The Conflict In Ideologies Between Capitalism And Communism Essay

resulted in one of the greatest conflicts of the twentieth century.

The belief that freedom and democracy would die under
communist rule caused the United States to start a conflict that
would last for decades. The decisions made by the United States
in W.W.II caused tensions to rise between the U. S. and the
Soviet Union. Fear of Communism in capitalist nations, caused
the United states government to use propaganda to raise Cold
War anxieties. Furthermore, the American media influenced the
attitudes of Americans, making a hatred of communism spread
though the nation. Thus, the United States caused the conflict
known as the Cold War, through its political policy and

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The political relations going on in Europe during and
directly after World War II had an enormous effect on laying the
foundation for the Cold War. War time conferences such as Yalta
and Terhran harshened the relationship between the communists
and the capitalists. At the end of W.W.II American policy
towards the Soviets changed drastically. The change in president
in 1945 caused relations with Russia to worsen. Furthermore,
other political contributions to the Cold War entailed the Truman
Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. The division of Europe between
the west and east drew physical borders which outlined that the
war of misinformation that had began. Also treaties of the post
war world further separated the two super powers of the world
for the decades to follow. The waging of hot wars through other
countries also strengthened Cold War hatred.(1)
The first of the cold war tensions arose out of W.W.II
conferences between the Soviet Union, America and, Great
Britain. Tehran, the first major conference which lead America to
start the Cold War, included all three of these nations. At this
conference the reshaping of post-war Europe was discussed (2)
Later in February of 1945, the big three met again at Yalta. At
this conference European boundaries, German reparations, and
Polish elections were agreed upon.(3) Stalin, the Russian leader,
agreed to hold free and fair elections. Later after Roosevelt, who
attended these conferences, died Truman became president. He
accused the Soviet leader, Stalin, of not holding up to his
agreements at Yalta.(4) Stalin wanted to use Poland as a buffer
zone to prevent any future invasions from happening through this
area. During W.W.II the Soviets had lost 27 million, and Stalin
made it clear that in no way would he allow this to happen
again.(5) Stalin responded to Truman’s accusation with the
following words, “I am ready to fulfill your request and do
everything possible to reach a harmonious solution. But you
demand too much of me. In other words, you demand that I
renounce the interests of security of the Soviet Union, but I
cannot turn against my country.”(6) On the other hand, American
General Lucius Clay, who was stationed in post war Germany
commented ” we must have the courage to proceed quickly with
the establishment of a government for western Germany…42
million Germans in the British and American zones represent
today the strongest outpost against Communist penetration that
exists anywhere.”(7) At this response Truman changed his
attitude toward the Soviets with the words, ” there isn’t any
difference between the totalitarian Russian government and the
Hitler government.”(8) Furthermore, America decided to keep
Stalin out of the loop about the Manhattan project, which
furthered distrust, because Stalin learn about the bomb through
espionage. Truman’s change in attitude toward Stalin, from that
of FDR’s negotiation with “Uncle Joe” to one committed to
stopping the Soviet cause, led to the creation of a new American
anti-Soviet political policy.

The Truman Doctrine, the name given to the policy
established by Truman, would soon arise in American foreign
policy. This Truman Doctrine came out of a speech the Truman
gave to a joint session of congress. It was the response Truman
gave to Britain, which delcared that they no longer could give
military and economic aid to Greece.(9) In this speech Truman
finally gave the Cold War official status, by stating the threat
that the Soviet government had on national security. In
Truman’s actual words he said, “I believe that it must be the
policy of the United States to support free peoples who are
resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by
outside pressures.”(10) Congress, knowing that Great Britain
would no longer give aid the Turkey and Greece, realized that
these nations would soon turn to communism. Thus, they
decided to appropriate four hundred million dollars to help in the
aid of Turkey and Greece.(11). To support Truman’s policy
Senator Author Vandenburg stated ” its time to scare the hell out
of the American people with tales of communism on the
march.”(12) Thus, America was further contributed to cold war
issues by committing to stop the spread of communism in areas
of the world very remote from them.

America’s next political actions further caused the Cold
War to escalate. In 1947, George C. Marshall the Secretary of
the state at the time gave a speech at Harvard university which
reveled his plans for the an after war economy. Marshall asked
that all of the countries of Europe communists and capitalists
alike to draw up a plan for economic recovery from the war.(13)
The Soviets refused to participate, because they saw it as
America using money to buy its way into good terms with Europe.

In the words of the Soviet foreign minister Molotov, the Marshall
plan was “nothing but a vicious American scheme for using
dollars to buy its way.”(14) In the end, the United States sent 13
billion over to Western Europe to support economic recovery.(15)
The Soviet Union saw this as an American attempt to keep any of
these countries from turning to communism, which would close
them off as US markets. Thus, the Marshall plan further
contributed to a Soviet cause to continue waging a Cold War. In
1949 America helped to organize a treaty against communism.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO included the
following nations : Belgium, Britain, Denmark, France, Iceland,
Italy, the Netherlands, Luxemberg, Norway, Portugal , the United
States. This treaty showed a clear division of Communism
verses Capitalism, and it declared that an attack against one of
these nations would be an attack on all of them.(16) Thus, the
United States used this treaty to escalate the cold War by
showing the Soviet Union that all of the NATO countries sided
with the US in the Cold War. Finally, the United states waged
hot wars through other nations; instead in actually declaring war
against the Soviet Union. These hot wars in Korea and again in
Vietnam. Both of these wars resulted from the United States
trying to contain Communism from spreading throughout the
world. (17) Thus, all of the United States’ political actions further
contributed to the Cold War cause.

