The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

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The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II. This rivalry was between two groups: the Communist and non-Communist nations. On one side were the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and its Communist allies. On the other side were the United States and its democratic allies.The rivalry was called the Cold War because it did not actually lead to fighting and had no real battle. There are many reasons that the Cold War started and there are many conflicts with other nations that happened around the Cold War which linked to the U.S.S.R. and U.S. This essay will outline the main causes and conflicts of the Cold War.
No one is sure exactly why the Cold War began but many say that the Yalta Conference, a meeting of Allied leaders in February 1945, was a high point. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, the Big Three Allies, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin, met and made plans to form the United Nations as Stalin said he would go against Japan within three months after Germany surrendered. They also developed the Declaration on Liberated Europe, where they pledged to hold democratic elections in countries freed from the control of Germany and its allies. However, the Soviet Union didn’t keep this agreement. The United States felt betrayed by Stalin's refusal to carry out all of his promises and by his determination to establish a "sphere of influence" in Eastern Europe.
Roosevelt died in April 1945 and Harry S. Truman took over as President. Germany surrendered in May 1945 and the main Allied leaders met once again for
the last time at Potsdam, near Berlin, in July 1945. Just before the meeting, Churchill's Conservative Party was defeated in an election. Clement R. Attlee took over for Churchill during the Potsdam Conference.
At Potsdam, many disagreements arose. The United Kingdom and the United States said that the U.S.S.R. was communizing the countries of Eastern Europe. The Western nations agreed to give 40,000 square miles of German territory to Polish control.
During 1945 and 1946, the Soviet Union cut off all contacts between Western and Eastern Europe. In March 1946, Churchill warned that "an iron curtain has descended across the Continent" of Europe. In 1946, the U.S.S.R. organized Communist governments in Bulgaria and Romania. In 1947, Communists took control of Hungary and Poland. Communists gained full power over Czechoslovakia in 1948. These countries became Soviet satellites, nations controlled by the U.S.S.R..
Albania already had turned to Communism. Enver Hoxha, who led the Communist National Liberation Army in an Albanian civil war during World War II, established a Communist government in 1944. Yugoslavia also joined the Communist “bloc”. Communists were led by Josip Broz Tito who then took over the government.
East and West opposed each other in the United Nations. In 1946, the U.S.S.R. rejected a U.S. proposal to control nuclear energy production and research. The Soviet Union believed the United States had a lead in nuclear weapons. The
Soviet Union accused the United States of planning a third world war.
In the fall of 1946, Greek Communists went against the Greek government. The United Kingdom had been giving military and economic aid to Greece. The British told the United States they could no longer give enough help to the Greeks. The British also said that they could not help Turkey turn away from Communist pressure. In March 1947, President Truman declared that the United States would help any free nation resist Communist attack. U.S. Congress gave $400 million for aid to Greece and Turkey. With this aid, both Greece and Turkey were able to resist Communism. This was known as the Truman Doctrine, which then developed into the Containment Policy. The Containment Policy was designed to hold back the expansion of Communism throughout the world.
The foreign ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union met in Moscow in March and April 1947. They tried to make a German peace treaty but they could not agree. In June 1947, U.S. Secretary of State, George Marshall proposed giving U.S. economic aid to all European nations that would cooperate in plans for their own recovery. This proposal grew into the European Recovery Program, or Marshall Plan, which began in 1948.
The Berlin blockade was the Soviet answer for West Germany. In June 1948, Soviet troops blocked all railroad, highway, and water traffic through East Germany to West Berlin. The Soviet leaders thought their blockade would force the West to leave Berlin. Instead of pulling out of West Berlin, the Americans, British, and
French set up the Berlin Airlift. For 11 months, airplanes supplied West Berlin with food and fuel. The U.S.S.R. lifted the blockade in May 1949. The Allies ended the airlift in September.
During the Berlin blockade, the United States continued to give military aid to Western Europe. The United States, Canada, and 10 Western European nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty in April 1949. This treaty set up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The nuclear arms race began on Aug. 29, 1949, when the Soviet Union tested an atomic bomb. Until then, the United States had been the only nation that knew how to make the atomic bomb. This made the world scared because two of the biggest superpowers both had their hands on nuclear bombs.
