What caused the Cold War?

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The main cause of the Cold War was the fact that the communists and the West did not trust one another.  Each felt the other was going to try to destroy it.  Each felt the other was going to try to impose its system on the whole world.

The West felt the communists were going to try to foment revolutions in every country or to simply conquer countries and force them into communism.  The USSR had already done that in Eastern Europe and communist doctrine calls for the whole world to become communist.

The USSR felt that the West was going to try to destroy it.  Western governments had been anti-Soviet since the creation of the USSR.  The United States, for example, had sent troops to the USSR after WWI to help the anti-communists in the Russian Civil War.

The Cold War happened largely because of this mutual distrust.  Follow the link below for a much more comprehensive discussion of this topic.

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What were the main causes of the Cold War?

As with so many other questions, the answer to this question would depend largely on which historian you asked. But there are a few points on which I think most would agree. First, the Grand Alliance had never been terrible cozy to begin with, as Stalin was well aware of Anglo-American antipathy toward his regime. The Americans and British, on the other hand, didn't trust Stalin, largely due to his duplicity in the Nazi-Soviet non-agression pact of 1939.

In short, though, the Cold War emerged from disagreements about what post-war Europe, and indeed the world, would look like. At the Yalta Conference, Stalin gave assurances that he would allow democratic elections in Poland. By the time of the Potsdam Conference, new president Harry Truman was convinced that this was not happening, and took a hard line in promoting United States interests. He was particularly emboldened by the fact that the Americans were in possession of the atomic bomb, which he used shortly thereafter to end the war in Japan.

In the wake of the war Stalin determined to create a buffer zone of friendly states on his western flank. He thus installed communist regimes in Poland, Romania, and other eastern European nations, actions that the Truman Administration viewed as aggressive. Diplomat George Kennan's "Long Telegram" convinced American policy-makers to take a hard line on the matter (hence the "Truman Doctrine" of containment) and when communist revolutions appeared imminent in the rest of Europe, the US instituted the Marshall Plan, which flooded Europe with billions of dollars in investment. The Soviets viewed this as economic imperialism. By 1948, China was in the midst of a communist takeover, and Europe was divided among states supported by the US and Soviets. This was the beginning of the Cold War.

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What were the causes that led to the Cold War?    

The Cold War was the result of post-World War II distrust between the Soviet Union and the west.

The roots of this distrust go back to the Russian Revolution. During the fight between communist and tsarist forces, the western powers sent support and soldiers...

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to help the tsarists. When the communists finally achieved victory, they vowed never to forget this. In general the west continued to distrusted communist states ideologically and did what they could to isolate Russia internationally.

On the other hand communist Russia was not shy about interfering in the affairs of western nations. They sent foreign aide to socialist worker revolts in Britain, France and the U.S. prompting Red Scares throughout the 1900’s. By the time World War II broke out, both sides allied only as a means to defeat Germany, but neither really trusted the other. The Russians were upset that it took the other Allied nations so long to open up a second front against Germany, and blamed them for a majority of the losses they suffered during the fighting.

After World War II, the Soviet Union was devastated. No other country had lost more people. They had been invaded through their western frontier several times and decided it was time to prevent this from happening again. As postwar Europe began to rebuild, the Soviets made certain that nations sharing a border with them were friendly. Since they occupied most of these countries, it was simple to help “massage” the local communist party into power despite assurances they would allow “free and democratic” elections.

The formation of what became known as the Soviet Block and the West’s answer in the form of the NATO is seen by many historians as the beginning of the Cold War.

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What are three causes of the Cold War?

Maybe the most fundamental cause of the Cold War was the stark ideological difference between the United States and the Soviet Union. The United States was a republic, with a representative government, and more importantly a capitalist economic system, while the Soviet Union was, by the time of World War II, a dictatorship, run by a single party, striving toward communism as an economic system.

Secondly, Stalin saw the end of World War II as a chance to expand Soviet influence into eastern Europe. Whether one views this as a reasonable aim, an attempt to establish a buffer zone to avoid another catastrophic invasion of the Russian homeland or an imperialist effort to expand, or both, it struck US President Harry Truman as the former, and exacerbated tensions between the two powers.

