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The origins of the Cold War is one of the most written about, yet least agreed upon subjects in diplomatic history. These questions about Soviet and American culpability, and about the motivations underlying the two nations' foreign policies, have fueled a historiographical debate over the causes of the Cold War that has evolved alongside the struggle itself.
The Causes of the Cold War: The Great Debate and Beyond The divide between capitalism and Communism, and the elimination of a common enemy at the end of World War II, do much to explain the Cold War's onset, but each explanation minimizes the complexity of the situation.
As historian William A. Williams framed the issue: Orthodox historians, many of whom were former Roosevelt or Truman administration officials, place primary responsibility for the Cold War on the Soviet A look at the united states policy of containment. According to this view, Moscow's aggressive and expansionist tendencies stood in stark contrast to Washington's passive and defensive behavior.
Herbert Feis' studies, such as Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin: The Onset of the Cold War,exemplify this perspective.
These works emphasize Stalin's "ruthlessness," "spirit of mistrust," and revolutionary goals. Louis Halle presents a more nuanced though generally traditional interpretation in The Cold War as History. While rooting his analysis in "realism" and refusing to find fault with either side, he nonetheless presents the Cold War as a "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.
These "revisionists" rejected the notion that the Soviet Union was solely to blame for the Cold War, suggesting instead that the conflict emerged more from America's pursuit of its own global economic and strategic agenda.
Williams spawned the revisionist school with his classic and controversial work The Tragedy of American Diplomacy. Williams argues that the United States "crystallized" the Cold War in its determination to further its traditional policy of Open Door expansion.
Driven by the need to sustain economic prosperity and democracy at home, policymakers sought to create a global, free-market economy and to impose American political values on the world. Those who would not accept the American view were not only wrong but "incapable of thinking correctly.
Subsequent scholarship has melded the orthodox and revisionist views into a "post-revisionist" synthesis, although the results have hardly generated a historical consensus.
John Lewis Gaddis, the first and foremost proponent of this view, concludes that the conflict grew out of external and internal conflict in both the Soviet Union and the United States. In The United States and the Origins of the Cold War,Gaddis argues that the two nations' power positions in Europe after World War II meant that disagreements would inevitably arise; the Soviet quest for security, its ideology, and Stalin's leadership, combined with America's "illusion of omnipotence," built upon ideals, economic strength, and possession of the atomic bomb, ensured that the confrontation would be hostile.
In a more recent book, We Now Know: Rethinking Cold War History, Gaddis shifts back toward a more traditional interpretation of the Cold War and restores Josef Stalin and the role of ideology to the center of his account; "as long as Stalin was running the Soviet Union," Gaddis concludes, "a cold war was unavoidable.
However, he thinks that American policymakers were "prudent" in their course of action. Leffler stresses that Soviet military conquest was not an immediate threat and that Moscow's actions displayed a mixture of aggression and conciliation. Indigenous Communism, however, had great appeal in war-torn countries mired in poverty and instability.
Thus, if the western powers acquiesced to Communist political power, the situation would have likely redounded to Moscow's long-term benefit as Communist countries aligned themselves with the Soviet Union.
Over time, Soviet control of Eurasian resources could have threatened America's own security, economic prosperity, and democracy—as had been the case earlier with imperial Japan and Nazi Germany.
Driven by this fear, the United States engaged in a strategy of preponderance. It sought to integrate Western Europe, the western occupation zones of Germany, and Japan into the American orbit, and link this "industrial core" with the Third World "periphery" and its vital markets and raw materials.
These steps inhered substantial short-term risk because the strategy would almost surely appear threatening and aggressive to the Soviet Union. However, bolstered by a brief atomic monopoly, policymakers pursued the creation of a world order hospitable to America's values and interests.
In other words, to ensure the long-term national security of the United States, policymakers were willing to risk antagonizing Moscow. In so doing, they precipitated a cold war. Without casting aside these important issues of causation, recent study has begun to shift the examination of the Cold War in new directions by exploring different facets of the conflict.
Fousek identifies an "American nationalist ideology" consisting of national greatness, global responsibility, and anti-Communism. Determined to make the "American Century" a reality, the people of the United States, Fousek argues, fought the Cold War in the name of an American nationalism threatened by the Soviet Union.
Thomas Borstelmann also looks at culture and the connections between domestic and international issues in The Cold War and the Color Line.
The African-American struggle for racial equality at home and the African anti-colonial fight for independence were both inescapably linked to the Cold War, Borstelmann argues.Containment was a United States policy using numerous strategies to prevent the spread of communism abroad.
A component of the Cold War, this policy was a response to a series of moves by the Soviet Union to enlarge its communist sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, China, Korea, and Vietnam.
Although formulation of the Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan, and the Berlin Airlift suggested that the United States had a particular concern with the spread of communism in Europe, America's policy of containment extended to Asia as well.
One cause of the Cold War was the fact that the United States and the Soviet Union were both. How was the United States' policy of containment related to the Marshall Plan? The United States believed that the economic aid provided by the Marshall Plan would help contain the spread of Communism. Oct 27, · Watch video · During World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union fought together as allies against the Axis powers. However, the relationship between the two nations was a tense one. Americans had long. Dwight D. Eisenhower brought a "New Look" to U.S. national security policy in The main elements of the New Look were: (1) maintaining the vitality of the U.S. economy while still building sufficient strength to prosecute the Cold War; (2) relying on nuclear weapons to deter Communist.
The "containment policy" was the U.S. approach to containing, or preventing, the spread of Communism after World War II. The idea was to make other countries pr Can you describe the United States policy of containment and show an example of an event when the policy was used and why?
Foreign Policy under President Eisenhower - Short History - Department History. Home the United States consolidated the policy of containment, although some critics have argued that the administration extended it too far.
Containment and Cold War, Foreign Policy under President Eisenhower ;.
Containment, strategic foreign policy pursued by the United States in the late s and the early s in order to check the expansionist policy of the Soviet Union. Dwight D. Eisenhower brought a "New Look" to U.S.
national security policy in The main elements of the New Look were: (1) maintaining the vitality of the U.S.
economy while still building sufficient strength to prosecute the Cold War; (2) relying on nuclear weapons to deter Communist.