Week 2: The Beginning of the Cold War
As Asian and African nations struggled for independence, the Cold War began to heat up. The two nations that once fought as allies against a common enemy in World War II were in disagreement on many fronts. The conflicts between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) were not merely political in nature. These superpowers’ differences spanned across cultural, economic, and ideological fronts as well.
While their leaders attempted to diffuse the tension between the nations, their actions were deliberate and calculated. Much like players in an intense chess game, these two opponents gauged each other’s level of aggression as they slowly and carefully calculated their next move. Similar to the actual game of chess where the king and queen have pawns to assist them in waging their battles, so did these two superpowers. They littered their “chessboard” with other nations drawn into the heated struggle for dominance, with the ultimate “checkmate” being the threat of a nuclear war by the Soviet Union. Even though the Soviets did eventually back down, this game was far from over.
This week you will uncover the reasons behind the Cold War. You will also discover how it impacted the lives of so many people around the world and why it dominated international relations for almost half a century. Within your discovery, you will also begin to see how the Cold War era still affects how the world continues to be shaped today.
By the end of this week, you should be able to:
- Provide evidence of globalization and internationalism developed during the postwar period
- Analyze the underlying factors that led to the Cold War
- Identify policies, actions, and the results of such items that led to the beginning of the Cold War
Read Chapters 12, 13 and 15.
Discussion: Globalization and Internationalism After the Cold War
The term allies, when used to describe the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), should be used loosely. As the week’s reading notes, the bond formed by these two superpowers in World War II was out of the mere necessity to come together to combat a common enemy. Even though the Cold War found these two nations in disagreement politically, culturally, and ideologically, and put these superpowers on brink of a nuclear war, the post–Cold War era was a critical time for globalization and internationalism.
Within this Discussion you will draw from this week’s readings. In doing so, you will share evidence that you uncover in your reading, which supports the belief that globalization and internationalism developed during the postwar period.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the Lukacs reading and the Truman Doctrine speech in this week’s Learning Resources.
- Examine the Truman Doctrine speech in this week’s Learning Resources.
- Read the Marshall Plan in this week’s Learning Resources and consider if it signaled the beginning of a global economy.
- Contemplate how the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War sparked globalization. Did the aid the United States offered (e.g., in Truman’s Marshall Plan) signal the beginning of the formation of a well-integrated global economy? Did the new ideas that nations were forming spark globalization?
- Consider the polarization of politics during the Cold War. How is it possible that globalization and internationalism could develop after this?
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 3
Post by Day 3 evidence (2–3 paragraphs) to explain how globalization and the Cold War shaped international affairs during the postwar period.
Be sure to support your ideas by properly citing at least one of week’s Learning Resources, in APA format, within your initial post. As this is a post-first discussion board, you will not be able to see the work of your peers until you have posted the initial discussion requirement for the week.
By Day 5
Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:
- Ask a probing question.
- Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
- Offer and support an opinion.
- Validate an idea with your own experience.
- Make a suggestion.
- Expand on your colleague’s posting.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.
Submission and Grading Information
Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5
To participate in this Discussion:
Week 2 Discussion