The cold war arose due to ideological conflict
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The cold war arose due to ideological conflict. The two main ideologies at the time, capitalism and communism were both complete opposites and could not exist with each other. Communism called for complete government control, and lack of civil liberties. Capitalism promoted civil rights and free trade. Thus, the two could not exist together and the Cold War was a direct result of this. Both ideologies looked to expand, and so they both had to fight each other to exist. Communism was such that it was required to expand, to fulfill its idea of a perfect world.
The Soviet Union set up special camps to train communists simply to start revolutions. Capitalist also required growth, however it needed this was economic growth on which it was based. It needed to open new markets to trade and sell goods. These differences didn’t allow either ideology to exist peacefully while the other existed. The Cold War was inevitable as both ideologies needed to expand their sphere of influence in the world. The Truman doctrine was issued in March 12, 1947 in an important first step to attempt to fight the growing spread of communism.
The UK could no longer provide enough support to prevent the growth of communism. At this stage, Europe had undergone a recession, after involvement in World War Two, as communism was growing in the East through the Soviet Union gaining satellite states such as Czechoslovakia and Poland. American soon realized that communism thrived on poor economic conditions, and so it gave loans and military support to Europe. These loans helped to improve living standards in Europe, and reduced the threat of communist governments taking control.
At the same time military support was given to countries in which pro-democratic governments were in place, namely Greece and Turkey. The Truman doctrine’s use showed to the world that capitalist America would fight to stop the growth of communism through containment. The world knew that American was fully opposed to communism and would use its might and power to defend democracy against communism, as can be seen through events such as the Berlin blockade, where American supported Berlin fully. Another place in which communism and capitalism would battle would be in Korea.
The Korean War was not based on the issue of power, which ideology would have control and then spread further. The 1950’s saw the start of the Korean War, which was thought between the nations of America in the south against the communist North Koreans who were backed by Chinese troops. Communism had recently received a victory in China, and so China had to fight the capitalist America. The war started when the communist North invaded the South, which was democratic. The western world saw this as a direct challenge to their own way of life and their ideology.
They feared the domino effect, where the spread of communism to all of Korea would in turn lead it to spread further around the entire world. So the west decided to contain communism and sent troops to aid Korea. Communist involvement was through the use of Russian supplies and the support of Chinese troops. The war only stopped when a world war was at risk. The Vietnam war is yet another example of war created due to the difference in ideologies between the two nations. As in Korea, the communist party attacked the capitalist part of the country.
This was again seen as a direct confrontation by the west, which knew the outcome of Vietnam would have lasting effects and again feared that if the communists achieved victory then communism would expand further and again endanger the capitalist west. Americans feared further movement and used what they could to try and stop the spread of communism, resulting in many American casualties (4th highest war casualty toll). The Cold War can be seen as begun by traditional rivalry between the East and West.
This rivalry had been going on for centuries, with the attacks of Genghis Khan, the splitting of the church and World War One. However all of these events were based before the creation of communism. It is the formation of communism that is the driving force for the split in the two nations, never before had an ideology challenged the west in its beliefs. The division can be seen when the West first tries to stop the spread of communism through the Truman doctrine. Latter it makes it clear, through the two wars, that it will do all in its power to contain communism and eventually stop it completely.