Cold War

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

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

sovereign nations.

Undesirable IMPACT:

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

Soviet economy.

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.

Korean War


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.

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