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

The aftermath of world war 2 and the cold war

Extracts from this document...


Victor Fung Class 11(1) IB Sept. 2, 2008 In the aftermath of World War 2, the European countries such as Great Britain, France and Germany emerged weakened both militarily and economically. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as unrivaled superpowers, both keen to make most of their advantage. Although the Soviets and the Americans fought together in the war, the defeat of Germany had made them set their sights on each other. Lack of a common enemy, increasing public pressure, and drastically different ideologies eventually led to arms race that was later known as the Cold War. ...read more.


Although Germany was partitioned between them, Japan was wholly occupied by the Americans, but that was only the beginning of the problems between the two. Having bested their enemies in the war, both the American and Soviet people found new nationalist pride in being the "victors." Therefore the leaders of both countries had to maintain their dominance to satisfy their people or risk being overthrown. In the United States, the isolationist policy was no longer reasonable for the public, and with a massive army, expanding influence around the globe both militarily and economically was only the natural course of action. ...read more.


With both powers expanding their spheres of influence, it was no surprise that these two superpowers would clash. This problem was made worse with the radically different ideologies the two governments possessed. As a result, there was no middle ground; countries were bound to alienate either country regardless of their choice of government. Both Great Britain and the United States were "alarmed" at the rapid expansion of communism, which obviously threatened their own influence, hence leading to the Iron Curtain speech. The United States and the Soviets both competed with each other in supporting revolution in strategically important areas. As a result, it was inevitable that these two countries should come into conflict with each other, starting the Cold War with decades of proxy wars and arms races. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. World War 1 Information

    giving them more land, but Russia refuses so Poles attack in 1920 > fight for 6 months and they agree on new border- East of Curzon Line but not at the 1772 line > Leaves 4.2 million non-Poles in Poland (revenge in 1939)

  2. Causation of Cold War

    Through the Soviets' aggressive nature, they disregarded both the Yalta and Potsdam agreements by occupying much of Eastern Europe and leaving 30,000 troops in Northern Iran after a settled date. The USSR was searching to expand, grow and gain power.

  1. The Impact of the Manhattan Project on the Cold War

    At first the President was not willing to take the risk and was concerned about getting the money necessary, but eventually became convinced of the value of exploring atomic energy. Einstein drafted his letter with the help of the Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard, one of a number of European scientists

  2. The cold war - the conferences and the start of the cCold War

    At the beginning of the conference, Truman informed Stalin about the existence of this atomic bomb - Half way through the conference, Churchill was defeated in a general election and he was replaced at the conference by the new British Prime Minister, the Labor Party Leader Clement Attlee Yalta: Stalin,

  1. Investigation: The Cuban Missile Crisis as a Thaw in the Cold War

    Additionally, the memoir looks back on the crisis to look at lessons to learn and what to gain from the experience. This insight into the EXCOMM allows the reader to realize the thoughts of the people deciding the fate of the country, however the source is limited because it is

  2. Who was responsible for the Cold War?

    It was logical for Stalin to say that capitalism was evil because this philosophy was what the USSR was built on. For this then to be interpreted by the US as an aggressive move showed a lack of 'Realpolitik' in American foreign policy in that, instead of attempting to cooperate

  1. Why Did War Time Friends Become Cold War Enemies?

    The political and economical differences between the USSR and the United States may be considered as one of the main differences and causes of the break of the Cold War. Both nations being political and economical opposites were sure to have some confrontations, in the United States; the government is elected by free democratic elections.

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    The conflict as a whole: - Divisions between the Israeli's and Palestinians widened again, particularly in relation to the Israelis on the left who had previously worked hard in an attempt to find a solution to the problem. It was hard to fight for this cause as Palestinians had cheered in support of the scud missiles heading to Israeli cities.

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