Chapter 8: The Second Cold War. Pages 204-228

In the eighth section of the book, Fink depicts the period after the temporary détente of the early seventies collapsed which she labels as “the Second Cold War”.  Fink describes a new major player of this era: the U.S. President Ronald Reagan whose  leadership was distinctly different from that of his predecessors. He immediately took the offensive against the Soviet Union and made no move to disguise the contempt he held for the “evil empire”. Fink demonstrates that while Reagan did not wish to start a direct conflict, he refused to pretend to ignore the failure of the peace agreements between the Superpowers and tolerated no communist aggression anywhere in the world.

In chapter 8, Fink states that, “A startled Washington reacted swiftly and severely [to General Jaruzelski’s arrest of many Polish dissidents],” and “Although deploring Jaruzelski’s coup, Western leaders were riled by Washington’s unilateralism,” (pages 206 and 207). She also claims that, “More than an appalling sideshow, the Iran-Iraq War underlined the Superpowers’ obsession with checking each other’s influence in the Gulf region, even at the cost of expanding violence.”

The first quote demonstrates the contrast between the actions taken against communist forces by the Reagan administration and those taken by former Cold War administrations. In 1981, the Polish and communist General Wojciech Jaruzelski—a close ally of Soviet government— arrested many of the leaders of the Solidarność and other anticommunist rebels in Poland. In similar situations in the past, Western leaders chose to indirectly display their disapproval in attempt to avoid mass conflict which often made them seem indecisive and weak, so Reagan’s instant reaction of imposing sanctions on Poland and ceasing its important exports was shocking to both the Soviets and other Western leaders (as shown by the second quote). Although Washington’s forceful reaction in Poland was a strong assertion of power that backed up Reagan’s tough words, it also showed Washington’s disregard for the its NATO and Western allies. The third quote exposes one of the biggest causes of the degree of the cold war. It says claims a major weakness of the two Superpowers was their inability to tolerate the other gaining any foothold in the Middle East because of the vital resources that the area provided to both. However, the Middle East has always been a major area of conflict because of the different religions and other groups that reside within it, making it a very difficult area to control.  Both powers during the Iran-Iraq war were technically on the same side because neither wanted Hussein to gain control over Iran, but because of their rivalry and fear of the other side gaining too much power in the region, they refused to work together to solve the issue which prolonged the war for much longer than it had to be.

A reoccurring issue throughout the book has been proxy wars as a result of desire for control and for the expansion of ideology. Since the quick topple of Russian Imperialism during the Bolshevik Revolution, Western powers had feared communist takeover. However, the efforts  extended by the West had been in a form of appeasement since the Vietnam War in order to avoid another costly and pointless conflict. Not that the United States hadn’t engaged in outside conflict where communism was involved, but when it did, it was much more indirect and hesitated to take a side for fear of its consequences. At the beginning of WWII, the policy of appeasement had caused many repercussions and it is often said that if the allies had taken up arms against Hitler earlier in his crusade, the breakout of the second world war could have been avoided. However, as history tells us, the West’s refuse to acknowledge the problem in attempt to prevent another war actually exacerbated the issue and gave rise to the second world war. This is why Reagan’s impact on the Cold War was so great. His plain view of the Soviet Union and refusal to mask his opinion of it was a major shift from the seemingly ambivalent attitude previous leadership entertained. The unyielding assertiveness that he brought to the conflict demanded change from the Soviet Union and reaffirmed American power. However, it was only the combination of his authoritative attitude and demeanor and the rise of a new type of Soviet leader that was enough to end the Cold War permanently which I will discuss in the next section.

-Haley McGeorge

Chapter 7 Détente: Collapses. Pages 174-203

In the seventh section of the book, Fink describes the fall of the détente in the late 1970’s and its causes. She explains that during this time period there was a dramatic increase in human rights movements in all parts of the world that pushed Western leaders to forsake appeasement and temporary peace for the benefit of human freedom.  The large change in leaders, the creation of new  powerful human rights initiatives, and the inability of the two main superpowers to keep out of outside conflict made it impossible for the policies of the détente to remain.

