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The Cold War

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Essay title: The Cold War

The Cold War

The Cold War had a major impact on United States history and the histories of many other nations worldwide. The war was made up of many different things to include the United States and the Soviet Unions' goals, major U.S. policies, major events that evolved in Asia, and the affects the war had on American life. This war helped shape history and many of the different societies that were involved. The Cold War contributed to the shaping of our nation and the world.

A Cold War is defined as a continuing state of resentful antagonism between two parties short of open hostility or violence. This exact state of hatred occurred between the United States and the Soviet Union in a continuous six year battle. After World War II ended, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. had several basic, but conflicting goals that they hoped to achieve. As Stalin began to spread his idea of communism, Truman started working on his idea of containment. Truman wanted to contain the Soviet Union and stop the spread of communism. Some other goals that Truman had were an improved U.S. economy, greater sales abroad of U.S. goods, more military alliances, extended price controls, and a bigger defense budget. Truman did quite well in achieving these very goals. The Soviet Union also had demanding goals that they set out to accomplish. The Soviets wanted to control Eastern Europe and spread the idea of communism. Stalin wanted total dominance and, to show he had the power, he put a strangle hold on Eastern Europe. He barred free elections in Poland and greatly suppressed the Polish democratic parties. He also created a buffer zone of friendly nations that was essential to Russian security. Both countries had many goals, but they shared a common one: they both wanted to beat each other in the armed races. This was war. It was Truman versus Stalin and democracy versus communism. The world had to wait to see who would come out on top.

The United States introduced many new policies that helped deal the Soviet Union. There were three major policies which were formed due to the Cold War. These policies were the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and the North Atlantic Treaty Association (NATO). The Truman Doctrine was an active U.S. engagement that was made to help contain communism. On March 12, 1947, Truman asked for $400 million in military support for Greece and Turkey. Truman called upon the United States to "support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." Basically, the Truman Doctrine helped aid countries that were trying to resist communism. The Marshall Plan was another weapon against the spread of communism. It was the United States primary plan for rebuilding and creating a stronger foundation for allied countries in Europe. Truman wanted to end the economic devastation he believed had been created by communism. The Soviets refused to take part in the plan. As a result of this plan, Europe's economic situation went into recovery which caused expansion in sales of American goods overseas. This contributed to the United States expanding economy. The final policy was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, more commonly known as NATO. NATO was a peacetime military alliance. It was the first time in U.S. history that we entered such an alliance. The western world was now secured by America's "nuclear umbrella" which protected them from the dominating Soviet Union. All of these policies were adopted during the Cold War in efforts to deal with the Soviet Union.

As the Cold War continued, the tension moved from Europe to East Asia. There were many major events that evolved in Asia due to the happenings of the Cold War. In Asia, there was a dispute between the Nationalist government of Jiang Jieshi and the communist forces of Mao Zedong. On October 1, 1949, the People's Republic, under Mao Zedong, was proclaimed in China. This communist triumph was a great shock to the U.S. The sheer physical size and population of Soviet Russia and China gave a double threat to the American policy of containment. After the Second World War, Korea, north of the 38th parallel, had been occupied by the Russians, while south of the 38th parallel by the Americans. As no agreement on

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