The Cold war was a sustained state of military and political tension between powers of two dominating powers from opposite sides of the globe. One from the Western Bloc, or Capitalist Bloc, dominated by the United States (U.S) and the other from the Eastern Block, or Communist Bloc, powered by the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R). Obviously both very different, the opposing ideas of the superpowers supported the spread of their respective and economic systems and strengthened their military powers. As a result, the two sides developed new weapon systems, stockpiled nuclear weapons, and competed in space exploration. But what actually caused these tensions between the two? How come their differences in ideology made it impossible to cooperate?
It all started at the end of the Second World War. In WWII, the United States and the Soviet Union were allies against Germany and their allies. After defeating Germany, the allies did not agree on how to European map should look like and how borders should be drawn. Each side had dissimilar ideas on the establishment and maintenance of post-war security with the Western allies desiring a security system established by democratic governments permitting countries to resolve conflicts through international organizations. The Russians on the other hand, with an enormous death toll (estimated at 27 million) sought to increase security by dominating the internal affairs of countries that bordered it . During the ending period of war, Stalin had made in place special training centers for Communists all around the world so they could set up secret police forces loyal to Moscow as soon as the Red Army took control. Soviet agents then quickly took control of the media, the radio especially, and then banned all civic institutions, from youth groups to schools, churches, and rival political parties.
Stalin also sought to continue a relationship with his allies. According to author Henry Heller, “From the Soviet perspective, a postwar period of peace and reconstruction was indispensable. Therefore, the continuation of cooperation and peaceful relations with its wartime allies, the United States and Great Britain, was greatly to be desired."
However, President Truman went through with making two very significant plans, the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine.
Put in effect in June 1947, the Marshall Plan was to stop the Soviet Union from influencing any of the weakened powers in the west. During that time, the United States had sent billions of dollars in aid to European democracies in order for them to rebuild after the war. Stalin did not understand and saw Truman’s actions as insensitive to the Russians who had many deaths and war damages.
As a result, Stalin refused to aid in the Marshall Plan. He also defied these plans with setting up Pro-Communist governments in Poland and other countries all over Eastern countries making the “Iron Curtain” separating the East and West in Europe. This lack of rebuilding from the...