Rise of the Superpowers :The United States Vs Russia
During World War II the global community saw the allegiance of the “United States”, ” France”, the “Soviet Union” in addition to “Great Britain”. These states at the time of this international conflict where however nonetheless the planets most powerful governing bodies. These states formed an alliance to not only bring about an end to the tyranny of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Faction but bring about piece for the German people in addition to a containment strategy for the impending aggression from Japan and Italy. In this Essay I will firstly discuss the emergence of the United States and Soviet Union as ‘superpowers’, followed by a brief definition regarding what is “Superpower”. Thirdly I will discuss the history of conflict behind the two states of the Soviet Union and America in addition to how this occurrence has affected world History since 1945.I will then conclude this essay with my own opinion regarding how these two nations have affected human history since 1945.
2. Two Rivalling Ideologies
The events which transpired after 1945 are regarded as a turning point in the twentieth century for humanity as a result of the fact that this ordeal lead to the creation of one of the world’s most dangerous nuclear arms, the “Atomic bomb”(King n.d ,p.1–5).
The emergence of America and the “Soviet Union” as global ‘super powers’ after “World War II” not only set in motion the events under which the Cold War transpired, but brought about the clash of the opposing ideologies known as “Communism” and “Capitalism”(Nijman 1992,p.681). A global ‘Superpower’ does however refer to a incredibly powerful state, nation or group of countries with the ability to not only affect international politics but the policies of weaker and less developed states(King n.d,p.2).
3.What is a Superpower
The political term ‘Superpower’ rotates around superiority with regard to economic, political and military status in comparison to weaker and less developed countries(Nijman 1992,p.682). It is as a result of this fact that Superpowers are of vital importance with regard to the regulation of global interaction(King n.d ,p.2).After World War II ended both the USA and USSR Sought to increase their global dominance through the spread of their Ideologies; it is as a consequence of this confrontation that a bipolar retort was placed upon the earth(Yilmaz 2010,p.2). The effects of these ‘Superpowers’ battle for global ascendancy can be noted today through the implementation “Communism” or “Capitalism” as a political system in not only new-fangled but less developed countries(King n.d,p.2–4).
4.The Cold War
According Jan Nijman the “Soviet Union” after 1945 wished to spread the concept of a economy which was controlled by the state so that wealth may be shared equally amongst citizens, whilst the “USA” endorsed the concept of a free economy(1992,p.680–682). However once the “Soviet Union” developed strong links with “eastern Europe” as well as several developing countries the “USA” began to support a number of right wing despotism’s in order to reduce “Soviet” influence and reduce the spread of communism as a political ideology, hence began the “Cold War”(Leffler and Painter e.d 1994,p.4). The “Cold War” took place from 1947–1991 and consisted of a battle for not only global governance but nuclear artillery. In 1959 the state of Cuba became “Communist” with regards to the social, political and economic ideals of not only it’s territory but populace .
5.The Domino Theory
This occurrence lead the USA to use the Domino Theory as a means to justify aggressive actions towards the Soviets, additionally the headship of the “Soviet Union” placed nuclear weapons within this constituency(Leffler and Painter 1994,p.1–5).The Domino theory was however a premise created by president Dwight Eisenhower in 1954 which stated if one country where to fall to the influence of “Communism” then the rest would soon follow(Leason and Dean 2009 534–535).As a result of this corollary John F Kennedy fearing not only “Communist” spread but an attack from the nuclear weapons situated in “Cuba” sent Warships to surround the diminutive “State”(Fox and Buzan 1985,p.4–7). President Kennedy hoped this blockade would pressure the Soviet Union into removing their missiles from “Cuba”(Fox and Buzan 1985 ,p.4–8). The conflict between these two states brought about the threat of Nuclear War and planetary devastation for not only the global community but civilization as a whole(Fox and Buzan 1985,p.3). Although the “Soviet Union” and “United States” did not battle openly during the Cold War this confrontation resulted in these rivalling “Superpowers” continually antagonizing each other through opinionated manoeuvres and armed coalitions (Jfklibrary.org 2017,p.1).In addition to the fact that this clash brought humanity to the brink of a nuclear warfare
6.An End to The Cold War
According to Lisa King as result of America’s aspiration to not only combat but contain the spread of “Communism” in Febuary 1946 Joseph Stalin affirmed in a speech that the contradictions of the Capitalism will destroy states who implement this political ideology whilst the ideals and principals of Communism as a political system will reign supreme(n.d,p.1–3).The Cold War was however in addition to these particulars also a battle for allies this can be noted through the formation of the Americans “NATO” offensive and the “Soviet Unions Warsaw Pact”(King n.d, p.1–6). Nevertheless in the early 1970’s the headship of the Soviet Union proclaimed a policy of détente and sought to institute disarmament negotiations with the “West” due to the fact that their economy was crumbling as a result of military expenses(King n.d,p.1–5).Once Mikhail Gorbachev assumed headship over the Soviet Union he introduced the “Glastnot” and “Perestroika” policies, these two strategies where aimed at the recreation of communiqué between the “Soviet Union” and the “West”(UShistory.org 2016,p.1–5). The “Glasnost” or openness policy was a placement technique aimed at reflecting the “Soviet Union’s” willingness to allow American ideas and products into the now called “Russia”(UShistory.org 2016,p.1–5). On the other hand the “Perestoika” policy was a economic system that allowed a limited market incentive for the Soviet Union populace(UShistory.org 2016,p.1–5).
