During the Cold War, what two political and economic ideologies were in competition?

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mkoren eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The United States and the Soviet Union were in a period of confrontation and competition after World War II ended. This was known as the Cold War. Both countries had a very different view of how an economy and a political system should operate.

The Soviet Union believed in communism. In a communist economy, the government controls many things. The government makes most major economic decisions. For example, the government decides how resources are to be allocated and used. In a communist political system, there is little to no democracy. Free elections are rare. People have few rights. Speaking against the government or against government policies is not encouraged and may lead to serious punishment.

The United States has a democratic political system and a capitalistic economic system. In our political system, there are free elections. People are encouraged to voice their opinions, even if they are different from the government’s viewpoint. In our economic system, private citizens make most economic decisions. They decide how to use resources. They decide whether or not to invest in something. The forces of supply and demand determine the price of products and services. There is a free market economy in our system.

These political and economic ideologies are very different. As the Soviet Union tried to spread their system, we worked to prevent them from spreading communism throughout the world.