Foundations for the Cold War.
‘’The cold war became one of the most sifgnificant factors in the eventual creation of integrated supranationalism in Western Europe that formed the basis for the later European Union.’’ (Messenger, 2010, p.32)
A process that gradually occurred in the late 1940s led to the division of Europe in two camps: the Western part linked to the United States and the Eastern part linked to the Soviet Union. The main goals for all the three major allies – Soviet Union, United States, and Britain – were to influence the arrangements after the World War in a way that would guarantee their national security. The so-called tripartite conferences in 1945, which existed of the Yalta Conference in February and the Potsdam Conference in July-August, reflected the different perspectives of the three major allies on how to reorganize post-war Europe (Messenger, 2010, p.33). Since both the United States and the Soviet Union interpreted the agreements of the Tripartite Conferences in their own way, the threat perception linked to their own national security was changing. Disagreement over the reorganization of domestic and international order in Europe, as well as conflicting ideologies changed threat perception. Part of the so-called ‘security-dilemma’ was the German Problem, which was the problem of managing Germany’s political and economical recovery after the Second World War (Gillingham, 2010, p.55). Messenger in (Dinan, 2010, p. 32), argues that the idea of national security was most significant factor in the break-up of the Wartime Alliance and the emergence of the Cold War conflict. In his speech in March 1946, Churchill attacked his former wartime-ally by stressing his concerns and anxiety towards the Soviet Un...
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...hall Plan, the OEEC was set up, however this was only partially because of the Cold War. Another institution was set up in 1949, the NATO, where the United States promised to defend Europe when it would come to a war. The Schuman declaration was in accordance to the threat perception of Germany from the perspective of France, since they feared for their security when Germany would rearmament. The collaboration between Germany and France as a result of the ECSC was the beginning of European integration of West Europe. As a protest against Germany joining the NATO, France proposed to form a Pan-European force against the Soviet Union in the EDC, which would fail in 1954. Things took a turn when Communism threatened to spread even further around the globe, and Germany was accepted into the WEU and the Brussels Treaty to collaborate and secure Western Europe’s safety.
After World War II, Europe emerged as a continent torn between two very different political ideologies, Communism and Democracy. As the two major superpowers, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States, struggled to defend their respective governmental policies, the European Continent was caught in an intrinsic struggle to preserve the autonomy which had taken so long to achieve. During the Cold War, Eastern European nations struggled to achieve autonomy with the help of the West's dedication to break the Soviet sphere of influence. After the disintegration of the USSR, the struggle for autonomy among nations shifted from an intense, inward, nationalistic struggle to break away from a superpower to a commitment of international unity and cooperation as nations began to take moral and political responsibility for their actions.
As the Soviet Union approaches Berlin from the East, the allied forces invade from the west. Hitler’s German war-machine was crumbling. The United States had to make an enormous decision. Should they attack the Red Army of the Soviet Union? Should they keep the increasingly shaky alliance with the Russians and end the war in Europe? America chose to remain allies, resulting in a decision that affected the world for the next 46 years. World War 2 had concluded but now there was a new enemy, the Soviet Communist.
During the late 1940's and the 1950's, the Cold War became increasingly tense. Each side accused the other of wanting to rule the world (Walker 388). Each side believed its political and economic systems were better than the other's. Each strengthened its armed forces. Both sides viewed the Cold War as a dispute between right and wron...
In conclusion, in between 1945 and 1949, the Cold War had significantly developed mainly because of the increasing hostilities between the East and West. By 1949, the arms race had begun and Stalin had created the Iron Curtain to divide Communist Eastern Europe and non-communist Western Europe. The three sectors of Germany had united and had gained a good reputation for helping the Berliners in the Berlin Blockade. The Marshall Plan lead to the forming of Cominform and this retaliation sets the pattern for the rest of the Cold War, because of the idea of ?one-upmanship?.
The year was 1946. World War 2 had ended only months before, and already the stage was set for another global conflict. The United States and the Soviet Union, formerly allies in the war against Hitler's Third Reich, were now engaged in a standoff over what system of beliefs would prevail over the slowly recovering nations of Europe. The Soviet Union wasted no time in forming an Eastern Bloc, a group of satellite nations controlled by puppet governments, whose primary purpose was to provide a buffer of sorts between Russian soil and the other nations of Europe, sealing their new territory behind tightly controlled borders that came to be called “The Iron Curtain”. The USSR had no intention of stopping their expansions, making no secret of their desire to conquer all of the remaining territory to be had. The United States responded with the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, in an attempt to contain the spread of Communism.
