Let’s understand cold war with a simple analogy ,Imagine your class to be our world. What happens when two of the strongest in class fight, no one dare to utter a word, right. Same was what happened from 1949 to 1991 in global level.
USA and USSR two of world bosses underwent into a competition to showcase who is the real world leader. One was a communist nation while other drive on capitalism. Both made their allies underwent every possible thing to outdo other.
Finally it ended on 1991. But how it ended, who ended it. You want to know right, the biggest unofficial war. Let’s find out year by year and cover all major incidents that took place.
Lets get started.
What is cold war?
Cold war was a state of geopolitical strain between two sets of blocs. Western bloc comprised of united states and its NATO allies while eastern bloc consist of Soviet union and its satellite states. It lasted for nearly 45 years.
REASON FOR CALLING IT SO and Why It Happened:
- No direct war or combat between countries took place instead proxy wars were carried in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan.
- It arise due to ideological difference and political distrust.
- Espionage were carried out frequently.
- Competition as a result of high military spending.
BEGINNING OF COLD WAR
During the Russian revolution in 1917, it got divided into two ideologies whites and the red. Whites were supported by USA, UK and France as they shared same political opinion.
USSR got recognised in 1933 by USA and diplomatic relation between them started though USSR was made in 1922.
After the end of second world war in 1945 both countries were in race to exert their influence to world. USSR wanted eastern European countries to act as buffer from Germany while USA want to set up capitalism in France, Korea and west Germany.
- Eventually, USSR influence continued to grow and USA came up policies to combat it.
- It included containment policy(contain communism in some countries)
- Marshall plan(gave loan for reconstruction)
- Truman doctrine,1947(to support nations against communism)
BERLIN BLOCKADE and GERMANY split:
- USSR desire to exert influence led to this. It wanted Berlin’s control and in order to achieve it, it blocked supplies to east Berlin.
- However USA and UK started supplies through air ships and blockade failed.
- Then, Germany got officially divided into west and east Germany on 1949.
WHAT HAPPENED IN 1949
- USA formed NATO in order to defend countries from Soviet ideology
- Communist power won in china.
- USSR detonated first nuclear weapon.
- Meanwhile in east and central Europe many communist government were formed
Which cleared state of war.
First time in history nuclear weapon was so potent that subsequently both countries developed Ballistic missiles of many thousand km range.
It was the first proxy war, which took place between 1950-53. North Korea was under USSR and PRC while south Korea was under USA and allies.
However, this war end up in stalemate condition as a result boundary 38th parallel remained nearly same.
USA came up with domino theory that if moreover communism will not be contained it will affect other countries too.
WHAT HAPPENED IN 1950s
- However, Stalin died in 1953.
Nikita Khrushchev succeeded Stalin
- WARSAW pact was signed as a result by Russia and its allies.
- Secondly,Both nation began space race.
- USSR started backing countries who wanted to form communist nation(some in Latin America, asia and Africa) and to counter.
This US backed many undemocratic nations to stop this which reflected later to its reputation fall.
- Meanwhile Soviet union crushed Hungarian revolution(started by students).
- Suez canal crisis started in which USSR and USA jumped.
- Subsequently,Indo china war raged in 1960.
In 1961 Many countries started a Third non aligned front which neither supported USA and USSR(India, Indonesia, Egypt and Yugoslavia being the prominent ones).
THE THREE World Order:
This gave birth to a new terminology:
- 1st world countries which included capitalist nations USA and majority of European nations.
- 2nd world countries which included communist nation like USSR, china and eastern European nations.
- 3rd world countries which included those countries which neither supported USA nor USSR like south asian countries, majority of Africa and Latin American countries.
ALSO LEARN ABOUT : USA CHINA TRADE WAR
WHAT HAPPENED IN 1960s
- Firstly, U2 plane which was spying Russian territories was crashed and upon interrogating it was found to be an American espionage which result in failure of Paris summit.
- Secondly,In 1961 construction of Berlin wall began which resulted in increased tension between western and eastern Germany.
- In 1962 Cuban missile crisis occurred which a big event in cold war. 3 years prior to which communist government formed in Cuba and Fidel Castro became prime minister.
- USSR positioned their ballistic missiles in Cuba which was a major threat to whole American continent
- Meanwhile,there arose ideological difference between china and soviet union in 1962.
- In 1968 USSR crushed Prague spring.
- In Vietnam war, USSR backed north Vietnam which ultimately won.
WHAT HAPPENED IN 1970s
- There was slight de escalation in cold war as America’s president Nixon visited China.
- There was strategic arms limitation talk in 1973 between USA and USSR in which they agreed in reducing numbers of nuclear and anti ballistic missiles.
- In 1979 USSR send their troops to Afghanistan where a newly communist was formed and cooperation was ended.
WHAT HAPPENED IN 1980s
- In 1980 America boycott Moscow Olympics and in 1984 Los Angeles was boycotted by Russia.
- America increased military spending immensely on the other hand Russia was dealing with failing economy which gave US an upper hand.
- Not only this US planned to equip their satellites with nuclear missiles and was called Star wars in media.
- In 1983, military exercise in large numbers of NATO alliance began which made USSR furious and there was smell of full fledged war also a south Korean civil plane was shot down by USSR.
- A new Gen Sec Mikhail Gorbachev(Communist party) of USSR was elected.
THE END OF COLD WAR
- Main reasons of ending of war was reforms brought by Mikhail Gorbachev.
- Their failing economy on the other hand America’s economy was booming with skyrocketing growth rates.
REFORMS BROUGHT BY GORBACHEV
Can be broadly classified in two categories:
- GLASNOST: meaning openness, it allowed “FREEDOM OF SPEECH”, easing of media censorship and declassification of records.
- PERESTROIKA: meaning reformation, it was reconstruction of political and economic structure of SOVIET UNION. Elections started as a result FDI and privately owned business gained importance.
EFFECT ON EUROPE due to COLD WAR:
- Reforms brought by Gorbachev were implemented all over Europe which led to demand of independence and fall of communist government.
- Meanwhile, Fall of Berlin Wall took place.
- Unification of west and east Germany in order to form a single country.
- Limiting nuclear weapons started and because of which army was removed from Afghanistan.
- USSR(Union of soviet socialist republic) got disintegrated to 15 sub national soviet.
AFTERMATH OF COLD WAR
- Firstly,USA became the sole superpower of world.
- Russian economy failed due to several recession.
- On the other hand, conflicts started in Yugoslavia.
Although this war wasn’t an official one but still it affected billions of life all over the planet. The race to supremacy among countries drove world to hell. Many economic sectors suffered and because of recession and many global level problem arose. Reckless behaviour of eccentric world leaders haunted innocents for nearly half a decade.
Though some of war analyst claimed this would we the last war, but still we see innocent people dying daily on some part of world or other.
Above all, we should learn from our mistakes and pave wave to development.
LEARN AND GROW…
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. When was cold war started?
2. Why was cold war started?
3. What is cold war?
4.What were two different ideologies of USA and USSR?
5. Is cold war 1 ended?
6. What are NATO allies?
7. What is three world order ?
1st world countries which included capitalist nations USA and majority of European nations.
2nd world countries which included communist nation like USSR, china and eastern European nations.
3rd world countries which included those countries which neither supported USA nor USSR like south asian countries, majority of Africa and Latin American countries.
India is a 3rd world nation which neither supported capitalist or communism.