Ultimately although the allegiance of these two Superpowers brought about an end two the tyranny of “Adolph Hitler”, this union marked the start of a battle that would continue for the next four decades. Hence fourth in conclusion although both the United States and Soviet Union both claimed the title of global Superpowers in today’s 21st century America has since won this battle for not only political ideologies but of superior economic and social conditioning.
Fox, W. and Buzan, B. (1985). People, States, and Fear: The National Security Problem in International Relations. International Journal, 40(4), p.756.
King, L. (2017). THE ORIGINS OF THE COLD WAR. 1st ed. University of California, Los Angeles: n.d, pp.1–27.
Leeson, P. and Dean, A. (2009). The Democratic Domino Theory: An Empirical Investigation. American Journal of Political Science, 53(3), pp.533–551.
Leffler, M. and Painter, D. (1994). Origins of the Cold war- a International history. 2nd ed. 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN: Routledge, pp.1–49.
Ushistory.org. (2017). The End of the Cold War [ushistory.org]. [online] Available at: http://www.ushistory.org/us/59e.asp [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].
Yilmaz, S. (2010). State, Power, and Hegemony. Centre for Promoting Ideas, USA, 1(3), pp.192–216.
1898: The Birth of a Superpower
The global equilibrium, which had allowed the United States to grow and prosper in virtual isolation since 1815 was gone forever as the result of a short but shattering war. In 1898, U.S. domestic support for the independence of Cuba enmeshed the United States in a struggle with Spain over the fate of the island nation. The decision to aid the Cuban resistance was a major departure from the traditional American practice of liberal nationalism, and the results of that decision had far-reaching consequences. The 1898 Treaty of Paris ending the war gave Cuba its independence and also ceded important Spanish possessions to the United States—notably Puerto Rico, the Philippines, and the small island of Guam. The United States was suddenly a colonial power with overseas dependencies.
Photograph of American Soliders in Puerto Rico during the Spanish-American War
This assumption of colonial responsibilities reflected not only the temporary enthusiasms of 1898 but also marked a profound change in the diplomatic posture of the United States. The foreign policies of the early 19th century had less relevance at the dawn of the 20th century because the nation had changed. The United States had almost all the attributes of a great power—it stood ahead or nearly ahead of almost all other countries in terms of population, geographic size and location on two oceans, economic resources, and military potential.
Foreign policy had to change to meet these new circumstances. President William McKinley drew attention to the new situation in the instructions he gave to the delegation of American statesmen who negotiated the Treaty of Paris. “We cannot be unmindful that without any desire or design on our part the war has brought us new duties and responsibilities which we must meet and discharge as becomes a great nation on whose growth and career from the beginning the Ruler of Nations has plainly written the high command and pledge of civilization.”
Another contemporary observer, George L. Rives, extended this interpretation. “Whether we like it or not,” he wrote, “it is plain that the country is now entering into a period in its history in which it will necessarily be brought into far closer and more complex relations with all the other great Powers of the world,” an outcome that would leave established foreign policy outmoded. “We shall now and henceforth be looked upon as having cast aside our traditional attitude of isolation.”