The Cold War And The Tension Of The Cuban Missile Crisis

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The world has never been closer to a nuclear war than it was during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October, 1962. Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, placed missiles in Cuba as an offensive tool in case of war with the United States and its NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) allies. Fidel Castro, a revolutionary leader and President of Cuba at the time, allowed the Soviets to place missiles in Cuba since both were Communist nation states. In response, the United States Government placed missiles in Turkey in case of an attack from the Soviets. Tension had built with both countries due to the Cold War, and also the Berlin Blockade of 1948. This paper will discuss the mounting tension of the Cold War, why missiles were placed in Turkey and Cuba, and how the U.S. Government was affected and responded to the crisis. The Soviet Union and the United States were distrustful of each other because of their different views on how governments should run. The Soviet Union wanted no elections, a communist government, and a society controlled by NKVD (Communist secret police). The United States on the other hand wanted free elections, a democratic government (all the people should be able to have their say in the government one way or another in everything that affects their lives), personal freedom ,and freedom of the media. (historylearningsite.co.uk) The Cold War is the name given to the relationship that developed primarily between the USA and the Soviet Union after World War Two. The Cold War dominated international affairs for decades and many major crises occurred as a result - the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, Hungary and the Berlin Wall being just some. For many, the growth in weapons of mass destruction was the mo... ... middle of paper ... ...event that nearly plunged the world into war is known as the October Crisis. The Cubans were grateful to the Soviet Union for coming to their defense at a time when it seemed almost certain to them that the United States was about to invade. (Finkelstein 103-104). To this day there is disagreement over the origins of this conflict. Russian historians blamed the British Prime Minister (Churchill) and the United States president Truman. They said that Truman and Churchill wanted to destroy the Soviet Union while the Soviets were just trying to defend themselves. Later, some western historians blamed America. They said that Truman had not understood how Russia had suffered in the Second World War. Most historians can agree that the Cold War was primarily a clash of beliefs between Communism and Capitalism (johndclare.net). A clash that almost had a devastating ending.

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