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Causes Of The Cold War Essay Research

Causes Of The Cold War Essay, Research Paper

Causes of the Cold War

The Cold War occurred during a time of rebuilding for Europe. It

characterized international relations and dominated the foreign policies of

Europe. It affected all of Europe and determined lasting alliances. The Cold

War was caused by the social climate and tension in Europe at the end of World

War II and by the increasing power struggles between the Soviet Union.

Economic separation between the Soviets and the west also heightened

tensions, along with the threat of nuclear war.

One main conflict between the Soviet Union was the vast ideological

differences. One of the main tenets of communism is that capitalism is

inherently bad and posed a threat to the working class. The communists view all

capitalist nations as possible enemies. According to them, capitalism will

eventually destroy itself and it is their duty to help it along. They refuse

cooperation between themselves and capitalist nations ideologically. These

extensive differences in beliefs widened the gap between the Soviet Union and

the west.

Another cause of the Cold War was the Soviet Unions control over

Eastern Europe and the forming of economic alliances in reaction. At the end of

World War II, the Soviet Union began transforming the newly freed countries

and engulfed them one by one until all of Eastern Europe was part of the Soviet

Union. The United States became alarmed with the growing of communism in

Europe and set up the Marshall Plan in order to counteract the spread of

communism. The Marshall Plan was an economic support program funded by

the United States. They gave relief money to the war torn democratic countries

in order to rebuild their economy. They did not give money to the Soviet Union

and any of its satellites. The Unites States? motivation for doing this was to

provide themselves with trading partners and to economically exclude the Soviet

Union. The Soviet Union also formed an exclusive economic federation between

all the states in the Soviet Union called COMECON. This restricted trade to

within the Soviet Union. These measures to isolate the enemy and set up

economic barriers helped to provoke the Cold War.

The Soviet Union and the west also formed political alliances to combat

the other side. Western Europe and the United States formed NATO, a military

pact. The Soviet Union created a similar pact, the Warsaw Pact, between the

states within the Soviet Union. These military coalitions put a greater threat

behind the growing conficts by involving more countries. These military

alliances were supplemented by two edicts set by the Soviet Union and the

United States. The United States issued the Truman Doctrine, which stated that

they would support those countries resisting communism. Likewise, the Soviet

Union later issued the Brezhnev Doctrine which decreed that the Soviet Union

would intervene with force in order to protect communism in its satellites.

One of the main issues that strained relations between the Soviet Union and the

west was the threat of nuclear war. Both the Soviet Union and the United States

knew how to make nuclear weapons. This knowledge made the consequences

of their actions much more cautious. This helped to cause the war during the

Cuban Missle Crisis where the Soviet Union planted nuclear missiles at the

United States from Cuba for a time.

The Cold War was brought about by many factors caused at the end of World

War II. The idealogical differences, economic barriers, political and military

alliances, and nuclear weapons all contributed to creating the Cold War. These

differences caused the mounting tension between the Soviet Union and the west

at the end of World War II.