Cold War General Outline Using Two Sources.

1430 words - 6 pages

The Cold War was a conflict involving half the world, and lasting from 1947 until 1985. It was a confrontation of East vs. West which was very close to becoming an outright war.After World War II the two main governmental systems each wanted to rule and dominate; the Capitalist/Imperialist and the Communist/Socialist. Both were occupying different sides of Germany (America and Britain on the west side, and Russia on the east side).Both wanted to show the other who would be the major superpower.As soon as the tension was recognizable, other countries took sides; predictably all of the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and some East-Asian countries all joined the U.S. The Soviet Union, Mongolia, Cuba, and some West-European countries joined the Communists. Due to the threat of nuclear weapons, most of the world was running scared.In the second world war, the Soviet Union and the US were allied against Germany. When the allies had victory, Germany was divided (thanks to the Yalta agreement) mainly into the Soviet sector, the American sector and the British/French sector. The agreement let the Soviets have significant power in Europe, which the British did not fully approve of and the Americans flatly disagreed with (due to their dislike of communism). This mutual dislike of political systems posed a major threat to the peace between the two powers.As the Soviets and their communist allies established their new borders, Great Britain and the US became increasingly weary of the communist's desire for more European control. To help repair the huge damage wrought on Eurasia, the US started pushing capitalism in Europe, and founded the World Bank and the International monetary fund, both of which the Soviet Union did not join. When President Truman refused to give the Soviet Union recompense from West Germany's industrial plant, and Stalin responded to this by building a massive wall between east and west Germany.The weariness turned to rivalry between the two superpowers, and this rivalry metamorphosed into many facets. The space race was a very obvious one of these. It was a contest of one-upmanship on a grand scale, both nations attempting to complete certain celestial goals before the other. Another example of the fairly childish rivalry was when the US didn't attend the Olympic games held in the Soviet Union, and then the Soviets did same thing back. The rivalry soon turned serious and there were many acts of espionage from both sides. The feeling of distrust heightened and very soon nuclear missiles were aimed at strategically important positions all over the world, not just at the two main countries.Source 1:"I was born in 1938 so that I first experienced the Cold War, very young, then lived through it to the end when the Russian empire collapsed. The fear was an all-pervasive, low-level anxiety that everyone in the West felt. We all knew that every major city in the world was targeted by at least one ICBM. We all went to sleep each night...

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