The goal at the end of WWII was prevent further disputes that splashed over a global playing field. Thought to be a goal within reach, it just wasn’t possible. Not even five years later had the Cold War commenced. A war “marked by ideological hostilities and a daunting arms race, [the Cold War] was chiefly between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies” (Goff 282). This global war induced many effects in Europe and East Asia, from division of lands, struggling economies to a massive power struggle for influence. The Cold war was a wrinkle in time that created similarities despite having dissimilar experiences relating to land divisions, economic strife and power struggles.
The cold war was failed by the Soviet Union for many reasons, including the sudden collapse of communism (Baylis & Smith, 2001.) This sudden collapse of communism was brought on ultimately by internal factors. The soviet unions president Gorbachev’s reforms: glasnost (openness) and perestroika (political reconstructering) ultimately caused the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Gorbachev’s basics for glasnost were the promotion of principles of freedom to criticize; the loosening of controls on media and publishing; and the freedom of worship. His essentials of perestroika were, a new legislature; creation of an executive presidency; ending of the ‘leading role’ of the communist party; allowing state enterprises to sell part of their product on the open market; lastly, allowing foreign companies to own Soviet enterprises (Baylis & Smith, 2001.) Gorbachev believed his reforms would benefit his country, but the Soviet Union was ultimately held together by the soviet tradition he was trying to change. The Soviet Union was none the less held together by “…powerful central institutions, pressure for ideological conformity, and the threat of force.
Soon, the Crimean Peninsula of the Ukraine is scheduled to secede from the nation and join Russia, which has sparked several debates within the Ukraine, Russia and the United States. Many other countries, including Great Britain, have warned Russia to pull its forces back out of the Ukraine. The irony however is not lost, because almost seventy years ago, the Crimean Peninsula was home to one the greatest negotiations in history. The Big Three were all present, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the United States, Joseph Stalin, Premier of the Soviet Union, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill from Great Britain. Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill met at the Teheran and Yalta Conferences to decide the coordination of attacks on Germany and Japan, the post war territorial boundaries, the division of Germany and whether or not the nation should pay reparations, and the creation of the United Nations. Afterwards, the conferences were debated as either positive or negative because of their consequences, and whether or not some agreed with what was decided and others didn’t.
From July 17th to August 2nd, 1945, the leaders of the “Big Three” - Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom (replaced by Clement Attlee), and Harry Truman of the United States - met in Potsdam, Germany to negotiate European borders following Germany’s unconditional surrender in World War II . Truman’s most notable contribution in the conference was getting Stalin to agree that the Soviets would fight
With the end of the Second World War, the world began its new era with the Cold War. In Europe, many (new) experiences occurred, advancing mainly in Western European nations: an economic boom never before seen, increased wealth for its citizens, but increased tension with the Soviet Union along the Iron Curtain. In this new age, many western countries developed their own version of a socialist society; after the war, leaders found it imperative that they provide for their constituents, prevent in-house fighting within Western Europe while preparing and arming themselves for any potential opposition from the Soviet Union along its borders with Eastern Europe. The United Kingdom, most notably, approached this mindset through nationalization.
During the years between World War I and World War II, Eastern Europe looked to the West for a suc...
The end of the Second World War brought about great change in the world. This was especially true in Europe, where some battles left areas completely devastated. With Hitler regime fallen, it was clear the leaders of not only European nations but other nations like the United States wanted to change the structure of land that was once occupied by the Nazi army. The U.S. and Western Bloc would be in a chess match over this land with the Soviet Union and the Western Bloc. This chess match is better known as the Cold War. The following paragraphs will discuss how this war where no blood was shed played out throughout Europe. These paragraphs will examine and provide examples of how the Cold War created a new a set of geopolitical, social and economic relationships throughout the continent as well as which of these factors was of most importance.
The Cold War did not directly involve Europe, but Europe and its various states were key players and key sources of tension between the two great powers, the USSR and the United States of America. The dates of the beginning and end of the Cold War are debated but 1947-1991 is generally agreed upon. In this paper, I will attempt to outline the events of the Cold War which were relevant to Europe and how this affected European integration and relations. ‘Integration’ here refers to the process of transferring powers of decision-making and implantation from national to supranational level. Europe was weakened after World War Two, especially in contrast with the USSR and the USA. Traditional European hegemony was at an end and Europe had to find a new dynamic without becoming involved in conflict with the two new superpowers.