Cold War

The Cold War[1] refers to the heightened tension that existed between
the United States and the Soviet Union during the period following the
World War II until the end of 1980s. In this essay we shall discuss: when,
why and how the Cold War began, the factors that perpetuated it from the
1940s through the 1980s, and when and why it ended.
The Cold War began after the Second World War when the United States
and the Soviet Union emerged as the two major powers of the world. Even
before the war had ended, it had become evident that both countries wanted
to play a leading role in the international affairs.[2] The fact that both
countries represented the opposite spectrums of political ideologies (with
the US representing democracy, individual liberty and capitalism, and the
USSR being committed to the spread of the communist revolution around the
world) further complicated the situation.
The event that is believed to have been the start of the Cold War was
the installation of a pro-Communist provisional government in Poland by the
USSR soon after they had driven out the occupying German forces from the
country in 1945. The Soviets proceeded to establish their “sphere of
influence” in Eastern Europe by helping bring Communist governments to
power in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, as well. The US President retaliated
by issuing the Truman Doctrine in 1947 that authorized U.S. aid to anti-
Communist forces in Greece and Turkey.
The Cold War was further perpetuated by the disagreement between the
Soviet Union and the Western allies led by the US on the fate of Nazi
Germany after the war. It led to the formal division of the country into
East (under Soviet influence) and West (under Western influence) Germanys
in 1949 as well as the division of the city of Berlin. (Bell, p.71)
The Cold War soon spread to areas beyond Europe. The Soviet testing of
the atomic bomb a…