After the World War II, strenuous relations existed primarily between the United States of America and the USSR. Many historians date the Cold War between 1945 and 1980. Since that time, there have been varied conceptions about the cold war among the Americans from the 1960s to date. This infamous war was born from the strenuous relations mentioned above (Trueman, 2009). Many had logically expected that the U.S., and the USSR post war relationship would be warm, friendly, and firm but this was not to be. However, some historians argue that they saw that coming owing to the fact that before the World War II, the U.S. had a very bad image about the USSR. Likewise, the USSR depicted the same against the Americans. Therefore, the friendship they had during the war was simply for convenience: to fight the NAZI government. The fighting between these two superpowers boiled down to the invention and development of weapons of mass destruction and the development of infamous policies like ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ often known as MAD. The cold war involved fighting using ‘client states’ fighting on the behalf of each other (Trueman, 2009).
Americans have taken interest in the cold war; they have personal conceptions about the war. One of the respondents answered that the cold war was a standoff on a head to head between USA and the USSR on economic ideas. The two superpowers were symmetrical in the war, but had fallout in economic ideologies between communism, which USSR advocated for, and capitalism, which sat with the Americans. The respondent was of the thought that capitalism emerged as the victor in the contest to spread their capitalism system. The Americans have succeeding in the implementation of not only flexible market regime, but also liberty.
Other Americans have heard about the cold war when they were young, in their junior school. One of the respondents argues that it is only natural that the Cold War happened since the Americans and the USSR were not any allies in the first place. They joined hands to destroy the Adolf led NAZI government because they had similar interests. The cold war was therefore a product of the different ideologies these superpowers had. Other Americans understand the cold as the war that resulted as the Americans wanted to implement a strategy to have a strong Europe, able to surmount the soviet pressure on its own.
Most Americans remember the cold war with development of weapons of mass destruction. The war between the South and North Vietnam was remembered too. These were proxy wars for the Americans and the USSR respectively.
Some of the conceptions about the cold war are reasoned perceptions as well as misconceptions. It is a misconception that the war was only natural because the two superpowers were not in the first place friends. This war could not have resulted just because of friendship or lack of it. A multiplicity of reasons led to it. The school of thought that the Americans won in the contest is not in the right line. The war was about defending each other’s beliefs; they did fighting in proxy (McKnight, 2007).
The misconceptions about the cold war could be attributed to the failure of disseminating information about the same. Students should be taught about Cold War early, e.g. in their junior schools. This is important, because the war forms an important part of the America’s history. Knowledge about it contributes immensely to the citizen’s patriotism, commitment and love for America. Therefore, it should be central in historic subjects.
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