The Cold War, having taken place in the 20th century, is believed to be one of the longest historical conflicts of the period. It came immediately after the Second World War as a result of the fight for supremacy between the United States and the Soviet Union with each receiving the backing of their allies. The term “Cold War” was because the high tension between the U.S. and the Soviet Union but no physical or military war between the two countries. This war can best be explained by the theoretical perspective of realism. Realism argues that nations, organizations, or enterprises are likely to collaborate in situations where their interests are favoured but will engage in conflict when their economic, political, or military interests are not favoured (Llewellyn). The circumstances that led to the Cold War are centered on the system level of analysis, which explains the behavior of nations while relying in international system characteristics. Some of the international relations terms explored as far as the Cold War is concerned are foreign policy, spheres of influence, hegemony, state, and democracy. There were numerous consequences of the Cold War some of which are still felt today.
The Cold War had a geopolitical consequence as states submitted either to the United States or the Soviet Union. There was the polarization of the world into the eastern and western poles (Denitch). This polarization and alignment to either the East or West set the stage for further conflicts such as the War in Vietnam, the Korean War, the Soviet Afghan War, and others. The U.S. foreign policy favoured its allies and was highly unfavourable for states that aligned with the USSR.
The war had a political consequence as it resulted in opposition between dictatorship of the proletariat and liberal democracy (Denitch). The U.S. supported liberal democracy and attempted to control the Red Regime in Russia, which it considered its sphere of influence. In retaliation, Russia which was on one side with the Soviet Union came up with the communist ideology and got rid of liberal democracy that existed in European nations such as Hungary, Yugoslavia, Poland, Romania, and others. The U.S. was determined to reduce Russia’s hegemon and resorted to giving financial and military assistance to many Western European nations and a few nations from Eastern Europe such as Turkey and Greece.
A third major consequence of the Cold War was economical as a huge fiscal mortgage were placed on a number of domestic economies (Denitch). In the aftermath of the Cold War, there were newly-founded and free nations that had to grapple with the depletion of resources as well as high expenses and commitments they were not prepared for. The U.S. and Russia ended up taking most of the economic burdens of various nations. The U.S., for instance, gave financial support to a number of nations from Western Europe that had been affected economically by the war. On the other hand, Russia offered financial support to most of its allies from eastern Europe.
In sum, the Cold War is believed to have been one of the longest conflicts that occurred in the 20th century. The war pitted the U.S. against the Soviet Union. Although there was high tension between the two countries, there was no physical or military war hence the name “Cold War.” The war had geopolitical, political, and economic consequences with allies of the two nations being the key victims of the consequences.
Llewellyn, Karl. Jurisprudence: Realism in Theory and Practice. Routledge, 2017.
Denitch, Bogdan Denis. The end of the Cold War: European unity, socialism, and the shift in global power. U of Minnesota Press, 1990, https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=XDSbrsFAHzoC&printsec=frontcover&dq=consequences+of+the+cold+war&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwicifuBp9fiAhVSOBoKHViTB84Q6AEIPDAE#v=onepage&q=consequences%20of%20the%20cold%20war&f=false