There are numerous things that have resulted to wars in the past. Mostly countries fight over territorial dominance, resources, power, et cetera. Although some reasons cited by the warring nations are justifiable, most wars are triggered by malice with leaderships that seeks to dominate others. Comparing war at regional and global scale, the catalysts are surprisingly the same. There are several post modern civilization wars that can be traced, and their causes and effects identified. This paper seeks to establish the main cause and effects of wars. It will highlight several wars that happened during the 19th century around the world.
Causes of war
One of the main causes of war is struggle for ideological dominance. For instance, during the cold war USA and USSR were the main forces fighting ideological dominance around the world. Whereas US citizens had freedom of speech, democratic rights and right to assemble, the Soviet Union was using its communist system to erect leaders while the population was not allowed democratic space, freedom of speech or even right to assemble freely. The two opposing ideologies caused friction between the two greatest nations in Germany and consequently led to Cold War.
As globalization continued to bring more nations in the picture, there was need for a super power. Nation(s) that would dominate and regulate policies and conduct of nations internationally; several countries emerged as the most competitive. However, only USA and USSR could match the amount of resources and human resource need to suppress the rest. Cold war ensued when opposition between USA and USSR could not be resolved in an amicable war. Both nations wanted to be at the top.
Although there was no consensus on which political, social and economic approaches to be used in Germany, a declaration made by President Truman of the US made it an open secret that both nations were engaged in battle for superiority. The marshal plan that was launched in 1947 arguably marked the beginning of the Cold war (Poon 2007).
By 1946, one year to the end of World War II, Russia had great influence in Europe with many countries of Eastern Europe already under communistic principles. Most post war elections that were held in Europe were manipulated by the red army. They tampered with election lists and intimidated voters and in the end most of the leaders that were elected were communists. To secure their interests, the Russians ensured that ministries of security and defense were always under the control of communistic leaders, but Stalin was not satisfied with partial control over Europe and wanted more control and as a result he encouraged formation of strong communistic wings in France and Italy (2007).
Effects of War
Like any other war, the Cold War had tremendous effects on both Russia and United States. It is estimated that the economy of the US doubled between 1940 and 1960; Production of goods and services shot from about two hundred thousand million dollars per year to five hundred thousand million dollars per year (Brayton 2000). The government of Russia on the contrary was reporting negative economy growth. Due to over expenditure in military related activities Russia’s economy was threatening to collapse. This was one of the factors that quelled the Cold War.
Russia had an extensive military budget, with the industry employing about 10 percent of the adults in the country. A slender budget meant that the number of people employed by the industry drastically decreased leaving the number of unemployed youths at the highest point ever. In fact the economy of Russia continued to grief the post war effects until 1990s when it started growing again (2000).
The United States used approximately eight trillion dollars to fund the Cold War and lost about one hundred thousand uniformed soldiers in Korea and Vietnam. The number of Russians that died during this period is not documented but it’s a widely known fact that Russia used more money to finance the war than did the United States. The war also took millions of other lives and left scores of many others as destitute. End of the cold war reduced the number of war refugees tremendous while tribal and regional conflicts also reduced considerably.
Brayton, A. (2000). “International Politics.” American Political Science Review. 74, 884-885.
Calhoun, C. (2002). “Cold War”. Dictionary of the Social Sciences. New York: Oxford University Press.
Poon, HW. (2007). Cold War 1945-1960. Fun Front. Retrieved on July 8, 2012 from http://www.funfront.net/hist/europe/coldwar.htm