In chapter 7, Fink states that “Détente and human rights stood at opposite poles,” (page 175) and “The United States and the Soviet Union did not instigate the two conflicts in Africa, but both once more responded in a reflexive Cold War manner,” (page 184).

In the first quote, Fink explains that it was impossible for a Western leader at the time to both support the peace with the Soviet Union and civil rights groups because peace would require compromise which would ultimately include leaving their internal affairs to themselves, and therefore not promoting change in the oppressive society.  Previously, President Nixon, Brandt, Kissinger and Pompidou had been in charge and favored amicable relations between the Superpowers over human rights. However, in the late seventies, three of these leaders left office, leaving the new leaders to decide which cause to endorse. Because people like Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter had risen to power during this new era, they opted to support dissidents in the Soviet Union and its territories. These new leaders strained what little agreement had been made and were a major cause of the collapse of the détente.  The second quote demonstrates that although it was meant to be a time of peace, the U.S. and Soviet Union reacted to foreign conflict in the exact same way they had previously.  The situation Fink references in this quote is the conflict between the African rivals Ethiopia and Somalia. Ethiopia had been an ally and beneficiary of the United States until 1974 when President Carter accused it of many abuses of human rights and arms trade with the Soviet Union. Similarly, Somalia had received considerable aid for the use of the port of Berbera, but Carter promised to provide Somalia with defensive weapons to liberate Ogaden, a territory belonging to Ethiopia but comprised of mostly Somalis. With the hope of U.S. support, Somalia quickly attacked in attempt to seize Ogaden, willing the Soviet Union to aid Ethiopia by sending in Cuban troops to help reclaim the territory. However, Carter ignored Somalia’s appeals for weapons and just warned Ethiopia against crossing the Somali border. The United States couldn’t push the Russians out of Africa, but they did have control of the port of Berbera. This shows that the countries were not all too hesitant to engage in indirect conflict as they had been doing in Vietnam and Korea. This case is seen again in Southwest Asia as well.

In both chapters 6 and 7, Fink shows that the peace settlements were built on shallow promises and were made as temporary answers rather than as long term solutions so–based on previous knowledge–I believe that the second start of peace that happened with the fall of the Soviet Union will have a lasting effect. One of the two main causes that I addressed in this post was the issue of human rights, however, the violations of human rights by the Soviet Union were largely due to government ideology. In his article “The End of the Cold War: A Russian View”, Vladimir Batyuk states that “While the geopolitical differences between Russia and the West should not be underestimated, the Cold War was fundamentally about ideology not geopolitics.” According to Batyuk, because the Soviet Union is dead and the Russian Federation does not support the same communist belief system, another Cold War of the same degree is not possible. I agree that the Cold War was mainly because of ideological issues, but I believe that the aggression of expansion is not only a result of ideology because leaders also have a great impact on foreign affairs. Connecting this to the recent events in Crimea, Putin, while not under the influence of communism, was able to annex a region against many of the wishes of Western countries, and he might want to expand further. While it would take a lot to create a conflict like the Cold War, I suppose another conflict is possible if unlikely.

-Haley McGeorge

Cold War Propaganda

In sections 3-5, Carole Fink explores factors that worsened the conflict between Superpowers. A reoccurring factor that she mentions throughout the book is propaganda. Ultimately, it is not the country’s leaders or governments that fight the war, but the citizens within the nation, and a war’s outcome is often influenced by the attitudes of these citizens. This means a government’s power to control the opinions of its people through propaganda is key in determining the upshot of a conflict.