In China, Mao Zedong's Communist troops fought the Nationalist armies of Chiang Kai-shek. The United States gave military aid to Chiang. In 1949, Chiang and his government fled to Taiwan. This made China a part of the Communists. North Korean troops invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, and the Korean War began. On June 27, President Truman sent U.S. forces to aid the South Koreans. The United Nations Security Council voted to send UN troops to help South Korea. Sixteen UN members sent troops to help South Korea as Chinese Communist troops aided the North Koreans. Peace talks began in July 1951. They went on for two years while bloody fighting continued. Finally, in July 1953, representatives of the UN and the Communists signed an armistice. In 1954, representatives of both sides met in Geneva and Switzerland, to discuss a political
settlement. But they could not agree on a way to unite North and South Korea.
The Korean War was the first war in which troops of a world organization fought an aggressor nation. For the first time, Americans fought a "hot war" against Communism. Each side avoided attacking targets that could have led to expansion of the war. And each side limited the weapons it used and the territory in which it would fight.
Stalin died on March 5 from a stroke. But this didn’t end anything. The United States tested its first hydrogen bomb in November 1952, and the U.S.S.R. set off its first H-bomb in November 1955.
Cold War tensions increased in eastern Asia during 1954 and 1955. In the spring of 1954, after years of fighting, they defeated the French at Dien Bien Phu. A cease-fire agreement was signed in Geneva in July 1954. However, neither the United States nor South Vietnam signed the agreement, and South Vietnam refused to hold the elections.
In September 1954, the United States and seven other nations signed the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty. This treaty was designed to prevent further Communist expansion in Southeast Asia. The United States believed that if one Southeast Asian nation fell to Communism, the others would also topple over, one after another. This was called the "domino theory." But even with U.S. support, South Vietnam could not defeat the Communist rebels. The rebels, called Viet Cong, were supported by North Vietnam. In 1955, the United States began sending
military advisers to help the South Vietnamese government.
The United States also increased its support of the Chinese Nationalists on Taiwan. In September 1954, the Chinese Communists staged air and artillery attacks against the islands of Quemoy and Matsu. These islands, in the Formosa Strait (now called the Taiwan Strait), were held by the Nationalist Chinese. In 1955, Congress voted to let President Eisenhower use armed force if necessary to protect the Chinese Nationalists.
Meanwhile, technology was changing around the world. The U.S.S.R. improved its ability to produce nuclear weapons. In June 1957, the U.S.S.R. successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile. That same year, the U.S.S.R. launched the first artificial earth satellite, Sputnik 1. In January 1958, the United States launched its first earth satellite. Soviet rocket power was more advanced, but the two powers had clearly established a nuclear "balance of terror." The U.S.S.R. stopped testing nuclear weapons in March 1958, and the United States halted its tests in October.
An American U-2 spy plane was shot down in the U.S.S.R. in May 1960. The Soviet Union captured the pilot, Francis Gary Powers, who confessed he was a spy. Eisenhower accepted personal responsibility for the flight. He admitted that U-2 planes had been flying over the U.S.S.R. taking photographs for four years. When the summit conference began on May 15, Khrushchev demanded that Eisenhower apologize for the U-2 incident. Eisenhower refused, and Khrushchev angrily
canceled his invitation for the president to visit the U.S.S.R.
John F. Kennedy became president of the United States in January 1961. Cold War tensions were high—in Europe, in Asia, and even on the doorstep of the United States, in Cuba. The Cuban government of Fidel Castro became increasingly Communist in 1961. Castro condemned the United States and began to receive military aid from the Soviet Union and other Communist countries. The Cuban government seized millions of dollars' worth of American property in Cuba. The United States ended diplomatic relations with Cuba in January 1961. In April 1961, the United States sponsored an invasion of Cuba by anti-Castro Cubans at the Bay of Pigs. The attack was poorly planned and failed badly. The unsuccessful invasion strengthened Castro's control of Cuba, and it caused the United States to lose face.
