No Marshmallows, Just Term Papers
World War II ended in 1945 leaving the world with only two superpowers: the United States and the
Soviet Union. Both had access to nuclear arms and any form of war would lead to destruction. Therefore,
they entered into a Cold War for five decades. In that period, the United States was a hegemonic power
and had policies and indirect effects on the world. The policies effects include antagonizing Moscow,
implementing the Marshall Plan in Western Europe and restoring the Japanese and Western European
Economies; and the supporting for decolonization of Asian and African countries. The indirect effects
included the rise in the influence of women, youth, and ethnic minorities.
After 1945, the political landscape was composed of two powerful countries: the USSR and the USA.
They had an ideological war because the USSR was communist while the United States was capitalist.
The communist ideology stands for common ownership and control of the means of production, whereas
the capitalist ideology stands for the private ownership of wealth and means of production. The war of
ideologies never developed into a direct military confrontation because both the Soviet and American
leadership had deduced from the experiences of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that nuclear war would only
bring mutually assured destruction. The alternative proxy war was a cold war that lasted five decades
from the mid 1940’s until early 1990’s. In that time period, populations lived under the fear of a nuclear
attack while their governments competed for technological superiority, stockpiled nuclear arms, and
jockeyed for influence.
All combat in the Cold War was in former colonies or periphery countries such as the USSR in
Afghanistan or the US in South Korea and Vietnam. The USSR and US influenced Eastern Europe
and Western Europe respectively, and as long as they did not interfere in each other's zones, peace was
sustainable in Europe. The cold war was geopolitically stable due to the...