Cold war refers to the divergence between nations. It is characterized by events like political propaganda, military war and most importantly, economic war. Cold war makes one nation sabotage goods and services of the other, thereby restricting trade between countries to the war. With this regard, economists have unanimously agreed that cold war is detrimental to the world’s economy. The most famous cold war in the history of the earth was the one between communist nation’s viz. Soviet Union and democratic/capitalist nations, especially United States of America. Though historians have never agreed on the time when cold war began, it would be in order to mention that when Truman (the former US president) criticized communism in 1947, cold war between USA and Soviet Union begun. It is rather interesting to note that the phrase “cold war” emanated from the fact that before the Second World War, there had never been active war between America and Soviet Union.
Before exploring the impacts of cold war, it is imperative to establish beforehand its primary causes. First, America and Soviet Union had two different political systems; while USA pursued a democratic approach, by empowering her citizens to form political parties and by giving them the rights to vote and that of speech, Soviet Union pursued a communist system. As such, it denied its citizens to form political parties or even to vote. People in Soviet Union were also denied other basic rights like right to speech. USA was against the political ideology of the Soviet Union and this impacted negatively on the relationship between these nations. Secondly, cold war can also be partly attributed to differences in political goals between these two nations; while USA favored free trade, Soviet Union supported protectionism policies. In fact, many historians say that Soviet Union suffered from pygmy syndrome; fear that trade with the west would be disadvantageous. This further weakened the relationship between these two nations.
Cold war brought some merits and demerits to America. However, analysts argue that demerits of cold war outweighed its merits. First, USA engaged herself in weapon race with Soviet Union in 1940s. In fact USA made the first atomic bomb in 1945 and used it to bomb Hiroshima with the aim of stopping communism. In 1949, USSR adopted this technology. Further in 1952, USA made a hydrogen bomb but immediately, in 1953, USSR had acquired the same technology. This weapon competition endangered the security of US citizens with US fearing that it would finally lose in the competition.
Secondly, America pursued policies that were aimed at eliminating communism among Americans. This move blocked the implementation of some policies that would have spurred economic growth in America. For instance, in 1950’s, NDR (New Deal Reforms) began to be associated with socialism. Its directors were tortured by pursuing programs with elements of socialism. This was notwithstanding the fact that such programs were aimed at improving the well being of Americans. Moreover, USA used Hollywood as a propaganda tool to suppress communism. American security agencies urged Hollywood to start producing movies that only ignited patriotism. This promoted suspicion of communism in America. With this regard many Americans were tortured or even killed on false allegations that they promoted communism. This phenomenon can best be explained by the American League of southern California which listed nearly 2 million Americans who supported communism. These people were blacklisted, hence lost their jobs. Their basic rights were also infringed into based on these allegations. It is therefore paradoxical that America tortured its own citizens.