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History
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  1. What was the Cold War and how did it start?
Jul 14th, 2015

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The Cold War was the geopolitical, ideological, and economic struggle between two world superpowers, the USA and the USSR, that started in 1947 at the end of the Second World War and lasted until the dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991.

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Jul 14th, 2015

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The Cold War was the geopolitical, ideological, and economic struggle between two world superpowers, the USA and the USSR, that started in 1947 at the end of the Second World War and lasted until the dissolution of the Soviet Union on December 26, 1991.

The Cold War was marked by continuous rivalry between the two former World War II allies.  Conflict spanned from subtle espionage in the biggest cities of the world to violent combat in the tropical jungles of Vietnam.  It ranged from nuclear submarines gliding noiselessly through the depths of the oceans to the most technologically-advanced satellites in geosynchronous orbits in space.  In basketball and hockey, in ballet and the arts, from the Berlin Wall to the movies, the political and cultural war waged by Communists and Capitalists was a colossal confrontation on a scale never before seen in human history.

One of the earliest events in the origin of the Cold War arose from the anti-Communism remarks of British leader Winston Churchill.  On March 5, 1946, in a famous speech characteristic of the political climate of the time, he said:

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an “Iron Curtain” has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow.

What some historians call anti-communism, others analyze as fear, because Stalin, shortly after invading Berlin, had gone on to conquer all of Eastern Europe. The Americans responded to Stalin’s maneuvers in Eastern Europe with the Marshall Plan, a generous provision of free financial aid for the reconstruction of war-torn Western Europe.

The Soviets responded to the Marshall Plan with the Zhdanov Doctrine, unveiled in October of 1947.  The Zhdanov Doctrine claimed that the United States was seeking global domination through American imperialism, as well as the collapse of democracy.  On the other hand, according to this Doctrine, the Soviet Union was intent on eliminating imperialism and the remaining traces of fascism, while strengthening democracy.


Jul 14th, 2015

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