The Cold War

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At the conclusion of World War II, the United States of America emerged as the savior of Europe and became one of the leading global political powers of the subsequent age. Behind the “iron curtain” of Easter Europe, however, another superpower, the Soviet Union, which was seemingly the exact opposite of the United States in every way imaginable, exerted its force to instill and defend communism in its surrounding satellite states. The ideologies of these two countries displayed myriad incompatibilities, and over a period spanning the next four decades, the Soviet Union and the United States of America attempted to gain military, political, and social advantages over each other in order to preserve their systems of life. Especially with the advent of nuclear weapons and warfare, both of these nations saw the other as a perilous threat not only to the continuation of the ideals of democracy in America and Communism in The Soviet Union, but also to the lives of their innocent civilians. Countless numbers of historians have argued over the question of which superpower initiated the conflict, which Walter Lippmann coined “The Cold War” in his book of the same title, but a consensus has not yet been reached. In general, however, the events of the Cold War, which thankfully did not result in a military conflict, followed a specific pattern: The United States’ paranoia over the expansion of the Communist bloc encouraged them to develop new weapons and exert their influence in numerous struggles in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The Soviets, seeing this American initiative as a threat, also escalated their weapons and military programs.

Essentially, the origins of the Cold War can be traced back to the Russian Revolution of ...

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...cratic frustration with the Soviet Union when he famously stated, “An iron curtain has descended across the continent” (Newman and Schmalbach 551). As it became more and more evident that the Soviets and Stalin were breaking the agreements made at the Yalta Conference, Truman announced his policy of containment of Soviet aggression. This policy was developed by three of Truman’s most trusted and brightest advisors, George Marshall, Dean Acheson, and George F. Kennan, who declared, “a long term, patient but firm and vigilant containment of Russian expansive tendencies,” would eventually dishearten the Soviets and cause them to turn towards democracy. Walter Lippmann, the man who coined the phrase “the Cold War”, showed immense discontent with this containment policy, asserting that the United States should stay out of Eastern European affairs as much as possible.

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