Kennedy and Khrushchev met in Vienna, Austria, in June 1961. Khrushchev demanded a free Berlin and an end of the military occupation. The two leaders failed to reach agreement, and Khrushchev again threatened to sign a separate peace treaty with East Germany. In July 1961, the U.S.S.R. canceled cuts in its armed forces and increased military spending.
Growing numbers of East Germans were fleeing to West Germany. On Aug. 13, 1961, the East German Communists began to build a wall of cement and barbed wire between East and West Berlin. To confirm the right of the Western powers to remain in West Berlin, the United States sent troops to the city by highway. U.S. tanks enforced Western rights to enter East Berlin without showing papers to
Communist border guards. Some East Germans escaped to West Berlin after the wall was built, but many were killed in the attempt.
In October 1962, the United States learned that the U.S.S.R. had secretly installed missiles and missile bases in Cuba, about 90 miles from Florida. President Kennedy demanded that the U.S.S.R. remove them. The U.S.S.R. said that it would not remove the missiles unless the United States promised not to invade Cuba and removed its nuclear missiles from Turkey. Kennedy privately agreed to the first proposal and publicly agreed to the second. After a week of extreme tension, Khrushchev removed the Soviet missiles.
After the missile crisis in Cuba, Cold War tensions again eased. In July 1963, the United States, the U.S.S.R., and the United Kingdom approved a treaty to stop the testing of nuclear weapons in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water. In August, the United States and the U.S.S.R. set up a hot line between the White House and the Kremlin. This direct communications link was installed to reduce the risk of accidental nuclear war.
Following the Soviet Union's destalinization campaign, the U.S.S.R. and Communist China began to move along different paths. In 1960, at the third Congress of the Romanian Communist Party, the U.S.S.R. and China quarreled bitterly and openly. The Soviet Union soon cut off technical aid to China. When China attacked India in 1962, the U.S.S.R. supported India. The Soviet Union again backed India when Pakistan and India fought in 1965. China threatened India and
aided Pakistan.
Khrushchev fell from power in October 1964. The new Soviet leaders tried to heal the split with China. But Premier Aleksei N. Kosygin and General Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev was unable to reunite the Communist party.
The Chinese threat to the Soviet Union became more real when China exploded its first hydrogen bomb in June 1967. In March 1969, Soviet and Chinese troops began to fight each other on an island in the frozen Ussuri River. This river is the border between Chinese Manchuria and the Soviet Union's maritime territories. Both countries claimed they owned the island. The fighting soon ended, but the border controversy remained unsettled.
In the Middle East, a six-day war broke out between Israel and the Arab powers in June 1967. The United States backed the Israelis. The U.S.S.R. helped arm the Arabs before the war began, but this did not prevent their defeat. Scattered fighting continued in the area during the late 1960's. The United States and the U.S.S.R. increased aid to the opposing sides. In Africa, most of the newly independent nations remained neutral. They took aid from all the major Cold War powers.
The status of West Berlin, a major Cold War problem, was settled in the early 1970's. France, the United Kingdom, the U.S.S.R., and the United States signed an agreement in 1971 stating that West Berlin was not part of West Germany. The Berlin agreement also allowed free movement of traffic between West Germany and
West Berlin. The pact took effect in 1972, after details were worked out. In 1973, East and West Germany joined the UN.
In 1972, Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid I. Brezhnev signed two agreements, together known as SALT I, to limit the production of U.S. and Soviet nuclear weapons. SALT stands for Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. In 1979, the two countries signed another pact, SALT II, limiting long-range bombers and missiles. But SALT II did not go into effect officially. The U.S. Senate stopped considering the treaty after Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in late 1979 and early 1980. Beginning in 1989, Communist rule came to an end in a number of Eastern European countries, including Poland, Hungary, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia. In addition, East Germany began to allow its people to pass freely to West Berlin through the Berlin Wall, and the East Germans soon began to tear the wall down. Germany was reunified in 1990, when East Germany united with West Germany. In 1991, the Soviet Communist Party lost control of the Soviet government. Later that year, the Soviet Union was dissolved, and the republics that made up the nation became independent states. Russia was by far the largest of these states. In 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin and U.S. President George H. W. Bush formally declared that their countries did not regard each other as potential enemies. These events marked the end of the Cold War.


The Cold War was a conflict of values and ideologies between the United States and the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Western countries wanted the liberated states of Eastern Europe to be ruled with a democratic government and a capitalist economy. Joseph Stalin felt entitled to rule the Eastern European countries it occupied in World War II. Stalin wanted these countries to be used as a buffer to protect USSR boarders. Communist governments in these Eastern European countries would be under the control of the USSR thereby protecting it. The Russian army, ready to attack Berlin was halted so that the Yalta Conference between the "Big Three" (Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt) could determine the wars end. The purpose of the Yalta Conference was to re-establish the countries destroyed and conquered by Germany. Poland and Yugoslavia were given their own governments; Germany was to be divided into zones to be controlled by each of the four countries (US, Great Britain and France and USSR). Berlin was promised to the USSR as part of the eastern half of Germany upon its surrender and Russia agreed to join the war against Japan when the war in Europe was over. Roosevelt was harshly criticized and was said to have 'given away' Eastern Europe. Stalin reneged on his promises and did not allow for democratic elections in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. Communist governments were established and democratic supporters were suppressed. T
he US, still fighting Japan did nothing to stop Stain. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki not only ended the war, but also demonstrated the superiority of the United States over Russia. This demonstration of superiority established fear in the Russian government and pushed the Soviet government towards nuclear technology and militarization. The stage was set for the Cold War. For the next fifty years, America's policy would be one of containment while the Russian objective was to expand their sphere of influence. Russia wanted to spread communism to other countries while the United States fought to prevent its spread. Each country believed they were right. Separation of Berlin, Germany The first real conflict of the Cold War started in the divided Berlin. The country was divided into four zones, where each superpower controlled a zone. In 1946, after reparation agreements broke down between the western and Soviet zones, the west wanted to merge the British, French and American zones.
The west wanted to stimulate the German economy and unite all of West Germany as one. The Soviet Union opposed this since it would give one combined zone more power than its own. When the western powers introduced a new currency into their zones, the Soviet Union responded by ordering the blockade of West Berlins' roads and railways, cutting off all travel by land into the sea. A twenty-mile wide air corridor was the only access to West Berlin. The United States, did not want to relinquish West Berlin; as part of the Marshall Plan, the Berlin Airlift delivered enough goods into West Berlin over 320 days to support the city; airplanes landed on an average of every three minutes. The Soviets tried to distract the airplanes with spotlights and balloons and successfully caused a few crashes. Stalin backed down on May 12, 1949 and West Berlin remained allied with the west until the unification of 1989. West Germany had an economic boom and East Germany gradually rebuilt its economy under the Soviets however, a shortage of skilled workers in West Germany lured many East Germans to flea to the west. East Germans were able to use public transportation to West Berlin and automatically receive West German citizenship. To prevent its citizens from fleeing to the west, in August 1961, Khrushchev built the Berlin Wall physically dividing the country into Eastern communism and Western democracy. The Arms Race 1945-1960 The Arms Race epitomized the Cold War. Both the United States and the Soviet Union spent huge amounts of money in militarization. The idea that the United States and the Soviet Union had the power to destroy each other in the event of an attack was known as mutually assured destruction (MAD). The theory was based on three ideas; 1) Each country had enough weapons to destroy the other; 2) Each nation would be able to detect a first strike before it arrived; 3) Both countries were able to respond adequately before being hit by a first strike. MAD had its roots with the invention of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). Each country sought to decrease the response time in their nuclear defense system. It was essential to place missiles as close to the other country as possible. The United States put missiles in Turkey and the USSR tried to place missiles in Cuba. A backup solution came with the invention of the SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile). This weapon was able to fire a missile from an undetected location off shore of the enemies coast line arriving at its target in only minutes, it would eliminate enemy response. Spy planes were used by the US over Russia to photograph missile sites. After World War II, a U-2 spy plane was shot down in Russia. The pilot, Gary Powers was taken prisoner. In the late 1960's the U-2 was replaced by the SR-71, a spy plane that could fly higher and faster than any surface to air missile. Supposedly, the plane was used to fly extremely high along Russia's borders while using high-powered photography equipment. The idea of deterrence was effective since neither country seemed willing to destroy itself over a particular issue. The fear of nuclear missiles was in their misuse since it was possible that one could be accidentally fired. Fast attack submarines were developed to search and destroy nuclear missile subs hiding in the ocean. Anti-Missile systems such as the Star Wars Laser built to reduce the number of missiles that could reach ground zero. Fear was the motivating factor in both countries militarization. Governments used all available technology to try to defend itself against their perceived enemy.
