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The Peaceful End of the Cold War

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The cold war was just a continuing state of the economic competition, proxy wars, military tension, and political conflict that existed immediately after the World War 2 (1939-1945), between the Capitalists led by the United States of America and the Communists led by the Soviet Union. Even though the primary participants’ military never directly clashed, the conflict was expressed through military coalitions, major strategic and conventional deployment of forces, a lot of aid to the states deemed vulnerable, propaganda, espionage, proxy wars, and appeals to the neutral nations, nuclear arms races, and rivalry during sports events and technological competitions like the Space Race. This paper explores much about best it can be alleged that the cold war came to an end through some amicable agreements.

Considering the various articles, it might not be that easy to just determine when the cold war ended not unless one closely scrutinizes when it commenced. Was it after the World War 2 that it began, a time when the two superpowers that emerged from the same conflict we encountered in a confrontation in what would have been referred to as a “geopolitical zero-sum game”? Or was it due to the victory of the Bolsheviks in Russia in the year 1917 whereby the case rivalry after the World War 2 was just a manifestation of an existing ideological struggle that the war started? These are some of the issues that have been adequately addressed in these articles, with each giving its views but somehow they tend to rotate around the same answers on several matters, though on others they completely differ.

Considering the Margarita Petrova’s works as pertains to the end of the Cold War, the entire experience is alleged to be one of the major events that actually put the entire world relation’s theory to a test and consequently provided the provision of comparison for grounds of the explanatory powers of the varied theoretical approaches that are within the particular field. As per the articles, if Cold War commenced in 1945 or even 1946, then its end must have been at around 1990, a time when the Europe’s iron curtain was dismantled and then there existed no East-West military confrontation of the military. By the falling of that year, Eastern and Central European nations that were under the soviet’s authority ever since the ending of the World War 2, could now choose the noncommunist governments, this being followed by immediate withdrawal of the soviet soldiers. What followed was German’s unification with the soviet blessings. The article clearly spells out the immediate atmosphere after the period at which the Cold War was said to have ended. Just like the article classifies, these events took place one after the other.

Petrova’s article explains about how the Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev signed an agreement, a step that greatly showed the possibility of the cold war coming to an end, although there was no guarantee of this, considering that the no weapons were being used, so suspicion between the superpowers still remained a threat to the hopes for curtailing the Cold War. The signing of Mikhail gave the newly born German an exclusive permission to remain as part and parcel of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), this being an alliance that had been formed by the Capitalists to counter the spread of the Communists influence to the Western Europe. The Soviet government even vowed to reduce the total number of its conventional in Europe to a level that could be compared to those in the (NATO) nations. The Military compensation away from the Europe still essentially ended come the year 1990 when the United States and the Soviet Union allies in order to strongly resist Iraq’s aggression towards Kuwait (RisseKappen, 1995).

Considering Richard Ned Lebow’s argument, if in the real sense the Cold war began in 1917, however, this end might have come at a totally different time. Say for example if the ensuing conflict happened to be basically ideological rather than geopolitical, its end would have witnessed one side or even the other left the ideology that had caused the conflict. The following events, like the attenuation of the confrontation of the military and also the resolution of the geopolitical disputes,  would have been quite prerequisite not even because they are associated with ending of the end of the ideological struggle but simply because they contributed in the confirmation of its end.

About all the articles have highlighted that some of the earlier histories, with regard to the Cold War, apparently written at its height, could describe it as in 1917. But how could this happen while it is open that the suspicion existed even before this, and that also means that Cold War had taken its due course at the same time, as it never involved usage of weapons, but suspicion, economic sanctions and also military assistance of the enemies allies. This explains how far the Cold War can be dated. D.J Flemming, who was a professor at Vanderbilt University, went ahead and published a two volume study in the year 1961, entitled “The Cold War and its Origins”, 1917-1960, and this traced the origin of the cold war to the so called Bolshevik Revolution. A French scholar and a Journalist, André Fontaine, other four years later, in accordance to his book La Guerre Froide, a book that was published in English under the History’s title of the cold War. Apparently all the authors seemed not to agree pertaining to the side that was much responsible. The United States was considered primary responsible as considering his view, it actually tried to apply military force in order to combat communism by through the military means, whereas the peaceful means could also prove helpful.

These two articles have attempted to clearly spell out the peaceful settling of the Cold War, and it seems they tend to have similar ideas in this case. For Fontine, contrary, there just existed a clash between Woodrow Wilson’s espousal of the peace and this is based on political liberty and also the conviction of the Bolshevik leaders that the existing proletarian revolution either would sweep Europe if not being completely overpowered by the European nations’ power. Take for example, Fontaine tends to contrast Wilson’s message to the Congress of April 2, 1917, after stating that planting of peace must be on tested foundations of the political liberty. Leon Trotsky’s statement later the same year, which stated that it is either the Russian Revolution, will lead to the creation of a Revolutionary movement I Europe; or rather the European powers will mean complete destruction of the Russian Revolution (Petrova, 2003).

Richard’s article clearly explains that Bolshevik’s theory later replaced the Trotsky’s theory, pertaining to permanent revolution considering Joseph Stalin’s socialism in the country, this bringing the idea that the proletarian dictatorship that would clear the world persisted. The articles highlight much about the political changes, which seem to best portray in the best way the ending of the Cold War. The Cold War, just like all the articles suggest, can be clearly assumed to have completely died down, through considering the various agreements by various leaders, a sign that they were all ready to merge and suppress the suspicion that was existing.

The explanation by Richard Ned Lebow alleges that though the Soviet leaders were often preoccupied with some other concerns, those of them Lenin to Chernenko would never face away from a final belief in the final victory of the Socialism’s version throughout the world. But still this could be interpreted that they condoned making a common cause with the class enemies any time they felt weak. The Soviet Union finally emerged from the World War 2, what appeared to most of the observers the world’s second powerful state. However the nuclear weapons made a generally East-West conflict are unthinkable. After this the Soviet leaders adopted the policy of ‘peaceful co-existence’ which of course some of the outsiders thought of it a mere renunciation on the part of international glass struggle that Lenin and Marx had formerly predicted would at last cause dictatorship of the proletariat (Lebow, 1994).

The articles seem to approach the question in a similar manner and they revolve around the same issue but under different ways. This makes one adequately comprehend the processes that took place come the peaceful settlement of the Cold War, making slight differences in varied approaches by given figures, but the major issues remaining the same in the entire case.

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