Third, and related to the second cause, serious disagreements emerged over what postwar Europe would look like. The United States, eager to supply European markets with American manufactures, hoped to expand their influence into Germany, in particular, a development that struck Stalin as US imperialism. The Marshall Plan, with its billions of dollars in aid, and the policy of underwriting the German Deutsche Mark, signalled a permanent chill in US-Soviet relations, and by early 1947, Stalin was not only launching new Five Year Plans, but was declaring capitalism and communism to be irreconcilable. 

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What were the underlying causes to the outbreak of the Cold War between the USA and the USSR?

There were numerous factors involved in the development of what came to be known as the Cold War.

The United States and Soviet Russia, the country that came into existence after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, had very different outlooks regarding how governments should be selected and should function; the United States advocated a democratic government with leaders elected by the general population, with multiple viewpoints represented by the elected officials, while Soviet Russia developed an all-powerful single party system of government with leaders elected by a very small number of officials within the party. The United States followed a capitalist economic policy which supported free market enterprise with minimal government interference; Soviet Russia's communist government controlled production and distribution of goods and services and private ownership was prohibited. The conflicts between these radically opposed perceptions of the world were a starting point.

Following the end of World War I, the United States was able to return to relative isolation, protected by oceans between the North American continent and other countries. Soviet Russia did not have this geographic protection and feared foreign invasion by enemy countries. The feelings of insecurity and potential threat were heightened when Soviet Russia was not included in international diplomatic efforts, largely because other countries didn't want to risk an expansion of the Russian governmental dominance of territory and people.

World War II validated Soviet Russia's fears of invasion from the west as Germany attacked. The United States contributed its military involvement to the Allied forces fighting Germany in western Europe rather than supporting Russia's fight, privately conceding that Soviet Russia would probably end up controlling some Eastern European countries, starting with Poland, after the war.

When President Franklin Roosevelt died and was replaced by President Harry Truman, the United States's Supreme Commander became someone who had not worked with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin during the war and who didn't trust Stalin to abide by agreements that were developed to determine the division of German-conquered territory after the conclusion of World War II. Russia wanted Germany severely punished and left as weak as possible after the war; the United States supported efforts to rebuild a strong Germany. Divisions of Germany and Berlin among the Allied Powers didn't end the disagreements.

Following the end of World War II, relationships between the United States and Soviet Russia degenerated as conflicting economic policies led to clashes regarding the rebuilding of areas shattered by the effects of the war, as implications of the United States's use of the nuclear bomb and Soviet Russia's efforts to develop one became known, and as Soviet Russia supported individuals fighting the government of Iran with the hope of gaining access to Iran's oil resources.

On March 5, 1946, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill used the phrase "Iron Curtain" for the first time to describe the iron-clad control taking over and enclosing countries that were being brought under the control of Soviet Russia. Churchill urged the United States take a stronger role in opposing further expansion of the Soviet sphere of influence.

Bernard Baruch, an advisor regarding financial and atomic energy affairs to President Truman and others, first used the phrase "Cold War" in 1947.

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Who caused the Cold War?

The Cold War emerged from the very complex, very tense set of circumstances that characterized the post-World War II world. In particular, it was the product of the new, bipolar postwar order in which the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as the world's two remaining powers. Each of these two superpowers had a very different vision for postwar Europe. They differed over the future of Germany, and particularly over Eastern European nations, which Josef Stalin envisioned as a region of pro-Soviet buffer states.

At the Yalta Conference, Stalin had assured then-President Franklin Roosevelt that free elections would be allowed in Poland. This did not transpire, leading to a dispute at the Potsdam Conference between the Soviets and Harry S. Truman. This dispute, and the fact that the Soviets installed puppet regimes throughout Eastern Europe in the years that followed, is often regarded as the beginning of the Cold War, as it divided Europe into opposing blocs. If one man had to be held accountable for beginning the Cold War, most would probably point to Stalin, but the geopolitical situation in the wake of the war was exceedingly complex and resistant to reductionist explanations.

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