Rising Tensions

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During the Second World War, the United States allied itself with the Soviet Union, Britain and France to defeat the Axis forces made up by the fascist countries of Germany, Italy, and Japan. The United States and the Soviet Union, however, only allied because it benefited them both to defeat the fascist nations, not because they trusted each other; they had conflicting ideas that did not allow them to agree on an action. At first, the result of World War II seemed to favor the Axis powers, but the outcome was a victory for the Allied powers because of their two-front war strategy on Germany and the bombing of Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During the war, the Allied powers met in conferences and discussed plans for postwar Europe. These meetings and the actions of both the United States and the Soviet Union after the war increased the tension between them and ultimately led to the Cold War.

World War II began when fascist dictators gained control of their countries, Adolf Hitler in Germany, Benito Mussolini in Italy and Hideki Tojo in Japan. These dictators after establishing their fascist regimes began to invade their neighboring countries in order to impose their ideas on them. After World War I, the United States became wary of communism and fascism and believed them to be dangerous and when the fascist countries began their mission of world domination the United States immediately classified them as threats. Britain and France at the Munich Conference made an agreement with Hitler in which he pledged to stop attaining more territory and Stalin to ensure that the Soviet Union would not be invaded signed a Nonaggression Pact with Hitler. Hitler broke the first when he launched a blitzkrieg and later broke his pact with Stal...

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...ument E). Stalin then invaded Czechoslovakia.

When Stalin began to invade his neighboring countries, many Americans believed that he truly was just trying to protect himself from future attacks (Document H), but it soon became evident that he just wanted the power. The United States and the Soviet Union had an alliance during World War II because they had a mutual enemy, but in truth, they were foes. As they fought against the fascist countries, their differences created more and more tension and suspicion. They worked together and defeated the fascist threat, then returned to the rocky relationship that they had initially, only that it had more animosity. Once they did not have to tolerate each other when World War II ended, they both committed actions that the other opposed with until eventually all they had was antagonism, antagonism that led to the Cold War.
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