Causes Of The Cold War

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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. Word Count: 604

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