The cold war is the period which was marked by the tension and rivalry between the communist block and the capitalist block. The communist block included the superpower Soviet Union and its allies while the capitalist block included the United States of America and its allies. The rivalry between the two blocks involved situations such as proxy wars, in sports, ideology, military coalitions, industrial development, massive spending in defense, nuclear arms rivalry and technological development.
The cold war began in the mid 1940s and ended in early 1990s after the collapse of Soviet Union.
Cold war character change in 1949 and 1950
During the cold war, the USA and the soviet were allies against the Nazi Germany regime. There was opposing plans relating to the economic and political future after the Second World War. Also the dispute came as a result of the development and controlling of the nuclear weapon. Powaski, Ronald E (1998)
This period was marked with the start of atomic age. The atomic bomb became a factor that was decisive and led to the strain of the relationship between USA and the Soviet Union. In 1949 the Soviet Union tested its own atomic bomb whose resemblance was almost to that of America plutonium weapon. The USA tested its hydrogen bomb at the same period and it was by far more powerful than the atomic bomb. Also the superpowers increased their military capacity to defend themselves against each other.
At this period there was the development of McCarthyism which came about as a result of great anti communism suspicion. There was a rise of fear of the communism infiltration and influence on American institutions and spying by the soviet agents. Many Americans accused of colluding with the communists were made to face thorough investigation and some ended in jail. Powaski, Ronald E (1998)
The Soviet Union established the Eastern Europe governments that were supportive of its policies. The increase of the communism influence in countries like Poland and Hungary led to the USA coming with policies to contain this influence. The USA tried to use financial aid to these states and in certain incidences it tried to advocate for regime change in these countries. The cold war politics dominated the USA foreign policy .The increased concern that communism may infiltrate into Greece and Turkey led to Truman doctrine. Its aim was to prevent these countries becoming communists and it was through offering of economic and military aid. There was also increased economic aid package to Western Europe whose aim was for reconstruction. John Lewis Gaddis (1997)
During this period, Mao Zedong‘s communist army took the control of the mainland china despite the fact that there was large financial support was offered to opposing Kuomintang by the united states. This occurred in 1949.In 1950 the Korean War began whereby the USA, UN and South Korea took arms against communist from North Korea and china. John Lewis Gaddis (1997)
Key action by the Soviet Union and China during the Cold War
The Soviet Union and china were communist countries while the USA was a capitalist state. Both groups of the countries had their ideology which they wanted to use to influence in the global perspective. John Lewis Gaddis (1997)
The developing of the atomic weapons played a centre role in the cold war .In 1949; the Soviet Union developed their successful atomic bomb after testing it. This increased the Soviet Union tension with the USA.The USA developed the hydrogen bomb which was more superior to the atomic bomb. Walter Lafeber (2002)
The Soviet Union and china endeared themselves as the crusader of the working class and the peasants while stating that the unite states of America were imperialists. This ideology was well taken in some countries. This in effect led to the increase of financial aid by theUSA to the poor countries so as to regain their confidence. Walter Lafeber (2002)
The influence of communism was taking root in the Eastern Europe countries. The possibility of the communists taking over Greece and Turkey was high. To prevent communism infiltrating into these countries, the USA adopted the Truman doctrine which led to increased economic and military aid .Also the United States offered financial aid to the Western Europe states. Walter Lafeber (2002)
In the Korean War, china and the Soviet Union supported communist North Korea in war against South Korea. In this case the USA responded by supporting the capitalistic south Korea militarily. Also the intention by the Soviet Union to take over Berlin was met with increased of the USA combat military in Western Europe in readiness for war. USA armed its Western Europe allies with nuclear weapon Barker A.J (1974)
Effect of Korea war on USA domestic politics and diplomacy
One of the USA foreign policy is in the deployment of its military forces to other countries .The aim is to enhance its defense and to protect its interest in other countries and that of its allies. After the Korea war, the USA has maintained the presence of troops in South Korea to protect it against possible attack from North Korea. There has been a flurry of diplomatic activities between USA, South Korea, North Korea and china to solve this crisis. Currently there are a lot of diplomatic activities to persuade North Korea to stop developing nuclear weapon and this has been a global concern. Barker A.J (1974)
The chaotic Korea war affected the USA domestic politics. During the war, there were much causality and there was no replacement for the soldiers. It led to integration of the black soldiers into the mainstream forces. The black soldiers fought hard and bravely and as a result democrat president Trauman came with a policy that was against discrimination. This programme was politically motivated and was to ensure the democrats get all the black votes especially in the southern states.Trauman won another term in office and this was as a result of the Korean War. Barker A.J (1974)
. Barker A.J (1974): Fortune favors the brave: The Battle of the hook, Korea 1953.London: Leocooper
Walter Lafeber (2002): America, Russia and the cold war, 1945-1992: Macmillan
John Lewis Gaddis (1997): We now know. Rethinking the cold war: Oxford university press.
Powaski, Ronald E (1998): The cold war, the United States and Soviet Union, 1917-1991: Macmillan