"As long as Stalin was running the Soviet Union a Cold war was unavoidable." (J.L Gaddis, We Now Know). Discuss this interpretation of the origins and character of the Cold War.

Essay by NickhereUniversity, Bachelor'sB+, January 2004

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The cold war, or as John Lewis Gaddis would call it the "Long Peace" is a point in history full of intrigue. The very fact that one historian chooses to call a 'war' a period of peace, whilst for many decades previous is had been referred to as an enigma of conflicts the world hadn't seen before, and probably will never see again. The biggest problem with identifying whether or not the cold war really was instigated or inevitable because of Comrade Iosef Stalin is that so much propaganda and fear existed on both sides of the bi-polar power struggle. The USA plugged its population with the belief that Soviet Russia had plans to remove their freedoms and to reduce them to a lower than low populace, with no power over their own lives. The Soviets believed that the capitalist west was exploiting its populace; the only way for all peoples to be equal and free was to release these people from the iron grip of the bourgeois elite.

Firstly, it is important to look at the role the Second World war played in the cause of the cold war. By the end of 1945 the three most powerful nations on Earth were untied in their desire for peace around the world and an end to the evil fascist forces of Nazi Germany, Italy and Japan. But not everything was exactly quite what it seemed to be.

From the view of the Soviet Union in 1941, things were certainly not going well. With the Nazi German invasion of its borders with operation Barbarossa and with the Russian purges in the armed forces, the USSR was facing complete destruction by a nation that only a year and a half before hand had joined in an invasion of their neighbouring country, Poland.