Sunday, 1 June 2014

6 Things The Cold War Taught Me

Hello Schneckens!
Tomorrow is my History exam, and as you can imagine, I am bricking it. Geddit? Bricking it? The Wall? It went up in 1961? Sheeeit. Okay, well excusing my terrible puns, I think I have learnt a lot from the Cold War, so let's Czech it out, shall we? I'm sorry, I'm just Havana good time with these puns. *slapped* Okay, I'll quit Stalin and start this...

6 Things The Cold War Taught Me:

1. The basis of the all whole thing is just like Mean Girls ~ I said it before in a previous post ( and it really is! Mean Girls is a film about differing ideologies when look at it deeply (really deeply!) and this is the basis of the Cold War. The heart of the Cold War was capitalism vs. communism and the growing fear of these ideologies, particularly in Europe, startled the Superpower leaders; and the only way to beat them was through proxy wars and arms. That's quite similar in MG - gets a bit catty and they try to fatten up Regina (that's our arms there, folks!)

2. Money makes the world go round ~ The moment the USSR's economy flopped, it was essentially over for them. I mean, come on, the sole purpose of the Reagan Doctrine and SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) was to bankrupt the USSR. Money added the development of the Cold War and it ended it; shaping the world we live in today.

3. Size does matter ~ The arms race really put this all to the test. It started off with the Atomic bomb in 1945, then the USSR ending nuclear monopoly in 49. Then the hydrogen bomb in 52, then the lithium bomb in 54. The delivery systems started getting bigger. ICBMs all over the place; with crazy ol' Khrushchev biggin' himself up. The Cuban Missile Crisis truly was these boys trying to prove themselves as men, and the Russians blinked as they stared the US in the eyes.

4. 'Third World' does not mean poor ~ Nowadays we apply this term with the amount of money a country has, and it associated with the poorer countries, but its original meaning actually applied to countries who hadn't decided if they were communist or capitalist.

5. Poland got the ball rolling ~ Yes, lil ol' Poland got the end of the Cold War on its way! In the 80s, Solidarity worked its magic, and was elected - a non-communist party was in control! It showed that Gorbachev wasn't going to take up the Brezhnev Doctrine (use force to control events in Eastern Europe). So that paved the way for 'People Power'. It worked its magic in Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Germany. Good ol, Poland!

6. It's down to who you know ~ Arguably, the Cold War, through its course, lasted because of the Superpower's connections. At the start, we had the Grand Alliance and that quickly fell apart when Truman had his 'hard-line' approach on the communist; concerning a paranoid Stalin. Then in Asia, Stalin and Mao were like BFFs, well, Mean Girls style because Mao was getting a bit full of himself. Then Khrushchev and Mao hated each other, so Nixon became Mao's new BFF, paving the way for Détente - no one wanted nuclear war! Even the end relied on connections - the power couple that could battle Jay Z and Beyoncé - Reagan and Thatcher. They both loved Gorbachev, and could work well with him. All this shows that if you know the right people, it can go any way.

So, that's just the tip of the ice burg in terms of things I've learnt. Obviously I've learnt a bit more than this, and a bit more of a historical approach - this was a bit jokey, obviously. I hope I do well in this exam and to my fellow Historians - the guys in my class, here's hoping we do well and it's a set of questions! I'm going to miss the Cold War. History can be sexy. I mean, come on, just look!

Toodles :)

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