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War II ended with an allied victory in 1945, the United States and the Soviet Union had already been at odds for years. Democratic Americans didn’t trust the communist Soviet regime and had refused to recognize their power for years in the early 20th century. The fear of communists creating all-powerful workers’ unions in capitalist America and clearly intending to take over parts of Eastern Europe also played a large role in alienating the USSR from the rest of the world and pitting them against the United States. The USSR felt it unfair the the United States refused to share nuclear secrets and they finally pulled what Winston Churchill referred to as the “iron curtain.” All of these events led to a 45 year war during which no shots were fired. It was the Soviets, however, who truly started and maintained the Cold War.
Though the actual beginning of the Cold War is still argued over, the causes have always been clear. Democratic America had greatly distrusted communist Russia for years, beginning with the red scare in the 1920s. President Roosevelt had maintained a shaky alliance with the Soviet Union throughout the greater part of World War II, declaring that all should be done to stay on good terms with Stalin and his government. However, early on in his presidency, Truman moved from Roosevelt’s strategy of cooperation to one of containment. He saw the dangers as the Soviets, under Stalin, repeatedly failed to meet agreements and continued to attempt takeovers of Turkey and Greece. During this time, Great Britain admitted to the United States that it could no longer support these governments and asked for assistance in keeping them out of Soviet hands.
In 1947, a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers took place in Moscow. At this time, nothing was accomplished and many eastern European countries were at risk of being taken over by Stalin’s communist regime. George C. Marshall was appointed Secretary of State just months before this meeting and, upon returning home, he began putting together a staff to begin planning for economic assistance of Europe. Marshall, as well as Truman, believed that the Soviet Union should not be allowed to take over those countries that were falling in Eastern Europe. Though the western European countries approved of the plan, the representative for the Soviet Union rejected the plan outright for his country and all European Soviet countries. Thus, the division of the European continent became even greater.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Aside from the United States government’s inherent dislike of Stalin’s political beliefs and regime, the other major issue at the heart of the cold war was nuclear weapons. The United States had recently shown their hand quite clearly, releasing two atomic bombs in Japan in 1945. Though it was known that the Soviets had been working to develop nuclear weaponry, they had not yet proven their access or ability. The extent of their arsenal was as unknown to us as ours was to them. This fear created extreme rancor among the major powers in the world as well as scaring citizens. The Soviets refused any transparency regarding their nuclear program and the United States also refused to share their secrets.
History is written by the victors. However, in this case, there are many opinions on who started the Cold War. In my opinion, it was the fault of both countries. The United States had grown tremendously during the first two world wars. Neither Roosevelt nor Truman was willing to give that up to the Soviets. They feared that the Soviet Union would continue to grow, usurping America as the primary world superpower. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
The Soviets desperately wanted control in Europe and were not willing to back down. By the time Gorbachev was leading Russia in the 1980s, knowledge about the Russian military and its capabilities was at an all-time premium. While pledging truth and honesty, Gorbachev fed the Soviet people and the rest of the world lies through state-created and -approved media filled with pro-communist/anti-capitalist propaganda. Both countries were afraid of what they did not know and this created a volatile atmosphere that could have ended in the fall of much more than the Soviet Union. Communism scared capitalist Americans because in practice it all too often becomes totalitarianism. In the case of the USSR, this is exactly what happened. By locking down the country and almost entirely refusing to be transparent to the rest of the world in any way, the Soviet Union is mostly to blame for the length and seriousness of the Cold War. Open communication and a reasonable level of transparency is essential in a global economy. By creating the iron curtain and removing themselves almost completely from the rest of the world at a time when fear was at an all-time high, the Soviets’ attitudes and actions were the catalyst for the Cold War. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]