Why Was The United States Unable To Avoid Entering A Cold War With The Soviet Union?
This was one of the hottest questions of the 20th century that why the United States of America was unable to avoid entering a Cold War with the Communist Soviet Union.
Well, here in this post we are going to give you this amazing question’s answer.
We mainly found five reasons for the United States’ entrance into the Cold War.
They are mainly:
- Becoming the world’s number one superpower
- To protect Democracy and human rights
- Fear of Domino theory
- To support the expansion of Capitalism
- National security
Okay, now here we will discuss all these five points one by one.
1. For Becoming The World’s Number One Superpower
After the Second World War, the previous superpowers such as France, Great Britain had become quite weaker and started losing their status as the world’s decision-makers.
The two Great Wars (WW1, WW2) almost ruined their capabilities to control the whole world.
Especially, it became a great shame when in 1940, Germany defeat France within just 46 days (Battle of France).
Now, two new superpowers in the world’s stage slowly began rising up their heads; on one side, the Communist Soviet Union, and on the other side, the United States of America.
Although, the Soviet Union was much weaker than the US in various fields, but they were quite ready to take a major role in the world’s decision-makers.
This Soviet readiness alerted America to a large extent; because if the US had not tried to become more powerful than the Soviet Union, it could have lost its influence in the world.
This cautiousness started a race between these two countries and in a few years, it transformed into the Cold War.
2. To Protect Democracy And Human Rights
This was the second biggest reason why was the United States unable to avoid entering a Cold War with the Soviet Union.
Obviously, you know that the Union of Soviet Russia was a Communist nation; where democracy had no existence.
America and other Western democratic nations considered Communism as a major threat to democratic values and human rights.
They already saw how Joseph Stalin was killing thousands of Russian people who challenged the Communist’s dictatorship.
Hence, they were always conscious to prevent it within the land segment of the USSR.
But as they were trying to stop the Soviets; the Soviets were also trying to expand it more and more.
Especially, in Eastern and Central European nations such as Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia; they succeeded in establishing Communist governments.
The US was afraid, if it continues happening then over time, it would eat up the entire world.
So, to prevent Communism expansion, they took many actions that led the Soviet Union very angry.
For example: in this case, the Marshal Plan was one of the most popular initiatives from the USA.
The Russian leader Joseph Stalin was once so angry with all these decisions that he even stated “War against the western countries is certain”.
3. The Fear of Domino Theory
The United States of America feared the Domino theory.
But what is this Domino theory?
According to the Domino theory, if a country becomes Communist, then the democratic governments of the countries around it will fall and that too will become communist countries.
The US knew it well and hence they tried to prevent it as much as possible from their side. Especially, in the case of newly independent countries of Asia; such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia, etc.
Even to keep maintaining it, they had to fight many major proxy wars against the USSR in various regions of the Asian and African continents.
Examples: Korean War (1950-1953), Vietnam War (1955-1975), Soviet Afghanistan War, etc.
These proxy wars led the US and the USSR into indirect arm conflicts, where millions of people lost their lives.
4. To Support Expansion of Capitalism
The economy of America and other Western countries was mainly based on Capitalism.
In this system, the government takes less control of its economies.
But contrary to the United States capitalist economy, the Soviet Union’s economy was based upon Socialism. In this system, the nation takes the main control of its economy.
America and other Western countries had a fear that if most countries of the world become communists then their economy will also be transformed into Communist ideology. And as a result, it would prevent them from doing free trade with the countries.
This was also a major reason, why the US had to enter into the Cold War against USSR.
5. National Security
On August 29th, 1949, the Soviet Union tested its first nuclear bomb.
The United States became quite cautious after the atomic bomb test by this Communist nation.
After this incident, there was an arms competition that started between these two big powers.
The way the Soviet Union started making destructive weapons; the US also started making more and more destructive weapons.
The most dangerous weapons that have been made in human history to this date, all have been done during the Cold War era.
In 1949, with the formation of NATO, the United States took the situation to another level.
In response, USSR also formed the WARSAW alliance in Poland, the year 1955.
This arms race became a big reason that the US couldn’t avoid the Cold War with the USSR; because it became an issue of their national security.
Cold War Facts
1. Did you know? The space race was a significant phenomenon of the Cold War between the United States of America and the Soviet Union.
On April 12, 1961, the Soviets send humans into space for the very first time in human history.
Cosmonaut Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first person to achieve this success.
The establishment of NASA was also a result of this competition. The United States established NASA on October 1st, 1958.
2. Did you know? Though Cold War lasted for nearly 45 consecutive years, but the USA and the USSR were never involved in a direct armed conflict against each other.
However, through proxy wars, these two big powers killed millions of innocent people throughout the world.