The Cold War and the Ideological Battle Essay

The Cold War and the Ideological Battle Essay

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The Cold War was the clash of cultures between the United States and the Soviet Union that coloured many major geopolitical events in the latter half of the twentieth century. This included decolonization and neocolonialism, especially in African states. Kwame Nkrumah noted that neocolonialism is when an imperialist power claims to give independence, but still influences the new state to meet its own goals. Both the U.S. and the USSR were neocolonialist powers, and a prime example of their desires to mold other states was the Congo Crisis, which acted to make decolonization unappealing to states outside Africa. Congo achieved independence on June 30, 1960 under Patrice Lumumba and Joseph Kasavubu, but was wracked by civil war as soldiers protested the remaining Europeans in the army and other positions. Both outside states played a role in the conflict. The Cold War and the ideological battle between the US and USSR played a large role in facilitated the Congo Crisis, which hindered other African states’ move to decolonization.
African leaders knew that isolating Africa from international politics would harm security and economic stability, but opening their states to aid from the US and the USSR allowed for foreign ideological influence. The West planned to stop the spread of foreign communism with “containment” policies, using the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as military force, while the USSR responded with the Warsaw Treaty Organization in 1955. These military organizations were examples of the actions the West and East took to make themselves appear intimidating to other states, but neither resulted in major military action. Instead, they acted as support and communication systems for the West and East as they tried...


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...g sources. Khrushchev felt the Soviet Union had lost the Congo, and the US had succeeded in preventing another communist state.
The Congo Crisis was a war of cultures between the US and the USSR. Despite the Soviet Union having some support within the Congo, the US was able to prevail and instill capitalism by taking more direct action in the Crisis and by ensuring the new leader of Mobutu was friendly to American interests. The Congo Crisis negatively affected decolonization by serving as an example of the failings of an independent state ran by Africans, despite a majority of problems coming from foreign influence. As a battle of the Cold War, the Congo acted as foreshadowing to the US success over the USSR and as proof to the West that capitalism was the best and foreign ideas were inferior, negatively affecting their opinions of other states for years to come.

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