THE COLD WAR
The cold war is a post 1945 struggle between the U.S. and its allies and the group of nations led by the Soviet Union.Direct military conflict never occurred between the two superpowers, however economic and diplomatic struggles erupted instead.Different interests led to mutual suspicion and hostility in an ever-growing rivalry.
The origins of the Cold War can be followed back to the end of World War II.Following the surrender of Nazi Germany, the alliances between the United States and Great Britain with the Soviet Union began to unravel.By 1948 the Soviets had installed left-wing governments in the countries of Eastern Europe, which were previously liberated by the Red Army.Following this installation of ” soviet satellites”, the Americans and the British feared the permanent Soviet domination of Eastern Europe and the threat of Soviet-Influenced communist parties coming to power in the democracies of western Europe.The Soviets
were determined to maintain control of Eastern Europe in order to safeguard against any possible renewed threat from the west, from which they had been invaded twice in the 19th century by Napoleon and twice more in the 20th by Germany. The United States in retaliation started the Truman Doctrine and the Marshal Plan from which they provided economic, military equipment and financial aid to countries whose postwar poverty fueled the growth of communist parties. The Soviet Union may have accepted these foreign policies as a renewed attempt by the west to isolate and encircle them.Tensions between the two powers grew even more as both sides broke wartime agreements.Stalin failed to honor pledges to hold free elections in Eastern Europe, while Truman refused to honor promises to send reparations from Germany to help rebuild the devastated Soviet Union.It is from these confrontations, along with their opposing philosophies that became known as The Cold War.