BBC Bitesize - Higher History - Reasons for the Cold War - Revision 3
Relations between the Soviet Union and the United States were driven by a the Soviet Union's aggressive, antidemocratic policy toward Eastern Europe had created World War II: American POWs and MIAs; Cold War: Postwar Estrangement; Cold After the Bolshevik Revolution of , the ensuing Civil War produced. In February , when they were confident of an Allied victory, U.S. Roosevelt wanted Soviet participation in the newly formed United Nations Stalin agreed to enter the Pacific War against Japan three months after the defeat of Germany. After the German surrender, Great Britain, the United States, France, and the Soviet Union divided Germany and Austria into four occupation zones, each to be .
As a result, the stakes of the Cold War were perilously high. The first H-bomb test, in the Eniwetok atoll in the Marshall Islands, showed just how fearsome the nuclear age could be.
Cold War History
It created a square-mile fireball that vaporized an island, blew a huge hole in the ocean floor and had the power to destroy half of Manhattan.
Subsequent American and Soviet tests spewed poisonous radioactive waste into the atmosphere. The ever-present threat of nuclear annihilation had a great impact on American domestic life as well. People built bomb shelters in their backyards. They practiced attack drills in schools and other public places.
Cold War History - HISTORY
The s and s saw an epidemic of popular films that horrified moviegoers with depictions of nuclear devastation and mutant creatures. In the United States, space was seen as the next frontier, a logical extension of the grand American tradition of exploration, and it was crucial not to lose too much ground to the Soviets.
In addition, this demonstration of the overwhelming power of the R-7 missile—seemingly capable of delivering a nuclear warhead into U. Inthe U.1945 Soviets vs Allied: Who Would Have Won?
Army under the direction of rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, and what came to be known as the Space Race was underway. That same year, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a public order creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASAa federal agency dedicated to space exploration, as well as several programs seeking to exploit the military potential of space.
Still, the Soviets were one step ahead, launching the first man into space in April Kennedy made the bold public claim that the U.
Soviets, in turn, were pictured as the ultimate villains, with their massive, relentless efforts to surpass America and prove the power of the communist system.
The committee began a series of hearings designed to show that communist subversion in the United States was alive and well. In HollywoodHUAC forced hundreds of people who worked in the movie industry to renounce left-wing political beliefs and testify against one another.
More than people lost their jobs. Soon, other anticommunist politicians, most notably Senator Joseph McCarthyexpanded this probe to include anyone who worked in the federal government. Thousands of federal employees were investigated, fired and even prosecuted. The Cold War Abroad The fight against subversion at home mirrored a growing concern with the Soviet threat abroad. The Bolshevik Revolution of Octoberwhich replaced Russia's Provisional Government with a "dictatorship of the proletariat", had established a communist state.
In a capitalist state, the economy is largely free from state control, while the government is democratically elected and freedom of speech is cherished. In contrast, a communist state is administered from the centre, with control of the economy and society strictly in the hands of the Communist Party-led government.
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Both sides wanted countries to conform to their adopted ideologies for their own gains. This delay allowed Hitler to concentrate his forces against the Soviets.
Stalin suspected that the USA and Britain were leaving Germany and the Soviet Union to fight, so that both countries would be weakened. This led Stalin to search for increased security for his country in the future. He wanted to create a geographical buffer of friendly Eastern European countries to safeguard against future aggression from the west.
The USA was opposed to this as they envisaged the creation of democratic states and free trade. Disagreements at Yalta and Potsdam between Stalin and the other Allies, mainly over how Eastern Europe was to be administered and restructured, caused further distrust and suspicion. This meant that the USA had to abandon its isolationist tendencies and become more involved in European affairs.