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A Brief Overview of the Cold War 1945-60

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As soon as World War II ended, the old war alliances crumpled as the United States and Soviet Union rose as superpowers. It was a battle between democracy and communism. By 1947, the communist threat had grown so much that Winston Churchill described it as "an iron curtain" dividing the European continent. By the end of the 1940s, the Soviet Union tested their first nuclear weapon and the arms race was on. New alliances formed as the Western Democracies faced off against the Soviet Union. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was signed in 1949 only to be counteracted with the Warsaw Pact a few years later. If any war broke out between two nations there would almost certainly be another world war as each side pledged to back their member states up.

In the beginning of the 1950s there a growing fear of communist spies in the United States and the hunt for communist spies was on. Led by Senator Joe McCarthy, this ushered in a new age of censorship and mass hysteria. Besides

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