Gladdis argues that the conflicts of the Cold War were not the sole responsibility of one side but rather the result of an overabundance of diverging concerns between the two superpowers, that pushed domestic politics and bureaucratic lethargy. While Gaddis does hold the Soviets marginally more liable for the obstacles. He argued that Stalin’s Western counterparts, Harry S. Truman. was not in the same position as Stalin. Stalin had more control over the regime than Truman had over Congress. Truman had to cope with Congress and was often undercut by strident political resistance.
Specifically, the McCarthyism phenomenon of the mid-’40s. This phenomenon of the Red Scare pushed politicians to advance harsher policies on the Soviet Union. The predictable outcome and the falling apart of any useful dialog with the Soviet evaporated as more people were accused of Russian collaboration. The Cold War was increasingly treated as a global infection that needs to be cured. In 1947, the Truman Doctrine sought to restrict communism and the extension of Soviet influence. This doctrine eroded the two superpower abilities to have any useful dialogs to advance what eventually be referred to as détente. Gaddis wrote in a 1997 essay, “Geography, demography, and tradition contributed to this outcome but did not determine it. It took men, responding unpredictably to predictable circumstances, to forge the chain of causation; and it took Stalin in particular, responding to his authoritarian paranoia of capitalism and Truman to the hysteria of the time exposed long-held fears of Communist takeover globally.
At the war’s end, Stalin’s Soviet Union sought to safeguard the western border by establishing the communist-governed systems under Soviet control. Before and the years after the war, the Soviet Union annexed countries as Soviet Socialist Republics within the Sphere of Soviet influence. Many of these countries had been surrendered to Russia by Nazi Germany in the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, before the invasion of the Soviet Union by Germany.
Later territories annexed include Eastern Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, part of eastern Finland and northern Romania. These incorporated territories fell under one of two spheres of control, The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic or Soviet Socialist Republics. The conversion of other satellite states into Soviet territories such as East Germany, the People’s Republic of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovak, and Romania. All ceded to Stalinist communism executed in Eastern Bloc. The growth of Stalin’s control over Eastern Europe became issues of contention for Western Europe and America.
The rise of the communist regime rang of another global catastrophe. Stalin rejected Western institutional characteristics of a state of symbiosis between society and economy that resulted in the loss of autonomy and the distinctive features governance. Following Lenin’s bourgeois theory, Stalin sought to control the rule of law with discretional intervention by the state. Satellite state economically dependent on the communist Soviet Union became breeding grounds for, state ownership of industry, state planning versus private enterprise. To the world, these dictatorial moves threatened stability in local economies because the voice of socialism started to infect and resonate with the people. Looking back to Kennan’s Long Telegram and Truman containment policy the Cold War had its first casualties. The first test for containment came to Greece and Turkey between 1946 and 47. Greece’s civil war was one of the first actions caused by the Cold War.
The civil war pitted Communist groups backed by Yugoslavia’s communist leader Josip Broz Tito against the U.S. and Britain supported the government. While the struggle fought over communism waged in Greece, the Soviet Union was coercing Turkey for naval bases on its northwestern coast. Where the Soviet Fleet would have access to the Mediterranean. In March of 1947, Truman addressed Congress and asked for $400 million in aid for Turkey and Greece, citing the obligation the U.S. had in backing the free peoples resisting communist influence. The Truman Doctrine worked, and the Communists insurgents were defeated in the Greek Civil War in October 1949, and the aid to Turkey’s economy stopped the Soviet naval access. But before all the events in Greece and Turkey, Italy had its struggle with communist lead resistance forces in the North. Western Allies and Germany representatives meet in 1945 to avoid potential post-war encouragement of the civilian communist party.
The actions of Stalin in his colonization expansion reverberated throughout Europe. The world paused as they watched Stalin and his political movement attack capitalism and the ideas of democracy. Stalin’s Soviet Republic may not have directly influenced political turmoil, but the ideology of communism had infected many nations and the effects began to be felt globally. In conclusion, the exact causes that manifested into the cold war, are complicated and contentious. Historiography on the origins of the Cold War is a subject that has been debated and analyzed by scholars since its inception. Aspects of the Cold War point to the USSR and its focus on the spread of communist ideals worldwide. While U. S. and European democratic ideologies and opposition to the spread of communism advanced containment policies. As contentions grew over the spread of communism, USSR gained substantial control over Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Historian asserts that the USSR used a variety of strategies to gain control in these territories in the years preceding WWII. Strategies such as, encouraging communist takeover of governments in Eastern Europe and setting up their version of the Marshall Plan, the Comecon, the Warsaw Pact and the presence of the Red Army in Eastern Europe. These measures were the foremost contributing factors for the suspicions and concerns of the United States and its allies. In general, the United States and Europe were disturbed by the Soviet Union’s activities involving the occupied German territories. USSR, on the other hand, saw the United States movements in Western Europe as launching pad for an attack. From WW I to the end of WW II, political and geographical conflicts and controversies generated by opposing ideological different became major barriers and objective to overcome. Historiographical analysis of the Cold War stressed the juxtaposition of communism and capitalism and the effects on the opposing societies.
At the heart of the Cold War was the manifestation of fears that a single nation could gain economic and military supremacy. What most historians agree with is that the origins of the Cold War were based on ideological differences of national wealth and how it was obtained. What they don’t agree with is who started it. The United States view to the intent of the Soviet regime as overly aggressive and the Soviets saw American intervention across Europe. From the end of WWI to 1949 geopolitical challenges emerged. Totalitarian antagonism, capitalistic advances, and territorial disputes justified containment of Russia. In the end, the Cold War began because two nations sought the same goal, economic controls. They just varied on how to achieve them.