When you consider the ideological differences between the United States and the Soviet Union, it becomes obvious why the two powers could not get along after World War II. The two superpowers were allies during the conflict, but at the war's conclusion, waged an ideological global war for four decades....
When you consider the ideological differences between the United States and the Soviet Union, it becomes obvious why the two powers could not get along after World War II. The two superpowers were allies during the conflict, but at the war's conclusion, waged an ideological global war for four decades. But what allowed these two powers to retain so much influence after a long, hard-fought victory over fascism?
The United States, the world's strongest industrial economy in the world, was in better shape after the war than they were during the years of the Great Depression before the war. The GDP had grown significantly and during the war, unemployment had plummeted. Many of the western capitalist countries of Europe were devastated by the effects of war being conducted on their home soil. The former imperialistic powers of England, France, Germany, and Italy were devastated by war. The famed historian and philosopher Noam Chomsky mad this point about the United States evident in the following quote:
Britain kept its position as the dominant world power well into the 20th century despite steady decline. By the end of World War II, dominance had shifted decisively into the hands of the upstart across the sea, the United States, by far the most powerful and wealthy society in world history.
The Soviet Union and Josef Stalin, since the Nonaggression Pact with Adolf Hitler, had maneuvered to assure that the Soviet Union would be rewarded with territory after World War II. At the conclusion of the war, Stalin successfully instituted satellite governments that were communist and would answer to Moscow. Stalin effectively controlled Eastern Europe from Berlin to Moscow after the war. This territory allowed them to grow their communist ideology as well as their economy. Russia was also a country of innumerable resources needed for industry, including petroleum, steel, and foodstuffs. So while the Soviet Union suffered greatly in loss of property and lives during World War II, the conditions existed after the war to allow them to be the other superpower in the world.