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Origins of the Cold War
by THOMAS MCNULTY - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 06:31 PM

In John Lewis Gaddis' lecture on the Origins of the Cold War, something interesting that he talked about was how the cold war started, and, more importantly, how far back you can go and see bits of the Cold War coming into form. He starts off his lecture with some comedy but at the same time its a very good parallel to thinking about the Cold War from a causational standpoint. About a man named Robinson trying to cross the street for some cigarettes, unfortunately getting hit by a drunk driver, this scenario heavily applies to the Cold War (00:37). The most far back you can go is long term cause and the broadest long term cause he says is power and how nations are always fighting over who is the most powerful (06:38). Going more towards the war you can see it getting more and more specific and detailed such as the First Red Scare where Americans more passively feared being infiltrated by communism, then going farther to see things like Yalta and Potsdam conferences, both displaying how powerful the SU was. Along with this, it's also interesting to see how public opinion by the American people shifted directly as the time went on. Gaddis says "anybody that would have predicted the Americans and the Russians might be fighting on the same side in this war would have been considered nuts" (30:39). This is about halfway to the Cold War and so at this point, there is a definite shift from the years prior that the American and Russian forces could be fighting on the same side. Overall, there is a sort of funnel of hatred and tension that builds up to the climax of the Cold War that can be separated into the 3 periods talked about, all increasing tension between each period.

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Re: Origins of the Cold War
by TARA JONES - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 06:59 PM

I agree I also enjoyed the way Gladdis organized the lecture, it was clearer how the countries got into the war and even into positions they hold today

Re: Origins of the Cold War
by MOHAMED SAMATER - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 07:20 PM

I agree John Gaddis organized his talk about the cold war in a very interesting idea, like talking about the different levels of causations and talking about how certain moments in history have contributed to what we know as the cold war. I also agree the tension between the Soviet Union and United States intensified greatly in the 3 decades prior as a result from many moments in history, such as Hitler declaring war upon both nations and Russia's sphere of influence.

Re: Origins of the Cold War
by SOPHIE HARRINGTON - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 07:27 PM

I completely agree. Gaddis points how the the long term, intermediate, or immediate caustations attribute to the change in public opinion from the late nineteenth century, to during the time of war. The three sections he highlights is in the late nineteenth century, during the Russian revolutions, and after World War II. 

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Re: Origins of the Cold War
by Pascal Beckert-McGirr - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 07:34 PM

I agree with your statement that the cold war had been a long time in the making. One saw that even in the 19th century many U.S. citizens disagreed with many russian policies such as sending Jewish people or political dissenters to Siberia where they were forced to walk thousands of miles on chains. 

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Re: Origins of the Cold War
by Danielle Reeves - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 08:52 PM

I also strongly agree how you could see small bits of the cold war coming. I remeber reading about it in the book during the cold war sections how it could have been predicted that it was coming. I wonder why they did not try to slove it before anything came of it.

Re: Origins of the Cold War
by JULIETTE LOW FLEURY - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 09:23 PM

I agree that he organized his story very well, but I disagree that public opinion shifted quickly. I think due to the US's underlying fear of communism, which could be seen through the first Red Scare and the Palmer Raids, was apparant through the majority of the 20th century. I think that the only differnece was that the hatred broaded its scope from just being aimed at immigrants, to Russians, to communsim as a whole.

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Re: Origins of the Cold War
by Jamia Yard - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 09:26 PM

I agree, although i believe e strayed from the topic at times with "comedy" as you said.

Re: Origins of the Cold War
by PABLO REINA GONZALEZ - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 09:41 PM

I had a very similar idea about this subject. I really liked how he went into detail about the origins of the war. It was interesting to see this new aspect of something that is so talked about in our time.

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Re: Origins of the Cold War
by Beminet Desalegn - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 09:52 PM

I also liked how he used the example of "Robinson" story in order to get his message across. Gaddis states how we can't identify an actual causation of the cold war, but we can figure out how it slowly turned into a big conflict. Both the Soviet Union and the United States were expanding, and none of them did not clearly understand how that will affect them in the future. In addition to the expanision, questions over the post-war world had a direct contribution to the start of the cold war. Disagreements in the Yalta Conference shows how much threat there is if a solution couldn't be found reagarding the European nations. Gaddis showed this growth of conflict by effectively dividing up the origins of the cold war.

Re: Origins of the Cold War
by JAMES KUBICEK - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 09:57 PM

I like how you draw a connection between his story at the beginning, and how it relates to the cold war. It is important to realize that there is no one person or country who can specifically be blamed for the conflict, but you can analyze one nation in order to gain a deeper understanding.