war because neither country took on a world role; this was largely due to America’s isolationist policy and Stalin’s foreign policy of ‘Socialism in one country’ o The increased tensions in 1945 were driven by the two competing visions of the post-war Europe when former wartime allies who were influenced by a degree of mistrust on an ideological level was to taint the superpower relationship when
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reaching a post-war settlement agreement. o Multiple factors including the issue of economic reconstruction in the war torn Europe, social issues and political dissatisfaction were to contribute to the tensions that drove the Cold War and the multi-faceted leadership of post war Europe in the face of these challenges is ultimately responsible for the development of the Cold War between 1945 and 1949. o Different interpretations of the the concept of democracy The Soviet had the doctrine of “people’s democracy” The Soviet Union proclaimed itself and the buffer zone “democratic”, promised free elections with East Germany being named The German Democratic Republic The reality of Soviet “democracy” was that it was authoritarian, autocratic and oppressive.
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