Cold War: A Post-Revisioninst View of the Origins

Satisfactory Essays
Cold War: A Post-Revisioninst View of the Origins

There are three main schools of thought that trace the origins of the Cold War. The Orthodox view is that "the intransigence of Leninist ideology, the sinister dynamics of a totalitarian society, and the madness of Stalin" (Doc 1) cause the Cold War. The Revisionists claim that "American policy offered the Russians no real choice...[and] the United States used or deployed its preponderance of power" (Doc 2) and these actions caused the Cold War. The Post-Revisionist position is that the Cold War was initiated both by the United States and the USSR. Through the analysis of documents and other sources, the actual cause of the 'war' lies with both powers. Both powers caused the Cold War because, although the US and the USSR were allied during World War Two, the USSR and US had different ideologies and aims of the war that conflicted after the war was over and the threat that each power imposed on the other.

The primary cause of the Cold War is the exceedingly bipolar systems of government that the USSR and the US were administered under. The US had a democracy and had, in April of 1945, just said farewell to one of the most liberal presidents that ever had been elected. By making many social reforms, President Roosevelt pulled the US out of the crippling depression and into on of the most prosperous decades ever. The aims of the US are evident in the 'Atlantic Charter', which was signed by Churchill and Roosevelt in August of 1914. According to the Charter, the US would "seek no aggrandizement.... respect the rights of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live.... bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations.... [and seek] the abandonment of the use of force" (Doc 4). While still early in the war, the 'Atlantic Charter' was later adopted by the United Nations and remains, to this day, one of the cornerstones of the western world. However, the other power that emerged still 'intact' after the war, the USSR had a very different way of government and dissimilar aims of the war. The USSR was a communist nation and had Stalin its dictator. "From the Soviet perspective, extending the borders of the USSR and dominating the formerly independent states of eastern Europe would provide security and would be proper compensation for the fearful losses the Soviet people had endured in the war" (p.
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