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Introduction to International Relations_Towns_Date__022410

Introduction to International Relations_Towns_Date__022410...

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CAUSES OF THE COLD WAR According to realism… o Power transition after WWII brought the United States and the Soviet Union to superpower status; conflict was inevitable According to…? o The United States was simply in intense ideological disagreement with the Soviet Union since its formation, due to the US’s strong capitalist/republican values and the Soviet Union’s egalitarian/communist values. Soviets also saw capitalism as unable to coexist with communism, and believed that resistance to capitalist containment was necessary. According to constructivism… o Misperceptions between the two players led to the conflict. Due to a lack of trust, the United States and Soviet Union had polarized opinions of one another. The Soviet Union saw itself as only righteous, and the United States as only evil, and vice versa. Self fulfilling prophecy EVOLUTION OF THE COLD WAR Patterns shown throughout history o Periods of intense conflict alternated with periods of relative cooperation; reciprocal behavior. o National interest took priority over ideological interests (the Soviet Union would form alliances with capitalist nations if it was advantageous to Soviet interests, etc) o Avoidance of war was a huge priority 1945-1948 o US had the bomb, and was generally amiable towards the Soviets o 1947, George Kennan expresses observation of Soviet insecurities, both domestically and internationally, predicting an aggressive foreign policy and recommending containment.
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