Essay about Detente and the Cold War

Essay about Detente and the Cold War

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The United States developed into a world super power following World War II. Many of the Allies were deeply affected by the war financially and were struggling, thus leaving a vacuum that needed to be filled. The United States was thrust into the position of “policing” and assisting nations around the world. The Cold War was in many ways a psychological illusion however there were many factors that led to this illusion which were well founded. The Cold War stemmed from a multitude of factors, the difficult war against Nazi’s and Japan, Stalin behaviors were not trustworthy, Berlin blockade, Poland puppet government, the fall of China, the build up of arms and the birth nuclear weapons all fed fear-based anti-communist policies. In 1960’s and 70’s America attempted to ease tensions in a period of détente with Soviet Union and China.
The United States felt that Soviet Union was a threat and that the spread of communism threaten capitalism and democracy. The Soviet Union felt that capitalism threaten communism because it led to imperialism and greed, which eventually would lead to war. This tension between the two nations maintained the Cold War and provided the reasoning for all foreign policy maneuvers from President Harry Truman to President Ronald Reagan. “The stability of this relationship, however, depended upon a certain balance of forces which could not last for ever.” (Cox p.32) ” Concretely, the ability of the United States to sustain its chosen postwar strategy rested upon six key factors: Military superiority; domestic support for its international role; a reasonable degree of success in the implementation of its foreign policy abroad; loyal and dependent allies; an economy that could bear the costs of the Unit...


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...nged their stance on Soviet Union they would have lost support for the war and all other foreign efforts they were involved with at the time. When President Reagan took office he changed tactics, he was more aggressive but above all he changed rhetoric. By stopping the psychological fear-based rhetoric of the Cold War he altered America’s perspective and he opened the channels of communication with the Soviet Union, essentially he was able to knock down the “wall” and the psychological illusion of fear.



Works Cited

Cox, Mike. “From the Truman Doctrine to the Second Superpower Detente: The Rise and
Fall of the Cold War. ”Journal of Peace Research. Vol. 27, No. 1. February 1990. pp.
25-41. Print.

Gillon, Steven and Matson, Cathy. The American Experiment a History of the United
States. 3rd edition. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.

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