Origins of the Cold War Essay

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Origins of the Cold War
The Cold War was an ideological war between the two powerhouse nations at the time, the USA and the USSR. There are multiple reasons as to why such great tension arose between the two great nations. One of these was Russia’s fear and intimidation of America, and also the fact that they felt excluded from the allied forces. The USA had proven themselves to be a dominant nation, and at one stage, Russia thought they might even attack them. This caused a lot of tension between the two countries, as it portrayed Russia as an inferior nation, which they didn’t like at all. Another cause of the Cold war was Russia’s actions in East Europe. Some of the decisions they made after the Second World War greatly aggravated the Americans, and these actions are undoubtedly accountable for the Cold War. The last, however still an incredibly responsible cause of the Cold War, was the differing ideologies of the two countries. Stalin’s and the USA’s governing techniques differed greatly, and there is no doubt that this was a leading cause of the Cold War.

A lot of the Soviet action that occurred in Eastern Europe caused a lot of tension between the two nations. The first occurrence that raised questions in America was that Stalin hadn’t moved his troops out of defeated Eastern Europe. However, Roosevelt wasn’t really in any position to ask him to call them out, so he let it go. At the Yalta Conference, which was held from the 4th of February until the 11th of February, 1945, Stalin had agreed to allow elections in Eastern Europe. He had one condition though, which was the guarantee that the governing systems all had to favour the Soviet Union. He then went back on this, making it obvious that rather than introducing democracy, he wanted to spread communism throughout Eastern Europe. When Franklin D Roosevelt died on the 12th of April, 1945, Harry Truman took over as the president of the United States, and took a different approach at changing the Soviet governing system. Rather than using natural charm to persuade Stalin, as Roosevelt had exercised, Truman was very straightforward with Stalin. At the Potsdam Conference, held from the 17th of July to the 2nd of August, Truman demanded that Stalin introduce democracy into the Soviet Zone of Easter Europe. When Stalin blatantly refused Truman’s demand, plenty of friction arose between the USA and the USSR. All of these Soviet acts provoked America, and they were undoubtedly a leading origin of the Cold War.

A lot of the tension that accumulated after World War II was because of Russia’s general feeling of being disadvantaged, due to some of the actions of the Americans. The first of these acts was when Truman suspended Lend Lease aid to the Soviet Union, just three days after the German Surrender. This was unexpected, and was labelled as “unfortunate and even brutal” by Stalin, “a scornful and abrupt termination of an agreement between two governments”. Another case that also flared tempers in Russia was the fact that America had informed Great Britain of the building of their atomic bomb, and not them. Russia felt excluded from the other two nations, which is understandable. On the 6th of August, 1945, when America dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, eyebrows were raised all over the world. Russia was now seen as an inferior nation to America, because of the worldwide belief that ‘the more nuclear weapons you had, the more powerful you were’. This sequence of