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Was the Cold War a direct and inevitable consequence of World War II?

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  1. Introduction
  2. What is the greenhouse effect?
  3. The determining factors
  4. The heat wave in summers, is it actually due to the greenhouse effect?
  5. Will this phenomenon happen again?
  6. Conclusion

The Second World War (1939-1945) was won by the Great Alliance in Europe on April 8, 1945 and in Asia in September 2, 1945. The triumph of the United States, Great Britain and the USSR was however not celebrated with a widespread and unconditional enthusiasm in the victorious countries. Of course, the Axis had been defeated which was a huge military and ideological victory, but doubts existed on the capacity of the Great Alliance to keep co-operating while the common enemy had been defeated. These doubts were quiet logical as this Alliance had no ideological coherence and proved to be divided, already in the war-time, on the question of the post-war settlements.

The years following the end of the war showed that these doubts were well-founded, but could have things happened differently? Was the Cold War an inevitable and direct consequence of the results of the Second World War or not? Was the break-down of war-time cooperation between the Soviet Union and its Western allies inevitable? Did Stalin think, as later did Khrushchev, that ?peaceful coexistence with the West [was] possible and desirable? ?

Discussing such interrogations on objective terms, when one knows what happened next to the war and, to do so more than fifty years later, evolving in a completely different context, is not an easy task. This paper will aim at taking into account different analysis and to give the author's point of view on their validity. It is patent that no dogmatic or irrefutable response exists but the outcome of this discussion will try to be expressed in the more explicit and understandable way as possible.

Before discussing the problematic of this paper, some elements of the subject must be defined. First, what do we understand by Cold War? One could define the Cold War as the alignment of the Communist and Western Powers in two hostile politico-military blocs, that don't fight each other directly on the military field.

Then, what are the results of the Second World War? Italy, Germany and Japan surrendered unconditionally. Great Britain, the United States (US) and the Soviet Union (USSR), the ?Big Three?, were the main winners of the war. Its results confirmed the decline of the European countries, despite the active participation of Great Britain in the victory, and led to the apparition of two superpowers: the US and the USSR. Five nations ceased to be part of first-rate powers for the next decade: the countries part of the Axis (Japan, Germany and Italy) and also Great Britain and France.

World War II led to the confirmation of the international huge role of the US but also to the great rise in the Soviet position in the World, despite the tremendous human and material destruction it has suffered of, but partly thanks to its territorial expansion that occurred during the war and thanks to the presence of the Red Army in Eastern an Central Europe. Within the European Continent, no serious military rival remained for the USSR, and the traditional balance of powers has been completely dismantled to leave the place to a vacuum.

Tags: Cold War, Allies, Second World War

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