The first picture is of Soviet origin and is designed to illustrate a contrast in the American and Soviet life.  The right side is the Soviet Union with a bright sun and a thermometer displaying high temperatures to represent the Soviet’s profitable economy and the opposite American stormy weather and cold temperatures to represent the United States’ economic hardships during the time. In addition, on the Soviet man is portrayed as a strong working male, while the American is an overweight and ugly business man that is implied to be dishonest in some way because of his dark clothing and sunglasses. This crooked American provided another enemy for the Russian people and directed attention away from the problems at home and their cause. This poster was devised to convey feelings of satisfaction to the Russian citizens through reinforcing the idea that the way the conditions of the country were favorable and that other places were in a poorer state. By convincing the citizens that the Americans were their true adversaries, the government could promote nationalism while continuing to oppress and control its people. The second picture is a modern American political cartoon that illustrates the situation with the border disputes between Russia and Ukraine. As in many American cartoons, Russia is portrayed as a bear because it is thought to have a pension for aggressive action toward outside countries and a pattern of unpredictability and uncontrollability. President Obama is seen at a dining table with the bear to show his complacency toward Russian aggression and willing to cooperate while only censuring the minor issues. This cartoon is meant to force its audience to question the decisions of the President and government and warn them of the current danger in the Eastern European countries.

Both of these pictures could be called propaganda, but have extremely different goals due to their time period and pertinent issues. One major distinction between the two is that the modern cartoon exposes issues on both sides of the conflict rather than simply demonizing one side in particular. This could be due to the age difference but is more likely because of their nation of origin and that nation’s type of government. In the United States, citizens have the right to freedom of speech and, therefore, are able and even encouraged to speak their opinions so a drawing criticizing the President’s actions can be used to promote free thought about national politics. Other countries with a more controlling government wouldn’t allow this thought expression. Today, these forms of propaganda would most likely be spread electronically so the media has a lot of control over public opinion which can be both positive and negative. Technically, because people can electronically submit opinions, it can be said that technology promotes democracy, but Tim Mak, a writer for the Daily Beast, states that “Every conspiracy theory starts with an information vacuum, which then tumbles into fantasy.” Mak brings up an important point that technology tends to blow stories out of proportion and lead to exaggeration. This does nothing to clear the path for democracy and can hinder the process for finding truth about events that  lead to a greater understanding of political situations. Therefore, propaganda, as I’ve said before, can be either dangerous or beneficial to national relations.

-Haley McGeorge

Quarter 1 Reflection Question

  1. What have you learned about reading? In order to read efficiently, you have to actively take notes and respond with your own opinions as you read. Also, in order to understand the work as a whole, you must consider all of the topics in SOAPS rather than just the subject and what the author says about it.  What have you learned about writing analysis & argument? There are certain methods that are used in argument, and to present a strong claim, you must be able to recognize other strategies employed in argument. I believe my most improved area is analysis because we now have tools to understand argument further than the three appeals. How has your approach to reading & writing changed overall? Reading and writing is now more purposeful and I have a sense of what questions are expected to be answered in traditional argument and argument analysis along with a format to present it.
  2. What questions do you still have? While it is my own fault, I still have issues with introductions and conclusions because I don’t know how to state the overall theme without sounding cheesy. By the time I get to the end, I have used all of my ideas and have nothing left to say to wrap up my points.
  3. With what types of reading & writing would you like more practice? I could use practice in argument and synthesis mainly with finding germane evidence under time constraints. I think practice in all types under time pressure is necessary because I seem to run out of time before I am able to explain all of the ideas I have about the topic.
  4. Based on 1-3, what are 2-3 goals you have to make improvement moving forward? I would like to be able to write more efficiently under pressure and be able to introduce an essay in an interesting fashion.

Chapter 6: Détente

In the sixth section of the book, Fink depicts the duplicitous attempts for peace from 1969-1975 known as the détente.  After the era of Khrushchev and the Cuban Missile Crisis, new leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States were anxious to assure that a situation of that great potential for devastation wouldn’t reoccur so many new treaties and policies were enacted to slow arms production and mitigate tensions between the governments. However, outside countries had a different affect on the peace and strained the negotiations.

