• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why did relations between the USA and the Soviet Union worsen between 1948-56?

Extracts from this document...


Why did relations between the USA and the Soviet Union worsen between 1948-56? The arms race between the Soviet Union and the USA was very unsteady and constantly moving. The Soviet Union were always catching up with the USA on the weapons that they had, until the end when they were either in the lead or were ahead of the USA. The arms race started with the USA detonating the first atomic bomb in 1945 on Hiroshima as a result of Japan bombing Pearl Harbour. The Soviet Union equalled out the arms race when they detonated their first atomic bomb in 1949 (4 years ahead of predicted). After that America went back in being in the lead by revealing their own Hydrogen Bomb. Their lead was short as the Russian scientists managed to develop a Hydrogen Bomb as well. ...read more.


This all worsened the relations between the USA and the Soviet Union because they would always be competing for the biggest and most powerful weapons and if they had it they would never reveal their secrets and would only let the other country figure it out for themselves. In 1949, the prospect of further Communist expansion prompted the United States and 11 other Western nations to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Soviet Union and its united Communist nations in Eastern Europe founded a rival alliance, the Warsaw Pact, in 1955. The arrangement of nearly every European nation into one of the two opposing camps formalized the political division of the European continent that had taken place since World War II. This arrangement provided the framework for the military standoff that continued throughout the Cold. Europe was entirely divided and conflict between the Western nations (including the United States, Great Britain, and Franceâ¦) ...read more.


When USA Secretary of State Dean Acheson signed the document, it showed an important change in the American foreign policy. The formation of the Warsaw Pact was in some ways a response to the creation of NATO, although it did not occur until six years after the Western alliance came into being. It was more directly inspired by the rearming of West Germany and its admission into NATO in 1955. In the mid-1950s, the USA and a number of other NATO members began to advocate making West Germany part of the alliance and allowing it to form an army under tight restrictions. The Soviets warned that such an inflammatory action would force them to make new security arrangements, and they did exactly so. This all lead to relations between the USA and Soviet Union worsening because the way they were acting was very hostile to one another and would make the other side very worried about why they would act in the way they were acting. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE International relations 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did the Cold War break out between the United States and the Soviet ...

    Britain and France by the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Stalin was convinced that Britain and France delayed opening the second front, until 1994, because they were waiting until the Soviet Union was seriously damaged and to reduced to poverty by Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union,

  2. How Far Was Gorbachev Responsible For The End Of Soviet Union?

    for example the arms reduction talks were a benefit for the USSR, preventing runaway expansion of the defence budget which would have seriously weakened the USSR. With arms reduction, the Soviet Union would be in a stronger position financially. Upon setting up of the Presidency of the USSR, Gorbachev had

  1. Why did relations between the Soviet Union and the USA change in the years ...

    Clearly unrest between both Super Powers was emerging, and they showed this by their boycott of each Olympic Games. Had the Soviets not invaded Afghanistan you wonder whether the USA would have boycotted the games.

  2. In what ways did relations between the USA and the USSR change between 1948 ...

    However as the USA was unhappy with the spreading of Communism to Cuba because of the foreign policy of containment of Communism, they cut off all trade links to Cuba. Cuba now needed a new market for its sugar and seeing as the USSR and the USA were not on good terms, Castro decided to make alliances with the USSR.

  1. Cold War Summary, quotes and revision notes.

    Military spending was draining both economies. * Soviet Union wanted to limit nuclear weapons because it had superior conventional forces in Europe - reducing nuclear arms would give Soviets a strategic advantage over there over NATO. Similarly, the US wanted to limit nuclear weaponry because it had a strategic advantage

  2. Can the Bombing of Hiroshima be Justified?

    Some people say that the bombing of Hiroshima cannot be justified. This is because Japan was already defeated before the bomb was dropped. In Manual for Change by Dwight D. Eisenhower, he says, ?.in [July] 1945... Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan.

  1. Which was the most important as a reason for the development of the Cold ...

    It was a military pact in which all the member countries agreed to help each other against any acts of aggression.

  2. Edexcel Cold War 1943-1991 Revision (Detailed)

    turned out to be, the biggest trade agreement ever between two countries. Chernenko, who succeeded Andropov as General Secretary was quick to announce the Soviet Boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics on the grounds that the USA were apparently ?manipulating the games for political purposes and using anti Soviet

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work