In What Way Did The Relationship Between The United States And The Soviet Union Change After World War Ii?

What was the relationship between USA and USSR before and after the World War II? I'm interested in how it deteriorated.

Expert Answers
larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The U.S. and the Soviet Union were allies only because they were forced into a very uneasy and uncomfortable alliance. Ideologically they had been polar opposites and it was more chance of fate than anything else that did not put them on opposite sides of the war.

Shortly after the Russian Revolution of 1917, President Woodrow Wilson sent troops to Siberia to aid the "white army" comprised of Russian nationalists in an attempt to overthrow the new Soviet communist regime. This did not endear the U.S. to the Soviets. Prior to U.S. entry in World War II, the Soviets had taken part in an invasion of Poland which Germany had initiated, in fact Germany and the Soviets had secretly agreed to divide Poland between them. It was only when Hitler invaded the Soviets that the U.S. became allied.

Following the war, Stalin commented in a speech from the Kremlin:

The war against fascism has ended; the war against capitalism has begun.

The two never saw things eye to eye, and although they were forced into a convenient alliance, they parted company almost immediately after the war. The Cold War was the logical conclusion which brought both countries to the brink of nuclear war until the Soviet Union finally collapsed.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While it was true that the US and the Soviet Union were allies during World War II, this was only because they had a common enemy: Nazi Germany.  Their systems of government, their economies and their world views were vastly different, and bound to clash.

Once the war was won, these two countries emerged as the only viable empires left on Earth, otherwise known as superpowers.  As the Soviets attempted to spread comunism to new countries, the US adopted a policy of containment, stopping that spread wherever possible.  Since the US already had the atomic bomb, this led to a race for the USSR to obtain it, and a very expensive, very long arms race afterwards.

akoch94 | Student

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