• 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. How did the Red scare and McCarthyism become such a dominant force in the ...

    McCarthy died three years later in 1957. The legacy of McCarthy shows is haw easy it was to whip up public opinion, and hysteria. McCarthy's allegations had no evidence whatsoever, and wouldn't stand a chance in a court of law today. But still, his accusations were what the people of America were afraid of, what they were expecting.

  2. How did the Soviet Union deal with Eastern Europe, 1945-1956?

    This once again proved the power of the Soviets in the East. However in 1953 Stalin died and Khrushchev took over, many countries under communist rule like Poland saw this an opportunity to strike so they did but all that happened was the same as what happened under Stalin and tanks and troops were sent in to restore order.

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

    on the issue of Eastern Europe breaking away. Also there is the case of Gorbachev and his anti-alcohol campaign that wasted millions of rubbles the USSR needed, also the example of the continuing arms supplies that were at the USSR's expense.

  2. 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.

  1. Why did the relations between superpowers worsen between 1945-1949?

    A government of 'national unity' was to be set up in Poland, comprising both communists and non-communists. Russia was invited to join the United Nations, and Russia promised to join the war against Japan when Germany was defeated. When the Potsdam conference was held in July 1945, Germany had been

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

    rid themselves of the controls imposed on them by Stalin at the end of WWII. One of the reasons Khrushchev took such strong action against Hungary was because he knew that the Western powers were involved in the Suez crisis and would be unlikely to take action to help Hungary by intervening.

  1. Cold War Summary, quotes and revision notes.

    Soviet Union's paranoia about protecting its frotneirs through the maintenance of friendly buffer states - in the USSR there were a number of open acts of dissent. E.g. - Activists protested against the use of military force in Czech in the Red Square on 25th August 1968.

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

    Therefore, it is fair to say that these two organizations had increased suspicion and hostility between the two blocs. It was important to the development of the Cold War as hostility between the two blocs had reached a new height.

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