To What Extent Were Ideologies Important In The Bringing Of The Cold War?

1597 words - 7 pages

History Essay.

How important were ideologies in the bringing of the Cold War until 1949?

“Ideologies have no heart of their own. They’re the whores and angels of our striving selves”. This is how John le Carré classifies the harsh thing called an ideology. An ideology is a system of idea or ideals to form the basis of an economical, philosophical or political theory. Destutt de Tracy first used the word in 1796 but this word only became “fashionable” in the XXth century with the rise of nationalism. Extremist ideologies rose, Nazism, Fascism or Communism made their appearance, but this was decades after the appearance of the World leading ideology: Democracy.
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The civil war lasted six years (1917-1923) and has per result famine and the victory of the Reds against the White internationals, the entry of International powers (in order to reduce the proliferation of communism) has accentuated the hatred of Russians against different ideologies therefore the participation of those international states is one of the reasons for the Cold War and therefore the ideological tension.

We could consider that if the war was only ideological the Cold war would have raised much before 1945. We could therefore find other sources of tensions that only ideological ones. We shall look at the treaties concerning alliances in the interwar period and recognition issues in this same period. This starts with the treaty of Rapallo signed on the 16th of April 1922 between the Weimar Republic and the Soviet Union where both governments decided to “co-operate in a spirit of mutual goodwill in meeting economic needs of both countries.” This new alliance would permit to these two rejected nations to be able to defend themselves and be able to rebuilt a military and defence. Four years later, the Treaty of Berlin (264th April 1926), both nations pledged neutrality in the event of an attack of a third nation. This treaty was a way for the Soviet Union to protect themselves against the rapprochement of Germany and Great Britain. However relations between the Soviet Union and Germany were deteriorating with time even with the renewal of the treaty in 1931 and its ratification in 1933. In 1933 Hitler was proclaimed Reich and the cooperation between the USSR and Germany was still existent. The Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty consisted in a non-aggression pact between Germany and the USSR signed on the 23rd of August 1939 one week before the beginning of World War 2. This treaty was broken on the 22nd of June 1941 when the Germans attacked the USSR with the Barbarossa operation. This sealed any kind of cooperation between the Communist and the Nazis.

A few years passed and the World War did as well, in the last year of the World War, in 1945 a conference with the three main winners of the war occurred: The Yalta conference. The purpose of this conference was to discuss Europe’s post-war reorientation. Roosevelt wanted to put a special emphasis on the repartition in four zones of the ex-Germany. Each zone would be controlled by one of the nations in Yalta and the fourth by France. The emphasis was also accentuated on Poland, which was a source of tension as the USSR had their idea of government with the Lublin whereas the Americans had another idea for the government. Elections were therefore promoted in Poland and the Europeans supervised this election. With the support of Winston Churchill, international administrations were created such as the IMF, World Bank or the GATT, which then became the World Trade Organisation. Conflicts eroded around the question of Poland but also of France as with the creation of the United Nations...

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