How The Cold War Started Essay

2074 words - 8 pages

Anxiety TimeThe United States in the Early Nuclear Age (1946-1952)With the atomic bombs, not only was the war ended abruptly but it also ushered in a new era that called for new rules for foreign relations.THE SHADOW OF COLD WARAlthough the times had changed, WWII left behind three legacies that would affect American life forever.LegaciesWith nuclear weapons it was possible to annihilate an entire civilization.Humans had the guts to harm other humans and end numerous lives- atomic bomb and the Holocaust. People finally saw the cruelness of the Holocaust and how people were gathered to be killed like animals. It showed human cruelness and made people question if we had progressed or not.The war ended with the Soviet Union and the United States as true victors and soon enemies. With both holding nuclear power, they engaged in a "cold war" as each feared for their own safety against the other.Roots of Soviet-American AnimosityAmerica and USSR had nothing in common. They united when Germany threatened but there never really agreed on anything else. US called for democracy while the Bolsheviks established a powerful, tyrannical ruler. Even more importantly, the US wanted freedom to trade everywhere while the Soviets tried to take over the worlds markets and not allow capitalists to trade there. Throughout the war, politicians on both sides hated each other and even Stalin was uneasy with the US.An Insoluble ProblemFDR thought he could work things out with Russia. He hoped to make Poland, Czech, and other neighboring countries democratic and open to trade while they did not challenge Soviets. This would never work however because the Poles hated Russia. The Red Army had slaughtered the Poles and there was no way they would be friends. FDR may have been able to work it out since he was friends with Stalin but with his death, it was up to Truman who didn't know much to deal with Stalin.Truman Draws a LineTruman wasn't a negotiator like FDR and he stuck by his decisions. He never liked the Soviets and before his presidency he had already called out against the Communist. Although he didn't say anything directly, he supported Churchill's call to stop the "iron curtain." Truman also fired his only cabinet member who wanted to work with the USSR.Containment and the Truman DoctrineGeorge Kennan (Mister X) did much research on Russia and made his predictions. He said that they would expand west and becoming friends was not an option. However, Russia did not want more and would stop if the US threatened. The US had to let Russia know where it could go and where it couldn't. He also predicted a Cold War that would result in a true peace eventually.In 1947, Truman passed the Truman Doctrine, which aided anti-Communist govts. worldwide, after Stalin tried to spark revolution in Greece, Italy, and France.The Marshall PlanThe Marshall Plan by Sec. Of State Marshall would make US economic aid available to all countries of the world including German and even the...

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