What was the Cold War, what countries were involved, and what was its impact?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Cold War was a global competition between the United States and the Soviet Union.  It happened because the two sides had different ideologies and therefore distrusted one another.  It had many impacts on the world.

The Cold War involved practically every country in the world.  Almost all countries had to take sides.  Many countries had fighting occur on their territory.  However, the two main countries involved were the US and the USSR as they were the leaders of the democratic/capitalist side on the one hand and the communist side on the other.

The Cold War had many impacts.  Let us look at three of them here.  One impact was to make the communist countries of the world rather backward economically by the time the competition ended.  Another impact was that it created a split world in which practically every country took a side and there was great animosity between the sides.  We see this to some degree today with the enmity between the US and Cuba and between North and South Korea.  Finally, the Cold War caused upheaval in much of the less-developed world.  The US and USSR competed for influence in those countries, often causing or exacerbating civil wars.  The two sides propped up dictators and other unsavory regimes in countries that were on their side.  These things had very negative impacts on the less-developed countries.

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