The Causes of the Cold War - Post-Revisionist

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Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signified, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold but not clothed." There was never a war that this idea can be more correct applied to than the Cold War. According to noted author and Cold War historian Walter Lippman, the Cold War can be defined as a state of tension between states, which behave with great distrust and hostility towards each other, but do not resort to violence. The Cold War encompasses a period from the end of the Second World War (WWII), in 1945, to the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1989. It also encompassed the Korean and Vietnam Wars and other armed conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, that, essentially, were not wars for people but instead for territories and ideologies. "Nevertheless, like its predecessors, the Cold War has been a worldwide power contest in which one expanding power has threatened to make itself predominant, and in which other powers have banded together in a defensive coalition to frustrate it---as was the case before 1815, as was the case in 1914-1918 as was the case from 1939-1945" (Halle 9). From this power contest, the Cold War erupted.

In April 1945, Russian forces that had been triumphant at Stalingrad had pushed the German forces back into Germany and American and British forces that had been victorious in their invasion of Normandy did the same; they met at the Elbe River in central Germany (Lukacs 17). Europe was separated into two independent halves, one Russian occupied and the other American; from this division, the Cold War emerged. "When a power vacuum separates great powers, as one did the United States and the Soviet Union at the end of World War II, they are unlikely to fill it without bumping up against and bruising each other" (Gaddis). This 'bumping' and 'bruising' caused the tensions and hostilities that surfaced in the years following WWII. There are three doctrines examining the origins of the Cold War: Orthodox, the belief that "the intransigence of Leninist ideology, the sinister dynamics of a totalitarian society, and the madness of Stalin" (McCauley 88) caused the Cold War; Revisionist, the idea that "American policy offered the Russians no real choice...either acquiesce to American proposals or be confronted with American power or hostility" (McCauley 90) and thus, America caused the war; and the

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