MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

443 views

Was the Cold War in fact 'cold'?

The war that took place between 1945 and 1991 has been termed the 'Cold War', largely due to the fact that the two main agitators (The Soviet Union and The United States of America) never came into direct contact in terms of conventional warfare such as in WWI or WWII - thus it was not 'hot' conflict. 

This interpretation and the label itself are part of three out of four of the main schools of thought when studying the Cold War. Orthodox historians would place the blame for the development of the Cold War on the Soviet Union, whilst Revisionist historians would rather blame America and Post-Revisionist historians provide a synthesis between the two. The idea that the Cold War was 'cold' has come into question in more recent historical thought since the war ended and also with post-modernist historians. These historians move away from conventional interpretations of 'blaming' one side of another but rather study the characteristics of the war and in doing so have controversially labeled the Cold War a 'hot' war.

The essential idea is that the Cold War was a war on a global scale and although no direct conflict occurred between the USA and the USSR warfare raged in numerous other parts of the world. For example, to name a few, there was conflict in Afghanistan (1979-1989), Korea (1950-1953), Angola (1975-2002) Mozambique (1977-1992) and widespread conflict across Latin America such as in Nicaragua (1981-1990) and Guatemala (1960-1996.)

So how do these conflicts relate to the Cold War? 
It is key to recognize that the Cold War was not just a war between the USSR and America; The Cold War was about competing ideological spheres of influences (communism vs. capitalism) with the superpowers of these ideologies being the USSR and America. The aforementioned conflicts were part of this as both of the superpowers gave aid, funding and weapons, to various conflicts to help the side they were most closely ideologically aligned to. These types of wars are named ‘proxy wars’.

For example, in the Angolan Civil War, the two competing factions the MPLA and the FNLA both served as surrogate forces as part of the Cold War. The USSR supported the MPLA indirectly and the United States supported the FNLA indirectly also.

The reason the Cold War has been termed ‘cold’ is that the majority of these conflicts around the world were indirectly supported by the two superpowers. However, when studying the sheer amount of conflict around the world in this period, all of which played a part in fighting Cold War aims, surely the Cold War was rather a ‘hot’ war? 

Imogen S. A Level History tutor, GCSE English Literature tutor, Mento...

2 years ago

Answered by Imogen, an A Level History tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

55 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Reece F.

Degree: History (Bachelors) - York University

Subjects offered: History, Maths+ 4 more

History
Maths
French
English Literature
English Language

“Hi there! I'm a third year history student at the University of York and I'm applying to do a masters in Medieval History at Cambridge next year. I specialise in History, English and French and I would love to help with any difficulti...”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Viktoriya L.

Degree: accounting and finance (Bachelors) - LSE University

Subjects offered: History, Russian+ 5 more

History
Russian
Maths
Mandarin
Economics
Accounting
-Personal Statements-

“Hello, My name is Viktoriya. I am a first year student at the London school of Economics and Poliical science studying accounting and finance. I am passionate about maths and finance in particular and wish to convey this passion to yo...”

£20 /hr

George H.

Degree: BA History (Bachelors) - Oxford, Lincoln College University

Subjects offered: History, Latin+ 4 more

History
Latin
Economics
.HAT.
-Personal Statements-
-Oxbridge Preparation-

“About me: Hello, my name is George and I'm an undergraduate reading History at Oxford. My aim is to be as approachable and patient as possible, explaining concepts with as much clarity as needed and encouraging you to have confidence ...”

About the author

Imogen S.

Currently unavailable: for new students

Degree: History (Bachelors) - Warwick University

Subjects offered: History, English Literature+ 1 more

History
English Literature
-Personal Statements-

“History undergraduate at the renowned Warwick University. I'm enthusiastic about helping others to achieve their best! While History is my specialty I can also help with English Literature and Personal Statements.”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other A Level History questions

How to write a History Essay?

How to structure an A-level History essay?

How should I read critically?

What role did Englightened thought play in the French Revolution?

View A Level History tutors

Cookies:

We use cookies to improve our service. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok