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Cold War Help

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uscbasketball10's picture
Joined: Oct 2009
Cold War Help

Hey guys I am writing a 25 page paper for history class about the inevitability of the Cold War. I am going to say yes, it was inevitable. I am just having trouble getting my outline together. I am required to have about 10 pages of background information while the other 15 pages should be analysis on the topic (basically arguing why it was).

I just don't know how to structure my research paper.
I was thinking of giving background information on the USSR and the USA since the end of WWI up until the end of WWII. But any ideas on what I should focus on? Any good outlines that would support me?

Thanks, I really appreciate any help!

valerierose's picture
Joined: Feb 2010

I'm a little rusty on this stuff, we haven't gotten this far yet in APUSH (next unit, which is basically next week), but I do remember some stuff from APEH last year, so hopefully I can be of some help.

Primary, there has always been tension between the US and the USA: Capitalism vs the ideology supported by Communism. There is no denying that eventual conflict would result sooner or later, ever since the Bolshevik Revolution during WWI, relations between the 2 countries suddenly halted. Americans did not trust Communists, as seen throgh the various "Red Scares" -- Palmer's as well as McCarthyism. The roots are all projected when the US refused to deal at all with the USSR. So, my suggestion is to focus on the different ideologies between the US and the USSR and why that would cause conflict. Then, get into details surrounding exactly why it was inevitable -- what events during the period between WWI and Cold War made it obvious that it was going to occur. This is the part where I think you should focus more on diplomatic relationships between the 2 countries. I know, seems a little weird, but you're writing a pretty huge paper here, you want to analyze every little detail. The most I've ever written has been about 8 pages, but I've always wanted to write something along the lines of 25 pages, I know I'm a freak.

Anyways, getting back onto topic, I personally think it is wise to discuss in detail WWII, and how even during the war, the differences between the 2 countries was hard to mise. Immediately following the war, the two were involved in a bitter rivalry for control. Remember Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech. Tensions between the two are particularly exemplifed through the crisis surrounding Berlin after the war.

Afterwards, point out technological rivalries that the two had, Sputnik I, or something along those lines, and Armstrong. Development of the armies/ nuclear weaponary -- kind of a good indictator that war waws about to occur.

Simply stated, the dfiferences were just to great for the Cold War not to have happened. There's no doubt in my mind, that the gains of war following WWII helped to propel the Cold War. It's impossible to not see that the US and USSR had competed against each other just for control during the post war period.

I hope I helped! Like I said, I'm a little rusty, and this might be of no particular help/interest to you, but this is just how I would approach the essay. Personally, I think it's a pretty interesting topic (:

pacificscrub's picture
Joined: Mar 2010

Not sure if you still need help on this, but I would suggest focusing on PERSIA:

Political - diametrically opposed political systems (each of which thought theirs represented true democracy), Lenin and Co. made a very public declaration that communism would spread around the world, even if it meant by violent revolution assisted by USSR

Economic - command vs. market economy

Religious - Stalin called religion "the opiat of the masses" while Americans embrace religion in virtually every fashion, including the absence of it (atheism). You could spend at least a page if not two discussing the irony of one country that includes separation of Church and State in its founding document, yet includes constant religious references in everything from its currency to its pledge of allegiance. Then you contrast that with a country that compares religion to halucinogens, yet allows the 2nd-most powerful institution in the country in the Eastern Orthodox Church continue to exist.

Social - US's quest to free the oppressed masses under communism vs. USSR's crusade to end poverty and domination of the rich imperialists to make everyone in the world equal

Intellectual - technological innovations, espionage/spy games, scientific research (both sides)

Artistic - famous writers, artistic endeavors on both sides

Good luck on your paper

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