One can examine three countries that were partitioned during the Cold War period, for example, Germany, Korea, and Vietnam. In Europe and Asia, the division can be explained by the political confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union, while in Africa, the partitioning originated from the colonial legacies and internal conflicts. Yet, each of these divisions led to significant economic and political discrepancies between the divided territories. Moreover, these events intensified the rivalry between two military blocs, namely NATO and the countries of the Warsaw Pact.
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The partitioning of Germany was discussed during the Potsdam Conference, during which the major political leaders reached the agreement according to which the territory of this country had to be divided into four occupation zones that had to be controlled by the Allied Powers. The increasing hostility between the U.S. and USSR led to the creation of two states, namely the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Moreover, one should speak about the creation of the Berlin Wall (Bentley and Ziegler, 856). The partitioning was not the only available alternative. Germany could remain united, provided that there had not been a rivalry between the U.S. and the USSR. This event demonstrated that the two superpowers failed to reach a compromise. Additionally, it intensified the Cold War antipathies. Among long-term results, one can distinguish significant economic inequalities between GDR and FRG.
The division of Korea can also be viewed as a consequence of the Cold War. After the Japanese occupation of Korea, the Soviet Union brought its troops to the country in August 1945. In turn, the United States became involved in this conflict in September 1945 (Bentley and Ziegler, 857). This confrontation was the major cause of partitioning that gave rise to two countries, the Democratic Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea. This division could have been avoided if the governments of the United States and the Soviet Union were willing to reach a compromise. The short-term consequence is military confrontation, which is known as the Korean War. Moreover, one should speak about the drastic economic discrepancies between North and South Korea. Furthermore, North Korea is probably the world’s most totalitarian state that suppresses virtually every form of political activism. Moreover, the partitioning of this state prompted the USSR, and the US became involved in various military conflicts throughout the world.
Finally, it is important to speak about the Republic of South Africa. This country was affected by the internal conflicts and the legacies of colonialism, which denigrated black people virtually to the status of slaves. Apartheid was the set of discriminatory policies that were aimed at marginalizing the black population of the country. This division did not exist geographically, but it affected the political, economic, and cultural life of the country. The main consequence of this partitioning was the anti-Apartheid movement that was represented by many political activists such as Nelson Mandela. In turn, among the long-term impacts, one can distinguish significant economic inequalities in this country. This division prompted the international community to impose sanctions on the regimes in which human rights were violated.
The territory of the United States was partitioned by the government of the country. For instance, after the Louisiana Purchase, the new territory was divided into different states such as Iowa, Missouri, or Arkansas. Additionally, in America, various cities attempted to secede from one state and join the neighboring state. Moreover, the Civil War might have resulted in the partitioning of the United States, provided that the Confederate forces had prevailed in the Civil War. Unlike Germany or Korea, the partitioning of the U.S. had been caused by internal conflicts rather than external influence. Moreover, the partitioning did not transform the political or economic life of the country.
The twentieth century has been marked by three military and political confrontations. In particular, one should speak about the Great War, World War II, and the Cold War. Each of these conflicts is related to militarism, imperialism, militarism, and the system of alliances. Overall, it is possible to say that these conflicts can be attributed to the geopolitical ambitions of countries that attempted to dominate international relations.
First of all, one should speak about the Great War, which was partly caused by the rivalry of different empires such as Great Britain, Germany, or Russia. They pursued the policy of imperialism and tried to extend their geopolitical influence. Furthermore, one should focus on the importance of nationalistic antipathies which existed at the beginning of the nineteenth century. For instance, in Germany, the state propaganda incited the hostility of the population toward possible rivals such as English or Russian people. Furthermore, Germany began to increase its military capacity, and this example was followed by other countries. This is why the role of nationalism should not be overlooked. Furthermore, much attention should be paid to the system of alliances that was formed at the turn of two centuries. In particular, one should discuss the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente. The confrontation between the countries, which were the members of these alliances, involved other states into the war.
In turn, the Cold War can also be viewed as an example of a global confrontation. This rivalry is closely related to imperialism. The USA and the USSR could be viewed as two superpowers that were willing to dominate the geopolitical relations. Moreover, these countries managed to attract many allies or coerce them to join either NATO or the Warsaw Pact. The influence of militarism was also significant because both countries attempted to increase their military capacity. The increasing arms race gave rise to the so-called atomic anxiety experienced by many people. Yet, one can mention that nationalism was a part of the Cold War was primarily because many nations were willing to become independent of the colonial rule, while the United States and the Soviet Union tried to make use of them. Thus, one should not forget about the process of decolonization.
Finally, it is necessary to speak about World War II. In this case, the critical role was played by nationalism. After the Treaty of Versailles, many German politicians argued that the country was turned into a scapegoat. Moreover, they advocated the idea Germans had been superior to other nations. In the thirties, the Third Reich turned into a militaristic state that invested in the war economy. Additionally, they were urged to struggle for living space or Lebensraum. Such trends could be observed in other countries. For example, one can mention the famous slogan, “Asia for Asians” (Bentley and Ziegler, 844). Such trends eventually resulted in many atrocities such as the Holocaust. Thus, nationalism was one of the main factors that shaped the political landscape. The role of imperialism was minimized, especially after the Great War. This situation can be explained by the downfall of many empires after 1917. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that before World War II, there was no rigid system of alliances; they were formed during the war. Moreover, the Allied Powers often had conflicting interests.
Overall, this discussion indicates the major military conflicts which shaped the history of the nineteenth century were driven by the geopolitical ambitions of various countries that had different political ideologies. Moreover, each of these conflicts involved the countries that did not have imperialistic objectives.
Bentley, Jerry and Herbert Ziegler. Traditions & Encounters, Volume 2 From 1500 to the Present. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher. Education, 2011. Print.