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The Cold War was a conflict that lasted for decades between the communist countries of the world, led by the Soviet Union, and the non-communist countries of the world, led by the United States.  It was a conflict in which both sides tried to dominate the world with their ideology. ...

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The Cold War was a conflict that lasted for decades between the communist countries of the world, led by the Soviet Union, and the non-communist countries of the world, led by the United States.  It was a conflict in which both sides tried to dominate the world with their ideology.  It is called “cold” because it was not an actual “shooting war” between the US and the USSR.

The Soviet Union was a communist country.  Communists believed that their ideology was superior to that of the democratic, capitalistic countries of the West.  They believed that communism would eventually take over the world and they wanted to speed that process as much as they could.

The United States was strongly opposed to communism.  It felt that communism was economically inefficient and that it trampled on people’s fundamental human rights.  For these reasons, it wanted to prevent the spread of communism.

After the end of WWII, the Cold War started.  The US and the USSR tried to influence other countries to take their side.  Sometimes, wars ended up being fought, as they were in Korea and Vietnam, to try to prevent the spread of communism.  At other times, the competition between the two ideologies took the form of athletic competition or competition to land a man on the moon.  The purpose of such competition was to show which side had a superior system.

The Cold War ended in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed.

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After World War II the Soviet Union intended to carry out the policy  laid down by Marx, Engels, and Lenin, which was to spread communism throughout the entire world with control centered in Moscow. The best and easiest way to understand Soviet thinking and planning is to start with reading The Communist Manifesto. This short but potent document composed by Marx and Engels is covered in eNotes and can be accessed by clicking on the first reference link below. It is also instructive to read George Orwell's popular novel Animal Farm, which deals in fable form with the early history of Bolshevism, a more radical form of communism.

The United States was determined to forestall a worldwide communist revolution, and it had an advantage over the USSR in possessing the atomic bomb.  But then the Soviets developed the atomic bomb and there was an arms race between these two powers until each possessed enough atomic bombs and atomic missiles to blow up the entire world, which was exactly what a lot of people expected to happen sooner or later. The Cold War was a grim period for American civilians to live through because it could break out any minute and civilians would be the principal casualties. The Cuban Missile Crisis was the turning point in the Cold War--but atomic weapons are now possessed by China, North Korea and many other nations, along with the U.S. and Russia.

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The Cold War was basically the result of an ideological difference between a group of countries that opposed communism and another that opposed capitalism. The former comprised the US and its allies in Europe that formed the NATO. The latter was primarily made up of the former USSR and other communist nations around the world.

The Cold War did not result in any physical battles in the US or USSR but there were several incidents around the World that involved military forces supported by both the US and the USSR. Wars like those in Vietnam and Korea actually had American troops fighting opposing armies armed with weapons provided by the USSR and led to the death of over 100,000 Americans.

Huge sums of monetary resources were spent both by the US as well as the USSR in building massive stockpiles of weapons so that they could protect themselves from an actual attack by the other. Each of the nations had an extensive network of spies to gather military intelligence.

From the wasteful use of resources that harmed the citizens of both the sides, the effects of the Cold War were in a way equivalent to that of a real physical battle. The one small thing missing here was human blood spilt on land belonging to the US or the USSR.

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Although the Cold War is typically used in referencing the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union from 1945 until 1989, the competing ideologies of Communism versus Capitalism was also in play between the US and what was then referred to as "Mainland" China.  The United States, along with the Allied and liberated countries from World War II engaged in a policy of "containment," hoping to halt the spread of communism and ideally instill its own capitalist/democratic system.  Since the utter destruction of World War II, both sides realized that an active all out "hot" war would end civilization, so the struggle became one of geopolitical influence, with the occasional active conflict between "pawn" countries.  For example, the US and other countries did not directly fight China in the 1950's and 60's; both sides wrangled over the smaller countries of Korea and Vietnam.

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The Cold War was the term used to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union following the Second World War.  After the defeat of the Axis powers and the fall of Hitler, the Soviet Union possessed the world's largest army. The United States possessed the most powerful weapon in the atomic bomb, which had just been dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to defeat Japan.  Both nations had allied with one another in the war to defeat their common enemy, but this was merely a front to mask the contempt both had for one another.  The Cold War was the term used to describe the antagonism between democratic America and communist Russia.  While there was never any armed notions of conflict between both nations, the Cold War was the battle of ideologies and was waged in nations all over the world between proxy nations. Whereas a traditional war has a defined field of conflict, the Cold War was expansive, all over the world.  Eastern European nations, South East Asia, as well as other regions of the world served as the setting for nations that were either advocating the Russian or American thought processes of democracy or communism.

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The Cold War refers to the Post-WWII period of increased hostility between the two remaining super-powers, the US and the USSR. It is referred to as Cold because, barring the exceptions of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, it was mostly a war of words and threats rather than bullets.

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After the Japanese surrender in August 1945 the focus shifted towards rebuilding Europe with representative governments and the democratic processes as its guide.  It became increasingly clear that Stalin had no intention of allowing free elections to take place in Germany.  The failure of the Allies to reach a peace agreement at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences left post war Europe in a quagmire. The old European powers had disintegrated and in its place, the "superpowers". The United States and the Soviet Union would dominate world politics for more than forty years. The Cold War was a war of idealogies between these two nations. Both nations are guilty of battling their idealogical point of view on nations that were either left vulnerable after the war or were politically unable to withstand their political, and or military might. Most historians agree that with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the end of the Soviet Union in 1991 that The Cold War has ended, however history is never black and white. All the shades of grey left from The Cold War are responsible for the state of global politics we live with today.

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The Cold War describes a period of tension between the Soviet Union and the United States. The reason it is known as "cold" is because there was no actual physical combat. There was a race to see who could develop space technology first; there was a lot of espionage that took place; proxy wars were fought where each country used smaller countries to battle each other; there were threats of nuclear warfare and an arms race big enough to alarm countries everywhere. Nuclear warfare meant annihilation of huge parts of the world, and the world knew that the US was not afraid to use them because of the bombings on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

The Cold War ensued because the US and the Soviet Union could not agree on post-World War II rebuilding strategies. Even though the two were allies during WWII, they could not compromise on their visions of the postwar world. The Soviet Union pushed communism, which the US fought hard against.

The Cold War ended in December of 1989 when President George H. W. Bush and Gorbachev terminated hostilities because the Soviet Union was about to collapse.

A really fantastic allegory to read if you're interested in the Cold War is The Golden Kite the Silver Wind by Ray Bradbury.

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