A cold war is a term used to describe a period of time when there are confrontations and competitions between countries. After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union had a series of competitions and confrontations.
The Soviet Union wanted to spread communism throughout the world. In a communist system, there is a great deal of government control. In our system, there is much less government control and influence.
The United States wanted to give aid to countries that were resisting the spread of communism. The European Recovery Program offered economic aid to countries. We believed that if a country had a strong economy, it would be less likely to turn to communism. For example, we gave aid to Greece and Turkey. Those countries didn’t become communist. Our goal was to keep communism where it was and not let it spread. This was the basis of the policy called containment.
We also helped countries militarily when a communist country attacked them. For example, when communist North Korea, supported by the Soviet Union, invaded South Korea, we went to the United Nations to provide help to South Korea. The United Nations created a multinational military force, led by the United States, to remove North Korea from South Korea.
We also competed with the Soviet Union. Both countries tried to develop nuclear weapons. While the United States was the first to develop the atomic bomb, the Soviet Union eventually developed its own atomic bomb. Both countries also competed in the space race. While the Soviet Union was the first country to get a satellite into space as well as the first to get an astronaut into orbit around the earth, we were the first country to land an astronaut on the moon.
The United States and the Soviet Union had a period of confrontations and competitions after World War II. While both countries didn’t directly fight each other, they were working against each other in many ways.