Cold War Expository Essay


Over the years there have been different views and interpretations with regard to the cause of the cold war. One of the most acclaimed historians is Thomas Bailey who in his book America faces Russia in 1950 noted that the relationship breakdown between the two countries was a result of imposition of communism by Soviet Union on other unwilling European countries. As a result the US felt that Soviet Union had contravened the Yalta accords. However William Appelman Williams provided a different perceptive to the conflict in his book Tragedy of American diplomacy in 1959 when he noted that the Soviet union was not willing to accept America’s open door trade policy which would allow the US to trade unrestricted in the world markets. Therefore Williams felt that the conflict was more or less as a result of America’s belief in the imposition and expansion of capitalism. 

Walter LaFeber to great extent seconded this notion when he noted in his book America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945 –1967 that American upon the end of the Second World War resorted to ensure that there was a one world which meant that countries would be open to American trade and influence. Therefore the hardline stance by Stalin the then leader of the Soviets against capitalism resulted to the conflict. 

One important thing to note is that most authors believe that the main party to be blamed for the occurrence of the cold war was the US based on the fact at the time Russia was too weak to pose a major threat to the US as it had been exhausted by the World War II. The US utilized its nuclear monopoly to intimidate Russia which was the reckless acts of Truman, the then US president. On the contrary Soviets responded which a reflection of their legitimate fear of there being capitalist encirclement. 

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  1. Amadae, Sonja Michelle. Rationalizing capitalist democracy: The cold war origins of rational choice liberalism. University of Chicago Press, 2003.
  2. Fox, Jonathan. “The rise of religious nationalism and conflict: Ethnic conflict and revolutionary wars, 1945-2001.” Journal of peace Research 41, no. 6 (2004): 715-731.
  3. Gutek, Gerald Lee. American education 1945-2000: A history and commentary. Waveland Pr Inc, 2000.
  4. MacLean, Nancy. The American women’s movement, 1945-2000: a brief history with documents. Bedford/st Martins, 2008.
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