In chapter 6, Fink states that, “Consequently the launching of the détente, which was predicated on establishing mutual agreements, a joint code of conduct, and military and political restraint—and in which the means and goals of the two rivals were intermingled or ambiguous—would inevitably stir suspicions of the other’s bad faith,” and “Washington, although absorbed by the domestic outcry over the invasion of Cambodia, was determined to stand firm against the Soviets’ provocation and moved in as a mediator.”

In the first quote, the author explains that since the rivals were not willing to give up anything substantial because of alternate motives, the strive for peace was doomed from the start. She shows the suspicion both nations held for the other and how it had the potential to engender more hostility than it would dissolve. In the second quote, Fink demonstrates why the sanctions on military interaction were reasonable solutions for peace in theory, but would not work for the long term because of conflict in third world countries or . The conflict began when President Nasser of Egypt dropped bombs on Israel and Israel retaliated with aerial attacks, inciting action in both the United States and the Soviet Union. Nasser requested aid from Brezhnev in defeating the Israelis who was forced to acquiesce by other Soviet leaders. He responded with an operation that expanded Egypt’s air force and Soviet troops to help. The quote explains that the United States responded to the conflict by moving in to ameliorate the situation with a peaceful resolve in which it succeeded, but scenes like this played all over in places like Vietnam and Southeast Asia, testing the strength of the détente and the Superpower’s resolve to avoid large conflicts.

Fink’s arguments and explanations of the treaties and relations of this time period are some of the most important things to consider when determining the relations between the nations, today, because you have to consider what makes current agreements different than those that failed in the past. One of the main differences between the agreements that ended the Cold War and those of the détente period was the attitudes and goals of their creator. Brezhnev and Khrushchev were more aggressive to the West and had a bigger appetite for expansion and control while Gorbachev had a main focus of fixing the country’s economy and improving the lives of the people. However, one must also consider the American leaders of the time. While Truman, Eisenhower, and Nixon had pure intentions for the country, Reagan (combined with the work of his predecessors) was able to end the Cold War because of his steadfast and unyielding position toward the Soviet leader. In my opinion, the tensions were assuaged because of the right combination of leaders at the time and mutual exhaustion from the conflict. Of course this is a major simplification of the finish of a terrifying period in the world’s history, but it is only one factor I will consider in my end prediction for the project.

-Haley McGeorge

Chapter 4: The Widening Conflict and Chapter 5: The Sixties. Pages 90-148

In the fourth and fifth sections of the book, Fink provides the details of events that occurred outside of Europe and North America in the 1950’s and 60’s. She shows the major influence the two rival Superpowers had over smaller countries through the use of propaganda. Conversely, she explains that although the Superpowers supported outside nations in conflicts against their opposition, they lacked the ability to assume control over decisions in the independent countries.

In chapter 4 Fink states that “Indeed, the United States could only watch passively on June 17, 1953, when Soviet tanks crushed the East German protesters whom American propaganda had encouraged to break their chains,” and “Abroad, America’s ‘pactomania,’ its hostility toward nonalignment, and its tendency to intervene in the affairs of its neighbors far and near raised alarm among Third World leaders.” Then in chapter 5, she states that “the Superpowers also faced a setback, having exposed their inability to control their clients.”

