Why was there a Cold War? 

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Cold War existed for several reasons. A cold war is a period of confrontation and competition between countries.  In this case, after World War II, it was a period of confrontation and competition between the United States and the Soviet Union.

At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union started to break many agreements that were developed during the war. For example, countries in Europe were supposed to be free to decide what kind of government they wanted.  However, leaders reported they were pressured by the Soviets to have a communist government.

Another reason why the Cold War existed was each country had a very different economic and political system.  The Soviet system was one where the government controlled most activities.  There weren’t free elections and the government controlled the economy.  In our system, there were free elections and market forces determined much of what occurred in the economy.

A third reason for the Cold War was the Soviet Union wanted to spread their system of Communism around the world. We didn’t want that to happen since we didn’t want to be surrounded by countries that had a different economic and political system than we had.  As a result, we tried to stop the communist system from spreading. Providing economic aid to non-communist countries was one way we did this.  Sometimes, it involved military aid or military action to prevent the spread of communism.  Thus, distrust developed on both sides.

There were several reasons why the Cold War developed.

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