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The Cold War Case

Autor:   •  November 18, 2012  •  Essay  •  932 Words (4 Pages)  •  983 Views

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Conflicts of national interest caused the World War II alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union to be replaced by a Cold War that lasted 45 years. 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.

The cold war, an ideological conflict, started after World War II when the Allies (United States, Britain, France, and the Soviet Union) disagreed over how to govern occupied Germany. Although the Soviet Union and the Western Allies were supposed to rule Germany jointly, the arrangement was beset by the spread of communism. During the war, Soviet leaders had joined the United States and Western European countries to fight the Germans, but the Soviets supported communism. By 1947 the United States had formulated policy to prevent the Soviet Union from exporting communism to other countries.

Cold War confrontations were nearly always conducted through surrogates, by economic pressure, selective aid, diplomatic tactic, propaganda, assassination, or low-intensity military operations in order to avoid a direct confrontation that could have led to a nuclear war. Bernard Baruch was the first to use the phrase "Cold War" in a speech on April 14, 1947

No part of the world escaped the effects of the Cold War. When the Cold War began, relations between the East and the West became critically strained. In April 1947, the Communist Party was declared illegal in West Germany. In May 1947, the communist ministers were dismissed from the coalition governments in Italy and France. In April 1948, the United States government intervened in the Italian election. The American diplomats urged the Italian voters to support the Christian Democratic Party and threatened that if the Communist Party won the election, America would stop her financial aid to Italy. The result was that the Christian Democrats won most of the votes in the election and became the ruling party.

The Soviets had control over Eastern Europe. Stalin intervened in the domestic politics of the eastern European countries. By 1948, the only country in eastern Europe outside direct Soviet control was Yugoslavia.

While the western nations were anxious about their own security, Russia stopped all land traffic between Berlin and West Germany. The western nations took this move as the first of a series of Russian attempts to force them to withdraw first from Germany and then from Europe. They were determined to resist and war nearly resulted. This was the well-known Berlin Crisis. The Berlin Crisis marked the climax of the conflict between the East and the West.

The Yalta Conference and the Potsdam Conference had laid down some principles concerning the immediate post-war treatment of Germany; but as soon as these principles were carried out,


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