Causes of the Cold War The Cold War was a very dangerous period of history that lasted from 1945 to 1991. The Cold War was started almost immediately after the surrender ing Germany to the end of World War II there was a threat tot the planet and its existence if this war was ever to be fought. Both upheld a great amount of resources into the expanding their military readiness. It was more than a war between two countries, it was a war between different ideologies in fear of the government.
In the United States a “witch hunt” was carried out against communists, as they feared that communism would take over the country and in the Soviet Union people were “fenced in” by fear of the police and government and they were not free to travel abroad as many escaped from the hard reigning regime (Artikkel). After World War II two great powers emerged in the world. The world was split into two spheres, the West and the East. The power in the West rested in the hands of the United States and the power in the East the power rested in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The USSR wanted to spread its ideal government, Communism in Eastern Europe and create a “buffer zone” as defense against any attacks by the U. S. (Capitalists) or by Germany. In 1946 Europe was split in two the West and East(western democracies and the United States and the Soviet Union and Soviet occupied territory). In Berlin, the capital of Germany a wall was erected to separate theWest the East side, The was known as the “Iron Curtain”, it was a symbolic of the treat each side felt from the other. The U. S. and U. S. S.
R. were as different as day and night. Therefore neither trusted the other completely. A capitalist economy is based on private ownership, private profit and free competition, it encourages private individuals to own businesses and make profits (capitalism). On the other hand a communist economy is very different. The economy is controlled by the government and the country’s wealth and resources are owned by the state or government. The state controls and plans all economic activity so that everybody benefits (communism).
During World War I and II, the USSR was invaded multiple times resulting in many russian casualties. The USSR began planning making sure they would be secure from any future attack or aggression along the western border. Stalin, the USSR leader, decided to surround Russia with a buffer of “friendly” countries. The U. S. was afraid that the ideology of Communist would spread largely and vasty. When the USSR began attempting to improve its security by having satellite states, the U. S. saw this as an attempt by the USSR to spread the influence of Communism throughout the world.
The United States had the nuclear bomb and soon after that Russia had a nuclear bomb also. Since neither side trusted the other and both wanted to extend their great ideology to the rest of the world, the Cold War heated up. Each side constantly believed the other wanted to destroy the other and felt the need to create a better military force. A military tension began between the two countries. The United States also expanded its navy, armed ships with new technology. Scientists were developing new weapons to aid this military buildup.
Russia, too also built up their military as well. During this time period, while the Russians pushed the Germans out of their border, they also pushed inwards into Eastern Europe. Russia occupied many countries, making it easier for them to establish control and as they established controls in these areas, they gave the local Communist parties a lot of support. Thus, widened their influence in their countries and brought along Moscow-trained Communist leaders who had gone to the USSR during the war spreading the influence of Communism ((Artikkel).
Meanwhile Stalin saw this as an opportunity to establish his ideal one-party governments in these countries , he combined all allie government and removed their partners which were needed as the Communist Parties in the different countries were not strong enough on their own to gain the support of the people and govern the country. The USSR was now able to continue and increase/maintain power in Eastern Europe, successfully forming the satellite states (Iron Curtain). The arms race had a different result on the economies for each country.
The US experienced great economic expansion, new companies were founded by the people to supply the needs of the military. More money was being pumped into the society and as people received more money, they wanted choices how to spend their money. So businesses that expanded this economies expansion. Resources were diverted from one area to provide for the expansion of the military. Since the government owned everything, new companies formed took resources from other areas of their economy.
The military expansion robbed resources the provided needs for the needs of the people hence the result was a shortage of food and other necessary goods for the day to day survival. The arms race resulted in a contraction of the Russian economy. In June 1947, the Marshall Plan was put into effect in order to stop the Russians from influencing any of the weakened western powers(Marshall). Meanwhile the United States sent billions of dollars to help aid to Europe democracies and rebuild vastly reducing the influence of Communism. This brought back Western Germany and rebuilt it as a new ally in US’s fight against USSR.
As a result of Russia rejection of aid to Marshall Plan, East Germany was not completely rebuilt, the lack of reconstruction showed and also during its reunification. The Communists never paid for all of the reconstruction cost while Germany’s economy did taking big hit in their economy. The Truman Doctrine, a plan to help states going through a struggle for freedom against their oppressors, was instituted in 1948. President Truman said, “I believe it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures (Truman). Communism was only allowed to areas already under Soviet control, and Americans would resist Soviet expansion everywhere else. The Truman Doctrine could not have been more clearly directed towards East Germany and, technically, West Germany (Truman). Germany was still under the power of an outside force and also under the power the Deutsches Demokratische Republik. In 1949 the Allies made good on what they promised in the Truman Doctrine and unified West Germany into the BDR (Federal Republic of Germany) and also the Russians instituted the DDR, which turned out to be more of a regime than a government (Truman).