Discuss Briefly about the Cold War era and it’s impact on world politics. What were the causes and consequences of the Korean War?
Cold War, developed after World War II between the United States and the Soviet Union and their
respective allies. Cold war is the period of political and military tensions between eastern and
western blocs (mainly between USA and Soviet Union) from 1945–1992 (i.e, till the fall of soviet
The Cold War was waged on political, economic, and propaganda fronts and had only limited
recourse to weapons. Hence, the name.
• The United States of America followed a democratic approach while the Soviet Union
followed a communist approach to government and a way of life. The US always feared the
spread of this ideology to other countries, and these ideological differences became the
roots of the Cold War.
• Another reason was that The Soviet Union was against the practice of free trade and
capitalism, and barred its economy from the outside world. On the other hand, the United
States was continually promoting the practice of free trade worldwide.
• Also,after the defeat of Germany in the Second World War , the country was divided among
the US and the Soviet Union, along with France and England after the famous Yalta
conference. The ideological differences also led to the division of Berlin into four parts.
Soon, the western allies (USA, France and England) combined their possessions of Germany
and called it the Federal Republic of Germany. This further angered the Soviet Union, that
then blocked out Berlin completely. While the origins of the Cold War began with the
division of Germany, this war was solidified by the construction of the Berlin Wall in the year
1961, in an attempt to prevent east Germans from crossing over to the western democratic
In 1947, President Truman announced the Truman doctrine, where it was clearly stated that the
United States would consider any non-communist country that resisted communist pressure as an
ally. Furthermore, it would aid this country in preventing the growth and spread of communism in
the country.This added fuel to the fire.
Impact of Cold War on World Politics
The Cold War forced countries outside of the United States and the Soviet Union to choose sides,
whether they wanted to or not, and gave both superpowers an excuse to meddle in the affairs of
1. The world was divided into two, on the basis of ideology namely Communist and non –
2. Regional conflicts and civil wars attained international status due to the political interests
of the “superpowers”. examples being Chinese civil war , Korean war, Vietnamese war.
3. Relentless tensions and military escalations around the world.(Cuban missile
crisis).Moreover, the world was constantly living under the threat of Nuclear War.
4. The Concept of proxy war(indirect) wars leading to the creation and arming of insurgent
forces which in turn went out of control and created global terrorism. Ex- Afghan civil war
and Syrian civil war.
5. Dividing age old nations to have a political influence. ex Korea divided into North and
South Korea. Germany into east and west(until 1980), Vietnam ,Yemen and China.
(Creating long lasting tensions between sister nations . just like India-pakistan)
6. Adverse hostility between nations curbed development and developed mistrust and
hatred among their peoples.
7. Encouraged further Nuclear Armament because of fears of external aggression and also
to show strength. eg.- China, India, Pakistan, Israel , North Korea , South Africa acquired
nuclear weapons (most of these tensions were bloc related).Nuclear stockpiles of the
world skyrocketed with US-USSR amounting for 15000 nuclear weapons together .
8. Soviet glory was lost and millions were left unemployed resulting in deteriorating of
9. Non-Aligned Movement …….Fed-Up of all the wars they had seen and forcibly been part
of, many newly formed nations in Africa and Asia started a third bloc which did not
support any bloc.Ex- India, Latin america, African countries.
1. Cold War: After the WWII. An agreement was made between the Allied Forces and the
Soviet forces. Korea was divided along the 38th Parallel by American administrators. The
northern part of the country was occupied by Soviet troops and the southern part was
occupied by troops from the United States. This caused much tension between the two
countries particularly as the Cold War intensified and allegiances were drawn.
2. Aggressive Regimes: During the late 1940’s Northern Korea established a communist
government and the 38th Parallel became a political border between the two sides. North
Korea, as a communist state, wanted to expand it borders and many skirmishes and raids
were carried out by both sides across the 38th parallel. The United Nations supported South
Korea’s government and tensions continued to mount. North Korea sought assistance from
both the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China to mount an assault against South
Korea. China committed to support the leader of North Korea an on the June 25, 1950,
North Korean troops advanced across the 38th Parallel and invaded South Korea. This event
instigated what is now known as the Korean War.
• There were several casualties on both sides, although the exact figure is unknown even to this day.
• The Korean War created more friction between the United States and the Soviet Union.
• War made the United States truly aware of the “falling domino” effect of communism
• South Korea became an important US military base with thousands of American troops stationed
• North Korea has carried out a controversial nuclear test and several ballistic missile tests, keeping
South Korea, Japan, USA (Hawaii) and China in their missile range.