The political actions Of the United States from the time of
W.W.II onward caused the Cold War conflict. The conferences of
W.W.II set the tone for a time period of distrust between the
Soviet union and the United States. With a new president in
office Cold War policy was officialy began. Furthermore, from
that point on the policy of the United States delcared itself as
anti-Communist from that point on. Thus, to get the American
public to side with the government on the issue of communism,
America turned to the use of propaganda.

The United States used propaganda and other influences to
get the American public scared of communism and in support of
the cold war. First congress began to use HUAC to stop films
from having to much of a communist appeal to them(18)
Furthermore, HUAC investigated people for being communist
spies. Both Julius and Ethel Rosenburg and Alger Hiss, people
accused of being communist spies suffered conviction. This
caused the anti-Communist attitude in the United States to grow
tremendously. Thus, the American government used a federal
organization to further the public’s hatred of communism. Next
an American Senator named Joseph R. McCarthy would lead a
series of trials against communists in the United States.(19)
Most of the people that Macarthy accused of being communist
reached conviction. This happened despite the fact that many of
the accused were not in fact communists.(20) This situation has
compares to the Salem Witch trials; notably like the witch trial
the main outcome of the Macarthy trial srtuck fear into American
public. Thus, the McCarthy trial increased anti-Communist
hatred in the US and scared anyone out of committing to
communist party for fear of their life. Therefore, the McCarthy
trials acted as form of US propaganda, which gathered American
support for the Cold War against the Soviets. Moreover, with
the publication of George Orwell’s book 1984, anti-communist
propaganda increased. This book showed the United States
under a communist dictatorship. Thus, as propaganda this book
increased the general anticommunist attitude of the American
public.(20) Moreover, Hollywood began to produce
anti-Communist films such as The Red Menace, which increased
a fear of communism in the United States.(21) Thus, the actions
of the American government, journalist, and media increased the
general anti-Communist support for the Cold War.

The American media also contributed to the Cold War
propaganda in and out of the United States. American journalists
would commonly make up stories of communism in the United
States in an effort to sell papers and to continue feelings of
anti-communism.(22) Also a radio station called Radio One
began to broadcast an anti communist message in Europe.(23)
These radio broadcasts defamed the Soviet Union and
communism and supported democracy and the United States.

These broadcasts blatantly attempted to degrade communism,
that they were never allowed to be transmitted in America.(24)
Therefore, the overall actions of the United States clearly reports
propaganda to increase support for the Cold War, which
dominated American foreign policy for decades.

The United States caused the Cold War by the political
decisions that in made and through its use of propaganda. The
political decisions made by the United States from W.W.II onward
caused the Cold War to start and to continue for decades.

Moreover, the government’s use of propaganda at home rallied
the American public in an anticommunist attitude, which
supported the countries political decisions. Thus, the United
States caused the conflict between Democracy and Communism.

Cayton, Andrew, and Elizabeth Israels Perry, and Allan M. Winkler. America Pathways to the
Present . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall,1995.

Dudley, William. ed. The Cold War Opposing View Points. San Diego: Greenburg Press Inc.,

Gaddis, John Lewis. We Now Know Rethinking the Cold War. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1997.

Glynn, Patricia. Closing Pandora’s Box.. New York : Harper Collins, 1992.

Snyder, Alvin A. Warriors of Disinformation . New York: Arcade Publishing, 1995.

Yoder, Edwin M., Jr. Joe Alsop’s Cold War . Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press,

1 Andrew Cayton and Elizabeth Israels Perry, and Allan M. Winkler, America Pathways to
the Present , (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall,1995.) p.717
2 William Dudley, ed. The Cold War Opposing View Points, (San Diego: Greenburg
Press Inc., 1992.) p14
3 Dudley 14
4 Dudley 125
5 Dudley 125
6 Cayton 720
7 John Lewis Gaddis, We Now Know: REthinking the Cold War,(Oxford : Clarendon Press,
1997.) p.119
8 Cayton 721
9 Dudley 17
10 Cayton 724
11 Cayton 724
12 Dudley 18
13 Cayton 724
14 Cayton 724
15 Cayton 725
16 Cayton 725
17 Patricia Glynn, Closing Pandora’s Box., (New York : Harper Collins, 1992.) p.135
18 Gaddis 23
19 Edwin M. Yoder Jr., Joe Alsop’s Cold War, (Chapel Hill : The University of North
Carolina Press, 1995.) p.23
20 Glynn 135
21 Cayton 733
22 Yoder 22
23 Alvin A. Snyder, Warriors of Disinformation , (New York: Arcade Publishing, 1995.)p.221
24 Snyder 224


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