Cuban Missile Crisis Wanting to expand their sphere of influence, the Soviet Union supported Fidel Castro's dictatorship in Cuba. Nuclear War was avoided within a matter of minutes. In 1962, JFK discovered that on October 16 Khrushchev was placing offensive nuclear missile sites in Cuba. These missiles had the capacity to destroy targets in America with very little advanced notice. A navel blockade of Cuba was set up and the Soviets were warned that no Soviet ships were permitted into Cuba until the missile sites were dismantled. Khrushchev had to decide. He could either back down or test President Kennedy by running through the blockade. Wanting to avoid the possibility of a nuclear attack, Khrushchev ordered the ships to return. However, a communication breakdown occurred and the Soviet ships continued with their previous orders to attack any aggressors. Luckily the Soviet ships passed between the American blockade ships undetected. Thus, the missile crisis ended and the missile silos in Cuba were removed. In an unpublicized agreement, JFK agreed to Khrushchev condition of the removal of US missiles in Turkey and Greece. The United States and Russia each removed their missile positions near the others borders. While trying to increase their Spheres of Influence the United States and Russia inched closer to a nuclear confrontation, however each were simply trying to be bigger and better than the other. The insecurity of both nations gave momentum to this competition. Soviet Union in Egypt In 1954 the United States created the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO), and in 1955, the Baghdad Pact. This was an attempt by the United States along with NATO and its military ties in the Far East (S. Korea, Japan, Taiwan) to contain the Soviet Union. The intent of the Baghdad Pact was to be a Middle Eastern alliance comprised of Arab states and led by the United States and Great Britain. Iraq was the only Arab state that joined. In March 1955, Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser created an Arab alliance including Syria and Saudi Arabia to counter the west's influence in the Middle East. Nasser felt this would establish his independence from the west. This act of defiance was perceived as anti-western. The United States responded by withdrawing it's funding for the Aswan Dam on the upper Nile. Nasser approached the Soviet Union to help complete the dam. The Soviet Union and Nasser had already completed an arms agreement by this time. Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, which had been controlled by the British since 1887. In 1956, France and Britain joined Israel in an attack on Egypt; a Third World country had been drawn into the Cold War. Until 1953, Stalin had not challenged the west outside the confines of his own empire. After Stalin's death in 1953 the Kremlins foreign policy began to change. Nikita Khrushchev who was first secretary of the party led this change. He argued in favor of a more aggressive foreign policy. Prime Minister Malenkov and Foreign Minister Molotov warned against involvement in the Middle East, since British and US navies controlled the Mediterranean. However, Khrushchev and his allies prevailed and began secretly arming Nasser in 1955. Consequently the Soviet Union had an ally in the Middle East. This established a foothold for the Soviet Union beyond the Communist world. The West was being challenged in what was in its monopoly of the Third World

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The conflict in ideologies between capitalism and communism resulted in one of the greatest conflicts of the twentieth century. The belief that freedom and democracy would die under communist rule caused the United States to start a conflict that would last for decades. The decisions made by the United States in W.W.II caused tensions to rise between the U. S. and the Soviet Union. Fear of Communism in capitalist nations, caused the United states government to use propaganda to raise Cold War anxieties. Furthermore, the American media influenced the attitudes of Americans, making a hatred of communism spread ...

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