In the first quote, Fink confirms the impact that American propaganda could have on foreign spirit. When the United States does not have the direct ability to help oppressed nations, it promotes rebellious ideas in the minds of the people so they can free themselves, promoting democracy and ideas of freedom throughout the world. Even though this quote explains that the rebellion was not able to overthrow its oppressor, it shows the  power that propaganda can have, making it a major factor in the Cold War. In the second quote, the author connotes the reluctance of Third World countries to involve themselves in the tensions between the Soviet Union and United States. The United States at the time was in the process of recruiting leaders of smaller nations as support against communism and falsely believed that it would received gladly. However, the independent nations in Africa understood the complications the renunciation of neutrality would cause and were worried that the United States would assume control over its affairs or cause economic distress. In cases like this, democracy was not as welcomed as Americans would have expected. In the third quote, Fink illustrates the lack of control the rival nations had over their allies after the Arab-Israeli war. The attack made by the Israeli nation was planned without the consultation of the United States president who was only informed of the plot twenty-four hours before its enactment. This demonstrates the difference between the power the United States believed it held and the power it actually had over foreign affairs. The author reiterates this concept again in the chapter when explaining the conflict in Vietnam. The Soviet Union supported a side with supplies and weaponry, but it had hoped to persuade the North Vietnamese leader to negotiate peaceful solution through diplomacy to avoid a massive war in Eastern Asia. However, its contrasting policies of providing the North with supplies and attempting to organize a peace settlement only exacerbated the situation.

Fink broaches an important argument in these sections that focuses on propaganda and foreign influence during the Cold War. Since propaganda had such an enormous impact on the mindsets of people in the past where technology was not prominent in society, I believe that the internet and media could have an even larger effect on citizens views today. However, despite the popular consensus, technology does not promote democracy more than any other policy. It acts as only a catalyst, spreading ideas and views faster and farther and providing a greater opportunity for governments and organizations to persuade viewers. Fink’s other point that the U.S. and other prominent world powers underestimated the will of leaders in smaller countries is not only valid, but a problem that has been a weakness in humanity for a long time. Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated by Mexicans in honor of their victory against the French in the 19th century. The main reason for the French’s defeat was their belief that the Mexicans were inferior and could not compare with their military. Their arrogance shows the human tendency to believe they are superior on the basis that their country, society, or race is more developed. Since this pretentiousness is a reoccurring issue in dealing with foreign relations, it was also a large factor in determining alliances during the Cold War.

-Haley McGeorge

Evgeny Morozov: How the Net aids dictatorships

In his 2009 TED Talk, Evgeny Morozov dispels the common misconception that electronics and media can only promote free thought and policies of democracy. He explains that the government of these censured societies are less controlled than people in democracies tend to believe and that the government is adapting their methods to fit the more technological future. His claim is that technology can assist in the development of totalitarianism rather than hinder it.

Morozov states that “ they are building what I call the Spinternet. The combination of spin, on the one hand, and the Internet on the other,” and “On the past it would take you weeks, if not months , to identify how Iranian activists connect to each other. Now you actually know how they connect to each other by looking at their Facebook page. I mean KGB, and not just KGB, used to torture in order to actually get this data. Now it’s all available online.”

In the first quote, the speaker exposes the true nature of the internet which is, although some of it contains good information, much of it is manipulated to control its users. The speaker demonstrates how the oppressive government can adapt to these new mediums of propaganda to display its fake news or anti-democratic views. In the second quote, Morozov broaches the issue of government surveillance and the lack of privacy the internet provides. He uses a humorous analogy to show how the government can access all of the information about its citizens through new “democracy promoting” technology which in turn allows them to gain a tighter grip on the people and take their freedoms.

Morozov is accurate in the fact that media can be a powerful tool in the hands of a strict government because propaganda and control over the people’s minds has always been a deciding factor in national and international conflicts. In 1776, Thomas Jefferson published the Declaration of Independence severing all of the colonies’ ties with the British Empire. While this document was used to provoke King George III and declare a new nation, it had an even more important impact on the attitudes of the colonists. Jefferson filled the declaration with vivid imagery and colorful diction in order to incite anger in the Americans and cause them to be more passionate about the war and their new country because he knew that, without the absolute support of the people, there was no chance for victory. In his speech found on TED talks, Hubertus Knabe illustrates the structure of the Stasi, the Russian police force of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). He explains that the key factor that shaped the Stasi into the terrifying oppressive force it was and kept the people enslaved was the network of informants in everyday society. The people of East Germany were brainwashed into believing that exposing their closest family or friends was the only way to keep order and protect themselves. While watching his speech, I was reminded of the novel 1984 by George Orwell written in 1949 and later Knabe actually goes on to mention it pointing out the fact that in both cases “the apparently only trustable person was an informer.” It is remarkable the similarity between Knabe’s account and the story in which the information being provided by the government and to the government allowed for absolute control over the population. Because of the power of propaganda and now the possibility of government censorship of media through technology, if a conflict between the Russian Federation and the United States today, it could be even more devastating than the last because of an even greater opportunity for radical indoctrination of the masses.

