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Why did relations between the USA and USSR worsen in the years 1949-1961?

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Why did relations between the USA and USSR worsen in the years 1949-1961? A series of clashes and misunderstandings caused the Cold War after the Second World War. Between 1949 and 1961 the relations between the superpowers worsened with every year. The different ideas, beliefs, and change of the leadership of USA and USSR distanced them even more. The first important event to happen between them was the Chinese Revolution in January 1949 when the Chinese Communists came to power. This increased tension between USA and USSR because one more strong country became communist which was a nightmare for the USA. Tension was increased because of Korea when both of its sides (Communists North and Capitalist South) were preparing to invade the other to reunify their country. When the Allies broke down all the agreements at Yalta about Germany Stalin did not co-operate by keeping his promises so the cold war begun with the Berlin Blockade. The superpowers were competing and trying to prove that their ideas were better than the others. ...read more.


Co-existence suggested that relations with USA were going to improve but the increased competition between the superpowers seemed to create a new type of threat. Khrushchev restored relations with the Yugoslavian leader Tito and accepted Yugoslavians right to be independent. This event and his speech which criticized Stalin's policy proved to people that he was different to Stalin and they believed that he was going to introduce another better type of communism. The increased influence of the Soviets in Eastern Europe and the Soviet troops in there made the crushing of the anti-Soviet Hungarian Revolution in 1956 all the easier. There was a fight in Budapest between Hungarian and Soviet troops when Nagy became Prime Minister of Hungary. USSR invaded in November 1956 and crushed the Hungarian uprising because Nagy set up a new government including non-communist and tried to get out of the Warsaw pact. The West did nothing because it was afraid that military action would lead to war. ...read more.


In December 1961 the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, announced that he was setting up a communist government in Cuba. Communism had not been established in the West until then. USA responded by increasing their military spending because they were threatened by the communist Cuba which is so near them. Something was going to happen and USA knew that. Each of these events had a big effect on the relations between the superpowers. Communist Cuba was one of the most important and effective ones because Cuba was the first communist controlled place in the West and it had been dominated by the USA for a long time. It turned to communism which made USA angry and threatened by the success of the USSR. However the most important event that happened in the period of years 1949-1961 was the formation of NATO. It was clear that NATO was a military defensive organization against the USSR. The formation of NATO and the USSR response to it, the Warsaw Pact, proved that the world's two strongest states did not get along well and each was the main threat to the other. ...read more.

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