Essay on Cold War

Submitted By Aaron0623
Words: 824
Pages: 4

One constant theme in Global History is change and the time period of the Cold War which began in 1947 and lasted until 1991 was the continuing state of conflict, tension and competition that existed primarily between the United States and the Soviet Union after World War II. This war was given it’s name because it never actually featured any direct military action and it’s main purpose was to dominate international affairs. Throughout this period the conflict was expressed through military coalitions, espionage, weapons development, invasions, propaganda, and competitive technological development, which included the space race between the two nations. Before the Cold War the events that led up to that point was when World War II ended by the surrender of the Axis powers. Germany surrendered on May 7th to the Western Allies, and May 8th to the Soviet Union, 1945, about a week after Adolf Hitler had committed suicide. Japan was able to hold out for another few months and was preparing for a desperate and bloody defense in the event of an American invasion of the home islands. Atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6th and the 9th. After World War II there were many changes that took place and the United States emerged as the most powerful nation. The Marshall Plan was a rational effort by the United States aimed to reduce the hunger, homelessness, sickness, unemployment, and political restlessness of the 270 million people in sixteen nations in Western Europe. The main goal of The Marshall Plan was to prevent the spread of communism throughout Europe after WW2. Before the war Germany was considered the dominant power on the European continent but all that changed after they were defeated which left an open position for leadership that the Soviet Union quickly took over and also tried to replace Japan’s in Asia as the most dominant power in Asia. The Cold War happened because at the Yalta Conference Stalin promised the allies that the USSR would respect the rights of the people in liberated countries to elect their own post war governments. Then, at the end of the war, the Soviets broke that promise and forcefully installed Communist puppet governments in the East European countries they occupied. At the Potsdam Conference at the end of the European conflict Harry Truman the president of the United States met Joseph Stalin the leader of USSR, and decided he could not trust him. He was afraid that as soon as the United States packed up their Army and went home after the war the USSR would roll its tanks to the English Channel and install puppet governments in Western Europe they way they had in Eastern Europe. The USSR and the US/UK coalition also disagreed on how to occupy and administer the defeated Germany. Truman decided to leave the US Army deployed in Central Europe and not bring it home. This blocked the route the Red Army would have to take to invade Western Europe and set off the opening acts of the Cold war. These two nations had different opinions about government The USSR functioned in a Communist fashion and the United States operated with