-Haley McGeorge

Chapter 3: Cold War. Pages 53-89

In the third section of the book, Fink describes the deteriorating relations between the members of the Grand Alliance due to their now irrefutable differences in peace ideals that can no longer be disguised by the greater German enemy and the beginning events of the Cold War that define its impact on history.  She relates Stalin’s resolute claims to areas in Europe previously weakened by the war that would give him immense control in Europe. Her claim is that even though the overall cause behind the Cold War was the distinction between the political ideas of the West and East, the reasons it was so influential and memorable were the massive strives for control in the world after the end of WWII and the imposing arms race, specifically in the area of nuclear weapons.

In chapter 3, Fink states that “Both regimes represented not only a renunciation of the Nazi past but also the revitalization of two political traditions-Marxism and liberalism- each claiming redemptive power over Germany and Europe’s future and each mirroring the Cold War itself,” (page 75) and “The near collisions in Berlin and the Korean War had added a military dimension, and the escalating nuclear arms race lent an element of rigidity and terror to US-Soviet encounter,” (page 83).

In the first quote, the author shows the potential for conflict with two groups with adverse ideals in very close proximity. When the countries were separated by either western Europe or the Pacific ocean, the possibility of tensions had more stability. She shows how the area of Germany is too small for more than one superpower to occupy and how the peaceful compromises over territory were too delicate to last. In the second quote, the author explains that because the nations had disagreements about the foreign territories, the animosity had exceeded the bounds of politics and economics thereby growing larger and endangering more people. She further explains that military involvement creates a new zone for competition known as an arms race. The arms race would raise the stakes of the war and place the entire planet in jeopardy.

I agree with the claim that the power endeavors in the lesser countries and areas of the world caused the majority of tensions attributed to the Cold War because all parties in the world had the possibility of being affected by the rivalry, and it raised the opportunity for propaganda in the opposite nation. Yellow journalism and propaganda have always been a major factor in war because the people’s support can help determine an army’s strength. An example would be during WWII when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and the news reached Britain. The British people were outraged by the infringement on the Czech and Polish people’s right, and while the British didn’t go to war with Hitler immediately, the invasion was used as a tool to recruit soldiers to fight when they did declare war. I also believe that atrocities and war crimes committed by other countries can be used to distract and divert attention from those done by our own. In conclusion, I believe that the struggle for rule over outside areas was a large factor in the cause of the Cold War because it provides an opportunity for the government to create anger and raise support.

-Haley McGeorge

Chapter 2: The Grand Alliance. Pages 27-52

In the second section of the book, Fink further illustrates the relations of the allies during the World Wars against Germany. She explains that while the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union were all united against a common enemy, they were anything but trustful of one another. Her claim is that events that occurred because the Grand Alliance existed served to further highlight the differences in the leaders of the West and Soviet Russia and the countries themselves, thereby, sowing the seeds for the Cold War we remember today.

In chapter 2, Fink states that “ The delay in opening a second front not only contributed to heightened tensions among the three, to the extreme disparity between Western and Soviet casualties in World War II, and to a half century of Cold War debate,” (page 32) and “Yet underneath the amity of Tehran lay the seeds of future conflict. Unconvinced by Anglo-American bickering and Roosevelt’s caustic private remarks about British French imperialism, Stalin recognized the fundamental differences between Moscow and the West,” (page 36).

