The Effect of the Cold War on International Politics
The USSR’s status of the World War winner had substantially shifted the international position of the Soviet Union and changed the nature of international affairs and politics as well. Although the cross-national conflict was over, there emerged another issue between the rising superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as their allies. The American monopoly in the possession of nuclear weapons was an intimidating factor for the communists, while the USSR losing the stereotypical image of an enemy was raising political and ideological issues for the United States. As a result, there started the Cold War – the political and ideological war that affected international politics by dividing the world into two camps and lifting the level of confrontation to the degree of a threat to the global stability.
The Cold War occurred as a result of the powers accumulated after World War II. During that time, the economy of the United States was working efficiently producing arms and food for the European states. Besides, the entrance of the country in the conflict provided it with certain beneficial opportunities such as the possibility to establish the base for the further spread of political influence in the region. However, the Soviet Union also had a growing and powerful economy as well as the largest army which rescued the vast majority of cities from the Nazi and, thus, spread the Soviet hegemony over the freed territories. As a result, after the war, there occurred the confrontation of interests and ideological goals of the two opposing political camps.
The presence of such political and ideological confrontations in international politics may be drawn from the speech by Winston Churchill. Among others, he said two important things. First, he said that any person might be afraid of both the existence of communist ideology and its imposing on the liberal states (Stearns, and Perter N. et al. 229). Second, Churchill said that he does not intend to cease the “fearless” proclamations that the free countries should help the conquered ones to dispose of the burden of tyranny and proclaim freedom for the society (Stearns, and Perter N. et al. 229). Even though Churchill did not refer to the Soviet Union directly, it was clear that he meant this county. Thus, the international relations were already different than those that appeared to be friendly and close right after the end of World War II. Now, the tension was not only supposed but pronounced by the leaders of the countries and emphasized the division of the world into the camps supporting the two main ideologies.
Nevertheless, the Cold War ended with the Soviet Union falling apart and the United States and its allies coming victorious. At the same time, America remained the only superpower that was able to spread its hegemony over other states and approach the borders of the Russian Federation, the heir of the USSR. As a result, the general trends and features of international politics were transferred further into the twenty-first century.
In conclusion the Cold War had a substantial effect on international politics. The world was divided into two major camps that supported either the United States or Russia. Besides, international affairs were no longer as friendly as they were after the end of World War II because there remained some tension. Finally, international relations are the tool for the achievement of certain conceived political objectives and the spread of ideology over other nations.
Stearns, Perter N. et al. “32. The Cold War”. Documents in World History, Perter N. Stearns et al., 6th ed. Pearson, 2011.