How did the Cold War affect the rest of the world?

The constant competition between the US and the USSR often made other nations into opportunities for one side to gain an advantage over the other. For example, the USSR established the "iron curtain" to control most of Central and Eastern Europe. Additionally, American fear of the spread of communism led to a number of proxy wars. The Cold War also spread the worldwide fear of nuclear war, which heavily influenced international diplomacy and affairs.

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The Cold War (1947–1991) affected the rest of the world in many ways. The conflict with the Soviet Union dominated American foreign policy for nearly half a century. The American-Soviet confrontation was primarily ideological, but it included "real" wars such as those in Korea and Vietnam.

Great Britain, the Soviet Union, China, and the United States had fought together against the Axis nations during World War II (1939–1945), and Germany and Japan surrendered in 1945. The alliance fell apart after 1945 because of distrust between the Anglo-Americans and the Soviets. China was torn apart by civil war from 1946 to 1949.

The most important area of the Cold War was probably Europe. The city of Berlin, the nation of Germany, and the rest of Europe were divided into Communist and pro-Western regions. The United States sought to contain Communist expansionism with the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan. The Truman Doctrine shored up Turkey and Greece against Moscow's pressure; the Marshall...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 13, 2019