In the first quote, the author exposes the hesitation of the West to directly aid the Soviet Union with their own troops, and thereby shows the lack of concern they had for the communist country. This serves as one example of the fragile alliance made between the countries and showing how Stalin would have felt like an outsider, ultimately giving him resentment toward the United States and Great Britain. The second quotes says that Stalin was able to recognize the difference between him and the rest of the leaders and was not fooled into believing that the United States would take sides with him instead of Great Britain. Tehran and other conferences held while the Great Alliance existed exposed just how different the places were, showing that future partnerships were highly unlikely.

I agree with the claim that the Grand Alliance is a cause of the severity of the Cold War because more tension results from a wrongdoing than from simple distrust. An easy example of this occurs in everyday life. It is much more likely that you will dislike someone who knocked you books on the ground than someone who is a democrat when you are a republican. The reason behind this is because we know that humans are not just one belief or characteristic but rather a compilation of opinions and views on the world so their actions toward us will have a greater influence on us than their beliefs. This is not to say that views and opinions are unimportant in our judgment on a person-after all in my last post I said that a cause of the Cold War was the communism manifested by the Bolshevik revolution- I am only saying that their actions toward us will impact our view of them for a long time. In conclusion, I believe the Grand Alliance’s existence reinforced the tensions of the Cold War because it showed Stalin and the Soviet Union just how much the West differed and distrusted them.

-Haley McGeorge

Introduction and Chapter 1 Prelude: Soviet Russia and the West. Pages 1-26

In this first section of the book, Fink describes the tenuous relations between the larger nations during the World War periods. She demonstrates the enormous impact that the Russian revolutions had on international affiliations. The extremely contrasting economical, political, and social opinions of the Soviet Union to the rest of the world and the quick overturn of the Russian imperial court caused severe uneasiness in the West, making alliances between the groups arduous and virtually impossible.

In chapter 1, Fink states that “The Bolshevik’s seizure of power in November 1917 not only shaped the outcome of World War 1 but also change the history of the twentieth century. For more than three years tsarist Russia has been an indispensable member of the Triple Entente with France and Great Britain,” (pages 5-6) and “Western leaders denounced the revolution as a German-Bolshevik conspiracy and feared the spread of strikes, mutinies, and rebellions across their borders,” (page 6).

In the first quote, the author makes her claim that the revolution had a lasting impact on the aftermath of all of the events of the 1900’s and shows that one of the reasons for this was the breakup of the Triple Entente. Fink explains that the swift and sudden topple of the monarchy in Russia was an abrupt wake up call to the other imperial governments in Europe because it was extremely unexpected. The second quote exposes the panic and paranoia the revolution struck into the governments of the West and suggests the lingering effect it will have on them. Not only is the overthrow unexpected, it presents an entirely thought process and system of government that conflicts with everything the West believes. This guarantees that it will be an event not easily forgotten.

I agree with the claim that the Bolshevik’s sudden and unforeseen overturn and the new ideas of communism are major causes of the Cold War because history shows events in which humans have reacted violently to ideas that were different from the popular belief. An obvious example would be when Nicolaus Copernicus discovered that the earth and other planets revolve around the sun not, in fact, the earth itself. The discovery was widely disbelieved and many disagreed for the simple that it was in extreme contrast with the current opinions. I am not saying that communism should be believed or practiced, but that it received the same knee-jerk reaction from Western government’s that Copernicus’ revelation got from religious leaders, giving a lasting feeling of nervousness to the world. I would also agree because abruptness tends to yield anxiousness in a more definite form. When presenting someone with a gift, we do not tell them what it is beforehand because surprise grants a more profound reaction. In conclusion, I concur with Fink because an event that is both shocking and threatening is one that will leave a lasting impression.

-Haley McGeorge