Sputnik And The Cold War Essay Research

Sputnik And The Cold War Essay, Research Paper

Soon after the end of World War II, the United States was again engaged in war. This was the Cold War. The Soviet Union and the United States were locked in battle to see who would become the most powerful military presence in the world. Because of this, each country was constantly pushing the limits of their technology. These technological advancements inaugurated the Space Age. Sputnik, the first in a series of launches, was the reason the United States entered the Space Race.

Some historians believe that the cold war began in 1917. They say that after the Bolshevik s seizure of power in the Union of Soviet Socialists Republics, conflict with the West was unable to be avoided. Most historians believe, though, that the end of World War II, and the beginning of the Cold War are clearly intertwined. (Forging the Iron Curtain, 1)

When WWII ended, a conference was held to discuss post-war agreements to shape a secure post-war world. The Yalta Conference met February 4-11, 1945. United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Josef Stalin all met at Yalta in the Ukraine. At Yalta, the decision was made to end German militarism and Nazism. Germany was divided into zones of occupation. The Soviets were given eastern Poland. In return, Poland was given pieces of German land. Little mention was made of the Balkans.

At the Yalta Conference, the Big Three wrote a Declaration of Liberated Europe inviting participation in all democratic interim governments in all liberated countries. (Forging the Iron Curtain, 3) They promised free and unfettered elections. (The First Year of the Cold War, 1)

The Western powers had in mind democratic and or parliamentary governments. Stalin had interpreted democratic to mean simply anti-fascist not anti-Communist . Stalin supported the aggressive spread of Communism, and with that would come global domination. (Forging the Iron Curtain, 2)

Further, the Yalta Conference made provisions to divide Korea at the 38th parallel. The three leaders set up a further conference in April of 1945, in San Francisco, California, to form the United Nations. At first, Stalin wanted one seat per republic. After much deliberation, they finally agreed that Stalin would get three seats; one for the USSR, one for the Bulgarian SSR, and one for the Ukrainian SSR. (Yalta Conference, 1) he leaders thought that the United Nations would be a place where countries could democratically, as well as peacefully, discuss their grievances. The United Nations would help contain the threat of another World War.

The Cold War was a political and economic battle between the capitalist, Western democratic countries, and the Communist USSR, which started to heat up after the end of World War II. The Communists overtook the Balkans, refused to reunite East and West Germany, and kept strict military, political and economic control over the smaller countries, which they dominated. After World War II


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