THE COLD WAR - THE COLD WAR Cold war-adversarial diplomatic...

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THE COLD WAR Cold war-adversarial diplomatic relationship between the US and the Soviet Union following WW2 (after 1945) Cuban Missile Crisis – 1961 Vietnam War Almost always a diplomatic hostility First Americans to write about the cold war were participants not historians (presidents secretaries of state, diplomats) The cold war began b/c the soviet union was in some way aggressive and in some ways threatening Orthodox point of view ^^^^ by the first writers of Cold war’s history US role in cold war was defensive trying to resist soviet aggression 2 nd interpretation: revisionist interpretation o Trained historians (not participants) from 1960s and early 70s o Sensitized by civil rights movement o Sensitized the Vietnam war o Highly critical of American foreign policy even though they were American o Argued the Cold War began b/c the Americans were in the wrong and were threatening in some way o Soviet role was defensive role 3 rd interpretation: realist interpretation (“the truth”) o Argues: the attempt to find someone to blame (us or soviet union) wasting time.
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Cant blame either side b/c the events had a life of their own Cold war was inevitable Cold war did not begin w/ 1945 but rather much earlier 1917 1917 – American antipathy of soviet union dates from then (Bolshevik revolution) Since then US regarded USSR as hostile America did not recognize the USSR’s existence ( hostility) 1919- multinational force (invaded USSR) tried to ignite an overthrow of the Bolshevik regime US was an ally with soviets b/c we had a common enemy = nazi germany Alliance of convenience Alliance began to break down before the war was over Alliance began to break: Yalta Conf. and Potsdam they started arguing Americans had a different political system o We have some democracy o Our economy was capitalist and relatively unencumbered by gov’t intervention Soviets o Marxist o Command economy Americans had diff ways of how diplomacy worked Soviets were more old fashioned and European
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o “you gain they lose” o Particularly sensitive where they had large influence Spheres of influence Balkans Eastern European Areas of where we had special interests American rejected spheres of influence o Not limited to sphere o They thought interests were universal (everywhere)
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HIST 1377H taught by Professor Cook during the Summer '07 term at University of Houston.

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THE COLD WAR - THE COLD WAR Cold war-adversarial diplomatic...

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