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Date Posted: 18:20:24 05/09/03 Fri
Author: Mr John D Clare
Subject: Consequences of the Cold War
In reply to: 's message, "cold war" on 11:29:21 05/09/03 Fri

What a good and difficult question!
What were the results of the Cold War?

I would suggest at least the following:
1. The world divided into two sides - capitalist and communist. Almost every nation ended up forced to join one side or the other (including little countries like Afghanistan, Burma and Ethiopia).
2. Nuclear arms proliferation - until the USA had enough nuclear weapons to destroy every living thing on earth 100x over ('100 times overkill').
3. The space race.
4. Competition in EVERY area of life, especially sports, but even in areas such as kitchens (see http://www.johndclare.net/cold_war15.htm)
5. Small wars, which ruined other countries, fought 'at arm's length' by the two superpowers (eg Korea).
6. A succession of crises (eg Berlin Blockade/ Hungarian Revolution/ Cubam Missiles crisis) as the two superpowers clashed - and a conbstant danger that one of them would topple over into nuclear war.
7. Russia formed the Iron Curtain and shut eastern Europe off from the western world (poverty/ economic weaknesses) - the physical embodiment of this was the Berlin Wall.
8. The USA poured billions of dollars-worth of aid into countries (including some of the nastiest right-wing dictatorships).
9. Treaty organisations such as NATO, SEATO and OAS (US) and the Warsaw Pact (USSR).
10. A propaganda war, in which both sides ruthlessly misrepresented the other. In Britain and the US, there were ridiculous public information films about what to do in the event of a nuclear war ('Duck and Cover').
11. In America, the McCarthy 'witch-hunts' persecuted communists and people suspected of being connected to the Communists - many careers were ruined simply by the accusation.
12. Spies - there would have been no James Bond stories without the Cold War - and the US using U2 spy-planes.
13. Effects on culture and society - eg Neville Shute's book 'On the Beach' and George Orwell's '1984'. The threat of nuclear war led to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, but it also created the hippies, the durg culture and 'Peace, man'. Many students became very left-wing and read Mao Tse Tung's 'Little Red Book' of communist sayings.
14. The Cold War also lead directly - because it frightened leaders on both sides - to the setting up of the structures which eventually ended it - summit meetings between the two superpowers, and a telephone hotline between the Presidents of Russia dn America.

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