Cold War’s Third World Countries Essay, Research Paper
The cold war spawned many different third world rebellions and affected many small countries during its course. The cold war occurred after World War 2 between two main opposing sides: United States and the USSR. The reason for the conflict between the two world superpowers was the differential views on government and the politically correct society. The term ‘First, Second and Third world countries’ applies to their association during the Cold war era. First world countries were the countries associated with the United States and it’s other non-communist industrial allies. The countries supporting communism allied with the USSR and they were referred to as second world countries. Third world countries did not have association with neither the first nor the second world countries. Third world countries remained neutral throughout the Cold War.
The Cold war was produced by anti-capitalism and anti-communism feelings from the United States to the USSR and visa-versa. The opposing viewpoints started appearing shortly before World War 2. During the beginnings of the Cold war, Joseph Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union. He led the Soviet Union to major communism empowerment. In 1927, he made a remark to describe the tension that was building.
“The period of ‘peaceful coexistence’ is receding into the past, giving way to a period of imperialist attacks…” “ Our relations with the capitalist countries are based on the assumption that the coexistence of the two opposing systems is possible. Practice has fully confirmed this.” One view on the use of ‘peaceful coexistence’ was that it was a tactic used by the USSR to keep the United States off guard. The United States accused the USSR of seeking to expand communism throughout the world. The USSR however, accused the United States of practicing Imperialism and with attempting to stop revolutionary activity. Even when denying the accusation of spreading communism throughout the world, the USSR was supporting insurgent revolutions in Asia, Africa and Latin America. After the devastation of World War 2, many western European countries became susceptible against communism. To help prevent this, the United States proposed a program called the Marshall Plan to help rebuild the distraught economies. During 1945 and early 1946, the USSR made efforts to cut off contact with the western countries. No communications were sent between the communists and the capitalists. The USSR also expanded their communist rule in the countries of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungry, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Albania. A treaty called the Warsaw Pact was created to put several eastern European countries under USSR military command. The Warsaw Pact was created in response to the formation of NATO.
Throughout the Cold war, Anti-communism feelings within the United States led to a series of actions delivered by the government. McCarthyism spread throughout the country. McCarthyism is the term for the incrimination of people suspected of being or helping the growth of Communism. During the inaugural address of John F. Kennedy in 1961, Kennedy stated a pledge toward communists and its allies. “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us hell or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” He proposed efforts to recruit allies within Latin America. “To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge- to convert our good words into good deeds – in a new alliance for progress- to assist free men and governments in casting off the chains of poverty. But this peaceful revolution of hope cannot become the prey of hostile powers.” These ideas of preserving capitalism resulted in the declaration of the Truman doctrine, proposed by President Truman. The Truman doctrine was the policy of the United States to send troops to any nation that was threatened by communism during the cold war era. O.K. Armstrong, the Missouri representative delivered a blunt and devastating speech aimed directly toward communist countries on February 22, 1952. “…Communism must be defeated. It must be destroyed. Its virus must be eradicated. Its grip upon the people must be broken. Its victims must be liberated. Unless this is done, freedom will die, slowly but inevitably, all over the world.” Many people, including President Reagan, saw the USSR as an “Evil Empire”. But also believed that the Russians respected military strength first and foremost. Therefore, Reagan set out to extensively strengthen America’s military capabilities. This belief was the basis on which the start of the Arms race began.
The Arms race was the race between the United States and the USSR to build and have the larger army, navy and air force, than the other country. President Eisenhower delivered his farewell address on January 17, 1961, stating: “…We can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.” “… Three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.” During the progress of the cold war, the Russians had built hundreds and/or thousands of intermediate range missiles. These, in Russia were of no threat to the United States, but when they were placed in Cuba, the United States came into imminent danger. This led to the development of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
The Cuban revolution brought the communist powers into the Western Hemisphere as Cuba was the only communist country in the west. Fidel Castro came into power in 1959. Cuba then severed diplomatic ties to the United States and reinstated new relations with the USSR. The Soviet Union then presented Cuba with nuclear missiles. President Kennedy addressed this problem in a statement delivered on October 22, 1962. “It shall the policy of this nation, to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere, as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States.” This led to the Cuban missile crisis. The Cuban missile crisis was the number of days in which nuclear missiles were placed in Cuba. The United States threatened to invade, but the USSR agreed to withdraw the missiles from Cuba.
During the length of the cold war, often, many previously third world countries were drawn into the fight between the two superpowers. In 1945, the United States and the USSR divided Korea in order for the surrender of the Japanese troops. The resulting independence of Korea led to the competition of communism and nationalism. The USSR pledged support to Kin Il Sung and the “People’s Korea” in communist north. The United States pledged support to Syngman Rhee and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in nationalist south. China also gave support to the “People’s Korea” in the north. Russian troops withdrew from Korea after a period of time, due to the fear of the effects of their presence on United States-Soviet relations. After China’s intervention within the Korean War, American troops were withdrawn from South Korea. An Armistice was signed on July 27,1953. There were over 110,000 American casualties. As to present day, Korea is still divided into its Communist north and Nationalist south.
After France’s loss in the Indochina war, Vietnam was split into two portions, the North and the South. The Viet Minh concentrated in the North while the French and their supporters went to the southern half. The USSR and China helped supply North Vietnam with war supplies, but did not support directly with troops. The United States believed strongly that if Communism overtook all of Vietnam, all of Southeast Asia would follow in suit. The American government therefore sent troops and war materials into Vietnam and tried to suppress the communist north. After mass protest at home, the troops were withdrawn. Shortly after however, the South Vietnamese surrendered.
In conclusion, the cold war affected many third world countries negatively. Many third world countries participated in civil wars amongst its people, only as a result of the rivalry between the United States and the USSR. The opposing viewpoints between the two nations had caused an outbreak of civil wars, crisis’s and standoffs.
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