Please look at the following theories about the Cold War. Are these theories feasible, and if so could you please tell me which one you personally agree and disagree with and why?
Would it be fair to say that there are four differing theories?
1* struggle over national self-interest.
2* battle over ideology.
3* both superpowers were expansionist and it was inevitable that they would collide.
4* United States was unable to confine its resentment towards Russia.
Are these theories feasible, and if so could you please tell me which one you personally agree and disagree with and why? I would appreciate any comments, thanks.
4 Answers | Add Yours
First, I would say that if you are going to have #4 as a theory you would want a similar theory abut the Soviets. There is no real reason to think that the US would "resent" the Soviets any more than the Soviets resented (this word has the connotation of jealousy rather than of concrete interests) the US.
Outside of that, all of these are solid theories, though you would want to realize that it is fully possible for a scholar to believe that a mix of these was responsible for the Cold War.
If forced to pick just one of these, I would say that #2 is the best way to understand the origin of the Cold War. This does not fit with realist thinking (in International Relations terms) but it does seem to fit the facts. Were it not for ideology, there would have been, for example, no reason for the Soviet taking of Eastern Europe to worry the United States. Before expansion and national interests could come into play, the US and the USSR had to define each other as rivals or enemies. This came about because of ideology.
I believe that ideology was a huge factor in the Cold War. That being said, I also believe that our inability to trust or "like" the Soviet Union after WWII also played into the scenario. It was Gen. Patton who wanted to continue into Russia to thwart those "cosack bastards". He felt like they were deceitful and would do exactly what they did to Europe. In the years following WWII, we saw what communism would do during the Korean War. Once China and Russia allied to a certain degree, our mistrust was heightened and we never were able to see them as an equal. I believe we miscalculated what communism and the Soviet Union were capable of during this time period.
thanks guys, really appreciate your comments
I believe the theory of #3 would be the most feasible one there. Because we was both superpowers. And we did want to expand our culture and our way of living out to the world.
But i also disagree with them. The United States wanted to stop the spread of Communism so therfore lead to the debates that Caused the Cold war
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