Cold War - The Cold War 1949-1957 During the next week we...

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Unformatted text preview: The Cold War 1949-1957 During the next week we are going to grapple with the nature and impact of the complex global struggle we refer to as the “Cold War”. Today: In the first installment in our investigation of the Cold War, we will try to define this “construct” historically which means taking up several case studies that illuminate the Cold War’s nature, turning points, and historical stages. The first segment will focus principally on US-Soviet relations from the post Berlin Crisis period in 1949 to just before its Cuban Missile Climax in 1962. Historical Method : The Cold War is an important theme investigated by political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists. One distinctive feature of historical investigation is the quest to understand the past in terms of its essential nature and how this changed over time. Lecture Outline : The Cold War in Historical Perspective Aftermath of the Berlin Crisis Containment and China’s “Fall” (1949- 1950) Korea: First Battlefield of the Cold War (1950-1953) I. The Cold War: Historical Perspectives What was the “Cold War”? Can you interpret these cartoons? Sometimes you can learn a lot about something simply by re-examining what you think you already know. I. Historical Perspectives 1. Limited War : As opposed to a “hot” war, the two sides did not lock bullets on the battlefield. Given the risk of superpower confrontation would escalate into a world war or nuclear exchange, the Cold War was a was not a conventional war, but rather an ideological, diplomatic, economic, and covert struggle. 2. Bipolarity : The decline of Europe’s Great Powers transformed the structure of international relations after 1945, dividing the world into two superpower blocs, with the newly emergent Third World forced to align themselves to one side or the other. 3. Clash of Systems : Both sides saw themselves as pitted in a struggle between two utterly distinct economic and social systems, capitalism and communism were incompatible civilizations, ideologies, and ways of life. 4. Multi-Dimensional Rivalry : Although not a ‘shooting’ war, the USA and USSR saw this as a war for survival and fought either through various proxies, or they battled in other arenas, the back alleys of Vienna, the chessboard, or the Olympic stage....
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course HIS 1111 taught by Professor Steve during the Fall '11 term at University of Ottawa.

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Cold War - The Cold War 1949-1957 During the next week we...

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