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Causes of the Cold War

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Introduction

Causes of the Cold War There were far reaching ideological, economic and political differences between the United States and the Soviet Union before the start of the Second World War, of which were intensified as a result shared suspicions following the Second World War. 1. Primary Causes Ideological: The United States and the Soviet Union represent two opposing systems of government. In the United States, the government is elected, and thus influenced by the freedom of elections. The public is able to form political parties in order to express their political positions. Americans also possess the right of assembly, of press, and the right of speech. Now, in the Soviet Union of Russia, the government is fashioned by the hands of the Communist Party. Unlike the United States, the Russian people do not have the right to form their own parties. In addition to this, they are not entitled to the right of assembly, of press, or of speech. These two systems of government are entirely opposed to each other. As a result, there was little room for any compromise whatsoever between Russia and the United States. ...read more.

Middle

Now, by 1945, at a meeting known as the "Yalta Conference," Russia obtained the Curzon Line, as the new marking of boundary with Poland, and in addition to this, the control of the eastern half of Germany. The war came to close in May of 1945, and Russia quickly consolidated its control over Eastern Europe. The Russian Red Army began by influencing the post-war elections. They intimidated voters and changed the voting lists. Although those who were not communists were still able to gain some votes, the majority of votes went directly to the communists. The result was this: the coalition governments that had been formed immediately following the war were now largely dominated by the communists. Two of the key ministries - Defence and Military (Police) - remained under constant communist control. Stalin, who was not satisfied with communist control of Eastern Europe, encouraged that the communists take part in the immediate post-war elections that were occurring in Western Europe. In late 1946, the French and Italian Communists were becoming the most powerful parties in both Italy and France. ...read more.

Conclusion

Poor relations between the United States and the Soviet Union: The deteriorating relations between the Soviet Union and the United States were reflected in two minor incidents in the year. Land-Lease was abruptly terminated by the United States and the Russian request for American economic aid for the purposes of post-war reconstruction was ignored by the government of the United States. (During the Second World War, the U.S. supplied much war material to the Allied nations through a Lend and Lease programme. As the Lend and Lease programme was suddenly stopped, the war-ravaged Soviet Union could not obtain American material support to help her post-war economic reconstruction.) The poor relations between the East and West were also reflected in a speech by Churchill. In March 1946, Churchill made a speech at Fulton, Missouri in which he said, "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent .... Behind that line lie all the capitals of the central and Eastern Europe - all are subject in one form or another not only to Soviet influence but also to a very high and increasing control from Moscow." The Fulton speech increased the American suspicion of Soviet aggressive designs in Europe. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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