Great Powers During The Cold War Essay

Great Powers During The Cold War Essay

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Since the beginning of mankind, human history has witnessed the competition for survival between groups of people and states. In the competition, there always exist great powers, who play the decisive role in creating the world order regardless if it is a hierarchic or an anarchic system. Great powers rise and fall in the historical cycle from Greece, Rome, Ottoman, Spain, to England as a natural law. The twentieth century witnessed a drastic change in the international orders from multipolar to bipolar and ultimately unipolar system with the dominance of the United States. In any case, national self-interest is always the primary force causing these changes because great powers care most about their benefit; they may compete or restrain with each other, cooperate with or separate from the others, but they never give up their most priority, national self-interest.
The international orders shifted from a model dominated by European great powers, Japan, and the United States before the First World War to the bipolar system during the Cold War then the US-centered system in 1990 . At the beginning of 20th century, the great powers in Europe including Austria, France, Britain, Germany, Russia, Italy together with Japan in Asia and the United States in North America created a system in which they competed and restrained with each other to make sure that no country could become too strong relative to the others. According to Mearsheimer “No amount of cooperation can eliminate the dominating logic of security competition.” The First World War, unsurprisingly, challenged this model, but it still survived until the next World War. The Second World War started with the clash of two great power alliances, the axis powers of Germany, Ita...

... middle of paper ... chance to develop. That the reason why they wanted to be free to seek for their own national interests. Once a state is free, it can pursue its-own policy of economic development before building up military strength and state’s power based on economic power. This explanation can be applied for Britain when its people voted for leaving from the European Union.
To sum up, the international orders may change in different forms such as multipolar, bipolar, and unipolar according to the result of the competition between main actors or great powers. However, throughout history, the fundamental force driving this change is national self- interests. States will act to expand their power, fight to protect power, bind with other states, or separate from them according tothe real circumstances; however, the ultimate objective is always the same, the national self-interests.

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