Monday, May 3, 2010

Cold War During the Second World War and its Impacts after World War II

Cold War:

The Western democracies and the Soviet Union discussed the progress of World War II and the nature of the post war settlement at conferences in Tehran (1943), yalta (February 1945), and Potsdam (July-August 1945). After the war, disputes between the Soviet Union and the Western democracies, particularly over the Soviet takeover of East European states, led Winston Churchill to warn in 1946 that an “iron curtain” was descending through the middle of Europe. For this part, Joseph Stalin deepened the estrangement between the United States and the Soviet Union when he assorted in 1946 what World War II was an unavoidable and inevitable consequence of “capitalist imperialism” and implied that such a war might reoccur. The Cold War was a period of East-West competition, tension, and conflict short of full-scale war, characterized by mutual perceptions of hostile intention between military-political alliances or blocs. There were real wars, sometimes called “proxy wars” because they were fought by Soviet allies rather than the USSR itself – along with competition for influence in the Third World War, and a major superpower arms race. After Stanlin’s death, East-West relations went through phases of alternating relaxation and confrontation, including a comparative phase during the 1960s and another, teamed dtente, during the 1970s. A final phase during the late 1980s and early 1990s was hailed by President Mikhail Gorbachev, and especially by the president of the new post-Communist Russian republic, Boris Yeltsin, as well as by President George Bush, as beginning a partnership between the two states that could address many global problems: Soviet Perspectives.

Cold War

After World War II, Joseph Stalin saw the world as divided into two camps: regimes on the one hand, and the Communist and progressive world on the other. In 1947, President Harry ___ also spoke of two diametrically opposed systems. One free, and the other bent on subjugating other nations. After Stalin’s death, Nikita Khrushchev stated in 1956 that imperialism and capitalism could ___ without war because the Communist system had become stronger. The Geneva Summit of 1955 among Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States, and the Camp David Summit of 1959 between Eisenhower and Khrushchev raised hopes of a more cooperative spirit between East and West. In 1963 the United States and the Soviet Union signed some confidence-building agreements, and in 1967 president Lyndon Johnson met with Soviet Prime Minister Aleksei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey. Interspersed with such moves toward cooperation, however, were hostile acts that threatened broader conflict, ____ the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 and the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia of 1968. The long rule of Leonid Brezhnev (1964-1982) is now referred to in Russia as the “period of stagnation.” But the Soviet stance toward the United States became less overtly hostile in the early 1970s. Negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union resulted in summit meetings and the signing of strategic arms limitation agreements. Brezhev proclaimed in 1973 that peaceful coexistence was the normal, permanent, and irreversible state of relations between imperialist and Communist countries, although he warned that conflict might continue in the Third World. In the late 1970s, ____ internal repression and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan led to a renewal of Cold War hostility. Soviet views of the United States changed once again after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in early 1985. Arms control negotiations were renewed, and President Regan undertook a new series of summit meetings with Gorbachev that led to arms reductions and facilitated a growing sympathy even among Communist leaders for more cooperation and the rejection of class-based, conflict-oriented view of the world.

With President Yeltsin’s recognition of independence for the other republics of the former USSR and his launching of a full-scale economic reform program designed to create a market economy, Russia was pledged at last to overcoming both the imperial and the ideological legacies of the Soviet Union.

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