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Gaddis Cold War Lecture Post
by PABLO REINA GONZALEZ - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 09:37 PM

Early on in John Gaddis’ lecture, Origins if the Cold War, he spoke of how everyone makes arguments about causation and how the causes of the Cold war are many, some being more important than others. I found this very interesting, since I myself thought that the Cold war started after WW2 ended, but Gaddis ties it all back to the mid to late 1800’s. He goes back to the civil war and the proletariat coup that took place in the 1880’s. He also went in depth into the mental instability and paranoia of Joseph Stalin. He was so paranoid in fact, that he even bugged FDR’s room when he stayed in the American embassy in Russia because he was incapable of trusting anyone, especially after Hitler (someone who he respected to a fault) betrayed this lacking trust by declaring war on the Soviet Union, even though they had signed the Soviet-Nazi Pact which had established peace between Germany and the SU. He also mentions the multiple Red Scare’s and how the American people were so afraid of communism at an unprecedented level. The Yalta and Potsdam conferences were mentioned as well, and how they displayed the sheer power of the Soviets. There was a huge shift after Germany betrayed the SU and they (the SU) joined the Allied powers. The previous threat that the SU posed for the US was nonexistent. In conclusion, the Cold War went through several phases of differing intensity. Today we have a much simpler conception of this war, even though in reality it’s much more complicated than we may see.

Re: Gaddis Cold War Lecture Post
by NIHAL DHILLON - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 09:50 PM

I agree with you, there were many causes. I  found it interesting how he took it back to the 1800’s. He made a point on how the internal systems were different. I think that is key, everything that happened after that kept building up. It was a war of ideas with Wilson's fourteen points and his foreign policy. Stalin had his trust issues and his idea of security.

Re: Gaddis Cold War Lecture Post
by XOLOTL ALFONSO CRUZ-DEJESUS - Wednesday, March 16, 2016, 10:02 PM

I strongly agree with your final statement of how the Cold War was full of many incidents which truly resulted in the great fear of nuclear warfare. Prior to the Cold War as you said tensions had been high dating back to the Bolshevik revolution, because of this the issues only snowballed and Russia and US postwar had intense issues over what the world should look like. The US had engaged in WW2 explaining to the people that they were fighting for the rights of individual countries and their freedoms and right to democratic lives while Stalin envisioned a world in which the Soviet Union was never again threatened. From this the true aggresion began to escalate from the already existing tension.