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Lecture 5

Week 5 – The Cold War.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIS1111
Professor
Don't Know
Semester
Winter

Description
Week5TheColdWar19491957TheColdWarinHistoricalPerspectiveThe Cold War was multifaceted half century struggle so we must reject reductionary approaches and try to define the concept by delineating its various dimensions It wasnt a shooting war but it was an attempt to incise the rest of the world to joining their side 1Limited War As opposed to a hot war the two sides did not lock bullets on the battlefieldGiven the risk of superpower confrontation would escalate into a world war or nuclear exchange the Cold War was not a conventional war but rather an ideological diplomatic economic and covert struggle 2Bipolarity The decline of Europes Great Powers transformed the structure of international relations after 1945 dividing the world into two superpower blocs with the newly emergent Third World forced to align themselves to one side or the other3Clash of SystemsBoth sides saw themselves as pitted in a struggle between two utterly distinct economic and social systems capitalism and communism were incompatible civilizations ideologies and ways of lifeSaw themselves as representatives of 2 different lives and way of liberating people offering different paths to prosperityclash of civilization4MultiDimensional Rivalry Although not a shooting war the USA and USSR saw this as a war for survival and fought either through various proxies or they battled in other arenas the back alleys of Vienna the chessboard or the Olympic stage5Global Scopeimpact Despite ebbs and flows moments of crisis punctuated by intermissions of dtente this was an enduring conflict that spanned half a century and it impacted not only the structure of international relations but also crafted the destiny of nations and seeped into our collective psyche impacting how we view the world and how it works6Unnecessary and Irrational Although often characterized as a quest for collective security the Cold War entailed the construction of a massive military industrial complex on both sides the creation of weapons of mass destruction capable of destroying all planetary life and the ideological mobilization of the civilian population against a highly caricatured view of the enemyDimensions of the Cold War oAs a war it was an intensenonmilitary clash in which each mostlysides survival was seen as at stakeoThe Cold War was a difficult conflict to classifyIt was not a shooting war but the rivalry spanned the world with multiple direct and indirect casualties mostly in the Third WorldoThe rivalry between US and USA was fought on Hockey rink Olympicssoviet vs democracy hocky chess board science labs and by spies working the back alleys of Vienna
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