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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: History
  • Document length: 788 words

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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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