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The Cold War Summarized

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Essay title: The Cold War Summarized

The period of tension between the world’s two superpowers fallowing the Second World War is known as the Cold War. This period was full of tension and fear that the United States and the USSR would destroy each other and the world with their arsenals of atomic weapons. The seeds of this rivalry were planted nearly a quarter of a century before its actual commencement with the Revolution of 1918 in Russia. The Cold War Rivalry would manifest itself in everything from sports in Olympic competition to science and the Space Race. The Cold War did not only take place in the political, athletic and science realms but also heated up in wars and deputes all over the world from Europe, East Asia and the Middle East to South America and off the American shore. From these beginnings until the fall of the USSR in 1989 the Cold War would dominate every aspect of life from school children to the leaders and their policies on both sides.

The cold war began in 1918 with the Russian Revolution, the rise of the Communist Party and the founding of the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The revolution came during the First World War at a point in time when the Allies needed all of the support they could get. The revolution was fast and the Bolsheviks took power quickly and pulled Russia out of the war just as quickly. The other Allies, Britain and the U.S. resented the loss of a front on the German Empire and the greater stress it put on them. The Bolsheviks quickly disposed of all opposition with the exception of the Mensheviks who were backed by the U.S. and Britain. The Russian Civil War began and after long and bloody period ended with the Bolsheviks remaining in power and the murder of the Romanovs, the royal family, effectively ending the hope of a stage 3 end to the revolution and the replacement of an Ally-friendly Tzar. After this there were few problems between the USSR and the U.S. with the exception of President Harry Truman officially not recognizing the USSR as a nation. This odd peace of not paying much attention to each other continued until the entry of the U.S. into world war two.

World War Two changed America’s isolationist policies and forced America to pay attention to the USSR as they were now allies in a war against a tyrannical despot in Germany. The new alliance created a tension between the US and the USSR as the knowledge that they would be the two new superpowers fallowing the war was ever present. The event that ensured that the Cold War would take place were the talks between the allies to decide what would happen fallowing the war. The distribution of controlled territory was the main topic and the final piece to make the rivalry possible. The USSR would control the eastern part of Europe, including the eastern part of Germany and it’s capital Berlin. This would prove to be an arena for showdowns between the two superpowers all the way until the end of the Cold War.

The Cold war would play a large role the policies of the soviet leaders throughout the period. The policies began with Joseph Stalin and his expansionist policies. Stalin consistently fought to expand the influence of the USSR, staying true to the doctrine of spreading socialism throughout the world. These policies first came to light during the talks with the other ally leaders when he demanded that the concurred territories of Eastern Europe be given to the USSR for protection against another attack from the west. They continued to be played out with the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan. Afghanistan proved to be a “heat flare” in the cold war as the US supplied the afghan forced fighting against the soviets.

The cold war would flare up in places other than Afghanistan. There were many places the cold war heated up, some more public than others. The Chinese Revolution proved to be the most controversial of socialist expansion, because it occurred without the direct involvement of the Soviet Union. After China’s “fall” to communism the US declared that they would not let any other country turn communist. The most public displays of this anti-expansionist policy were the wars in Korea and Vietnam. The two south-east Asian countries had shortly before each war become a “communist country” and presumed to be under control of China and/or the Soviet Union. Both wars were long and hard fought on both sides, with nearly similar outcomes. Korea ended in a “truce” and the creation of two Korean nations, the capitalist South Korea, and the Communist North Korea. Vietnam ended in an embarrassing loss for the US and continuation of communist rule in Vietnam. Another public arena for cold war heat-ups is Cuba. Cuba is a small island-nation just 90 miles south of Florida that turned socialist due to a revolution again the US friendly government by a young Nationalist named Fidel Castro and socialist Che Guevara. Cuba would prove to be the stage for the scariest time during

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