The Cold War – us-history.com http://us-history.com Fri, 20 Dec 2013 14:53:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 The Cold War: A Brief Synopsis http://us-history.com/the-cold-war-a-brief-synopsis/ http://us-history.com/the-cold-war-a-brief-synopsis/#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2012 09:47:28 +0000 http://oneclick.i.biz/instances/www.us-history.com/?p=83 The Cold War was a prolonged battle of wills, posturing and threats between communist Russia and the United States of America. Although no direct military conflict between the two nations ever ensued, the world was caught up in the constant threat of nuclear proliferation. Allies on both sides of the struggle were used as pawns in the power struggle; NATO on the American ticket and the Warsaw Pact on the Russian’s. From 1945 until the collapse of the communist block countries in 1991, the Cold War dominated headlines, international politics and the mindset of people everywhere.

The term “Cold War” was originally coined in the 14th century when Don Juan Manuel described the state of affairs between Christianity and Islam as not leading to direct battle and subsequent death, but rather an ongoing disposition between the two parties which never amounted to peace. Despite no atomic bombs being dropped by either power in this war, there was by no means ever a feeling of peace between the United States and its allies, and the USSR with her’s.

Each side of the Cold War drew up various doctrines, declaring their respective agendas to the world and each side feared the intentions of the other. NATO evolved into a unified force of democracy and the Warsaw pact stood fast behind communism. By 1951 nearly every modern country had taken a side and the lines were clearly drawn between the two dominating forces. The rivalry was fueled by weapon development, aeronautical achievements and even spirited competition at the Olympic games. A constant cat and mouse game of check and mate permeated all aspects of the international landscape.

It wasn’t until two men assumed power in each nation that a recognition of the need for change began: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev would change the world forever by ending the Cold War. Each charismatic leader inspired the people and each other to bring about change by tearing down the separating divides. The two agreed to a historic treaty to reduce arms, the Brezhnev Doctrine was declared obsolete and the dissolution of Soviet bloc countries began. Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (restructuring) gradually replaced the elements of fear and domination and the Cold War superpowers warmed up to each other, at least officially. Upon the resignation of Mr. Gorbachev in 1991, the communist flag was lowered over the Kremlin one final time and the staunch Soviet force of global domineering and influence was dissolved. The Eastern bloc nations each fell to the wayside, giving rise to internal turmoil, while NATO emerged mostly intact.

Toady, the Russian Federation enjoys a more pliable and amicable relationship with the United States and the Cold War shadows that once cast an ominous threat of permanent darkness on the world are part of history.

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The War in Vietnam http://us-history.com/the-war-in-vietnam/ http://us-history.com/the-war-in-vietnam/#respond Tue, 13 Mar 2012 14:48:48 +0000 http://oneclick.i.biz/instances/www.us-history.com/?p=52 The recounting of events leading up to the Vietnam War date back to the 1950s, when the spread of communism posed a threat to the entire southeastern sector of Asia. Over the next 20 years, the ideological models of democracy and communism became the focal points of deeply divided differences on the world’s political stage. Communism purportedly posed a serious threat to democracy; the United States, in particular, feared the spread of communism throughout the region as well as other areas of the globe, via the “Domino Effect.” The Eisenhower Administration of the 1950s supported the South Vietnamese government’s stance on democracy, as opposed to the strategy of North Vietnam, which demonstrated a penchant for imposing its socioeconomic system on its neighbor as a way of establishing territorial dominance. As the 50s came to a close, the situation in Vietnam remained at a stalemate.

Vietnam War

Vietnam War

With little or no resolution in sight, newly elected President Kennedy vowed to uphold Eisenhower’s policies by continuing to stand behind South Vietnam in a passive manner. Kennedy’s inaugural speech had a tremendous impact on shaping public opinion and casting the specter of communism as a threat to free societies, as tensions between North and South Vietnam continued to thicken. Following the assassination of President Kennedy in November of 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson assumed the executive role. Slowly and steadily the animosity between the Vietnamese people escalated while in the interim, Johnson vied for reelection; on August 1st and 2nd of 1964, while Johnson trod the campaign circuit, the Gulf of Tonkin incident triggered the spark that changed the complexion of international warfare.

The details as to what actually happened and who fired first are sketchy at best. The USS Maddox allegedly went under fire from three different Hanoi PT boats, which eventually led to massive retaliatory airstrikes and ground-troop deployment by the thousands. Johnson’s second term in office mainly consisted of proposing Vietnam War resolutions that never came to fruition.

The Vietnam era also added another American president to its list in 1968: Richard M. Nixon. The Nixon Administration’s efforts to end the war became even more violent, as the North Vietnamese troops remained relentless in their quest. On April 30th, 1975 the Vietnam War ended, as northern Vietnamese troops attacked the presidential palace and assumed control of Saigon.

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