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The Cold War And The Collapse Of The Soviet Union

2444 words - 10 pages

When World War II ended in 1945, the world was wrought with distrust and paranoia. During the war, United States had successfully detonated two atomic bombs in Japan. The introduction of nuclear power into warfare, proved to be the most lethal weapon in the history of combat. In addition to a claim on such technology, a country had the power and the means to spread its political and social ideals. After the detonation of the atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet Union was eager to catch up with the Americans. This “need” would lead to the concept of brinkmanship, a nuclear arms race, and the expansion of Soviet ideals. The Soviets were successful during World War II, which resulted in the growth of the economy, nationalism, communist movement, as well as the need for nuclear power. Although the Soviet Union culminated great economic prosperity and power during World War II, the Soviet Union collapsed after the Cold War erupted in 1947. The struggles of nuclear power and revolts against communism led to this dissolution.
With people promised equality and better living conditions, Marxism and communism became popular throughout the Soviet Union during 1900s. Communism, a type of government, controls many aspects of a community with a single party. The concepts of Karl Marx’s beliefs helped Communism grow in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the USSR. The movement began after World War I, because of the brutality of the war lead many Soviets to demand change. After another brutal l world war, the communist movement continued to grow rapidly because of its promises of fairness and improved circumstances for all.

At the end of World War II, Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, suffered from paranoia. His daughter, Svetlana, wrote in her personal journal that, ‘for twenty seven years, I was witness to the spiritual deterioration of my own father, watching day after day how everything human in him led and how gradually he turned into a grim monument to his own self.” This paranoia was fueled by the knowledge that the US had an atomic bomb and the Soviets did not.
Tensions only continued to grow after Winston Church gave a speech to in Fulton, Missouri. On March 5, 1946 in an address to Westminster College, Churchill spoke about the pressing international affairs. The speech initially entitled “Sinews of Peace,” was mostly known as “The Iron Curtain Speech.” Churchill said, ‘an iron curtain [had] descended across the Continent [of Europe].’ Churchill’s iron curtain became the symbol of the division between the capital west and the communist east.
With a team of Soviet and international scientists, Lavrenti Beria, the Soviet Union’s chief of security, led the USSR’s atomic project. The Soviet’s weren’t successful until August of 1949 when they detonated “Joe-1” in Kazakhstan. Finally, Soviets triumphantly obtained nuclear missiles. When the United States learned of the Soviets successfulness, it increased the...

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