How has the collapse of formal Western Imperialism during the early- to mid-1900s shaped the post-Cold War world of the late-1900s and early-21st century?
“Imperialism” is defined as, implementation of any form of political or economical control or influence by one powerful community over the other. West believes in imperialism as a rule to expand their empire. They entertain different ways and by the end of 19th centaury gain a tremendous amount of empire if far areas and controlled over their political economic and trades. London was their financial capital. But as their empire expand further the British no longer could handle the social morals of the countries and there then began a conflict. The conflict gave rise to nationalist who in turn waged wars against the Britain. In due course World War One period 1914 till 1918 broke. Left Britain in frail economic position which was completely destroyed by World War 2 in 1935- 1945. The two super power rose naming United States and Soviet Union, dividing world in two halves of liberals and bureaucrats.
Imperialism is a controversial statement and is more rarely used as an abstract. Western imperialism had certain goals like, to handle economic gain or to develop political power through conquest of foreign lands and ideology. The western imperialism had diverse methods to control others. The type of pressure can be peaceful, forceful or violent depending on the retaliation. Even legal instruments were used to exercise control. They also use actual political relation of the country against them (Kohn, 1958, p. 4).
On the other hand, during the early 20th century competition or rivalries between the European powers became progressively more intense (Galtung, 1980). The nationalist movements on the continent had also been resolved. Germany and Italy tried to elbow their way into the assembly of the imperialism. All these factors jointly directed the outbreak of world war one (Ferguson, 1994). In this horrific event 10 million people gave up their lives and British had to face a great loss of health and wealth. It was a huge blow to their economic ability to sustain their overseas empire.
The Cold War
The “Golden Twenties” or “Age of Red” was a time of economic explosion, but underside of all that, World War 1 had immense impact over the Europeans economy (Mowat, 1955). Many were under American dept. The Wall Street Crash of 1929, escorted in economic depression era. More crises arose after this. The working class families lost their savings, factories were bankrupted, millions were jobless, and banks were mutilated (Galtung, 1980). In Europe, fascism arose, particularly the imminent to power of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party in Germany. This successively, led to another vast outbreak of War named World War Two. This was a far larger war than the World War One. It involved a huge area of the world and became theaters of war including larger parts of China and the pacific.
In the documentary by Niall Ferguson 2006, he showed that 1942 played a pivotal role in the story. Had it been unfolded differently the World War two might had ended in some other way. This time European nation ended completely destroyed, ruined and bankrupt. The post war years saw their great empires rapidly dismantled. This in turn divided world in two halves of great powers, the United States as west power- capitalist and Soviet Union as the Far East- communalist. After this begin the worst of all wars, the Cold Wars.
Armed martial and political tension was due to Cold War after World War 2 (1947-1991). It was called “Cold” because there was no significant hostility physically, but small local wars also called proxy wars (Huntington, 1993). Now it can be regarded that Soviet Union was regeneration to western imperialism with even more centrifugal, expansionist, inspiring of both geopolitical and socio-economic expansion of the old cosmology (Riabchouk, 1996). The geopolitical expansion is usually known as colonialism build by bureaucrats, and the socioeconomic expansion as imperialism build by capitalists.
First two years were the initial chapters of Cold Wars. USSR focused over East while USA began expanding armed and economic aid to the countries of Western Europe. The foremost crises of the Cold War were The Berlin Blockade (1948-49). This tug-of-war between the powerful nations was soon given a cozener edge by keeping nuclear weapon in their armory. It included communist regimes in central Europe, China, Cuba, South East Asia and Africa. Some major incidences turned “hot” along the process. Particularly, the Korean War (1950-3) and the Vietnam War (1963-75).
In Andrei A. Gromyko: on American Intervention in Korea, 1950, it summed up the whole event by spotting that under the pressure of United States Government, Security Council adopted the unlawful resolution of June 27th. It proved that Security Council was not acting as a body but a puppet to the recent governing party which was United States at that time, to unleash the war. He marks that if Security Council would have been on tranquility side they would have reacted way before situations were out of hand. Only Sectary General of United Nation and Security Council could have stopped it happening but they did not made such an attempt, evidently knowing that such peaceful action contravene the provokers’ plan.
The post-Cold War world of the late-1900s and early-21st century destabilized various newly independent nations’ abilities to prosper communally and financially including healthy lines. It encouraged numerous localized but disparaging conflicts in Asia and Africa. It increased an extensive fear of sudden annihilation around the entire world (Yamamoto, 2000). For western nations the Cold War years saw huge economic advancement.
As 20th century “War of the World” ended, Ferguson 2006 concluded that it was ridiculous to remember the Cold War’s affectionately as time of peace and stability. He states that during period of 1945- 83, more than 20 million lost their lives and 100 major military conflicts took place. But his real conclusion was to warn the West that even with the end of Cold war the China is seen as new rising power. He states that we can avoid repeating history by understanding the faults. The combination of ideology (fascism, communism) with advanced military weaponry and production as an explanation to the unprecedented levels of chaos in those early years. These power fought Cold War’s which were not physical fight but its turmoil was equivalent or even more then the World wars. The result was that it ruined many lives and economy and at the end America was left as sole power. The Cold War turned into hot Wars naming, Vietnam War and Korean wars.
Ferguson, N. (1994). Public finance and national security: the domestic origins of the First World War revisited. Past & Present, (142), 141-168.
Galtung, J., Heiestad, T., & Ruge, E. (1979). On the decline and fall of empires: the Roman Empire and Western imperialism compared. Tokyo: United Nations University.
Huntington, S. P. (1993). The clash of civilizations? Foreign affairs, 22-49.
Kohn, H. (1958). Zion and the Jewish national idea. Maslahat al-Istilamat.
Mowat, C. L. (1955). Britain between the Wars, 1918-1940. London, Methuen.
Riabchouk, M. (1996). The Nativist-Westernizer Controversy in Ukraine: The End or the Beginning? Journal of Ukrainian studies, 21(1), 27.
Yamamoto, E. K. (2000). Interracial justice: Conflict and reconciliation in post-civil rights America. NYU Press.