The Cold War

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The cold war can be described as a period of mutual conflict between the United States and the USSR during the mid-40s till the 80s. The war officially began immediately after the Second World War. However, there was no active war between the nations because they were afraid of nuclear escalations (Carlson, 1114). Though, there were some protracted conflicts between some countries such as the Vietnam and Korea which resulted in war. Besides, in 1962, there was the Cuban missile which almost brought the cold war to an end. The Cold war is not only a historical moment but a period which best describes the association between the Americans and the Soviet Union. During World War II, the Soviets and the United States backed each other and fought against the Axis powers. Nevertheless, the association amid the two countries was tense, and the USSR resented the act of America denying it an opportunity to be part of the international legal community and also delaying its entry into the world war which resulted to the death of numerous Russian soldiers. When World War II came to an end, Russia grievances ripened, and mutual distrust began between the two nations (Davis, 854).

After World War II, Americans thought that the best strategy of dealing with the Soviet threat was through containment. The containment strategy adopted by the United States led to the accumulation of Atomic weapons in within America (Kuniholm, 908). American officials Kept calling for the development of more atomic weapons like those used in World War II which further led to the arms war in 1949. President Truman of the United States later announced that America was developing Hydrogen Bomb which was among the deadliest Atomic weapon which motivated President Stalin to develop Atomic Weapons as well. Due to the Ambitions of the two nations, the stakes of the Cold war were very high. America's first Hydrogen test Bomb test in Eniwetok Toll Island demonstrated how the war would be gruesome. The bomb busted into a fireball which vaporized an entire island and caused a hole on the floor of the ocean which meant the bomb could destroy half of Manhattan. Atomic weapon tests by the Americans and the Soviet resulted in the spread of radioactive waste into the atmosphere. The American nuclear attacks also impacted American citizen as well (Legvold, 87). For instance, Americans began building nuclear shelters in their backyards.

The Cold war Climaxed between the periods between 1948 and 1953 when the Soviets failed in blockading the west held sectors in Berlin. In 1949 America and its European allies signed The North Atlantic Treaty Organization which united the Martial forces between the nations to fight to resist the communist community (DeGrasse, 765). American Atomic Monopoly came to an end in 1949 when the Soviets first launched their atomic bomb. When Chinese communists came into power in 1949, Soviets decided to support North Korea which was later backed up by South Korea in Invading the United States. The invasion resulted in a war which lasted till 1953. Between 1953 and 1957, the tension reduced perhaps due to the Demise of Joseph Stalin. The communist bloc countries later formed the Warsaw pact which unified their militaries in 1955. Within the same year, Germany was also admitted to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The Soviet and The United States later began developing Ballistic Missiles, and the Soviets were ready to launch atomic Bombs in American Cities. In 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis prompted the two countries to sign an agreement withdrawing the weapons. The deal was a clear indicator that none of the nations was ready to use nuclear weapons due to fear of retaliation of the other (McCauley 592).

The cold war affected most aspects of the American Society in the second quarter of the 20th century. The cold war seemed to escalate due to the different policies of the two rival countries. For example, Americans championed for democracy and capitalism while the Soviet Union fought for authoritarianism and communism. The cultural conflicts between the superpowers significantly impacted the daily lives go the Americans than any other aspects. As a way of battle Propaganda, the National Security Agencies encouraged Hollywood to concentrate on producing Hollywood movies denouncing communism. As a result, numerous films which promoted patriotism were produced which however spread the suspicion of communist activities within the United States. When the anticommunist Sentiments became out of control, the Un-American Activities committee investigated some of the Hollywood actors who were suspected to be communists. The lives of most people were destroyed due to weak evidence presented to the committee (White, 954).

Political differences between the Soviets and the United States were not limited to Europe. As a result, America adopted the containment policy with the aim of preventing the further spread of Soviet powers. The containment Policy prompted the United States military to dominate the entire Globe. For instance, the Korean and the Vietnamese were primarily fought to prevent the spread of communism which further resulted in the death of thousands of American soldiers. Motivated by the containment policy, United States sometimes abandoned its plans of independence and supported cruel tyrants such as General Augusto Pinochet of Chile provided they did not support communist policies. Besides, the Cold war prompted the Americans to support and elect anticommunist presidents such as Nixon, Reagan, Truman, and Kennedy (Messer 1239). Leaders selected did oppose the Soviets not only politically and culturally but also economically.

The Soviets and the Americans differed economically as they just did politically. The Americans advocated for Capitalism while the Soviets felt that communist policies would work best for them. During the Cold War, the Americans thought that it was their loyal duty to buy consumer merchandises to boost their economy. As a result, the United States emerged as an economic power as it continues to be today. The consumer culture adopted by the Americans perfectly demonstrates the Dominance of the Americans way of life, and it also defined the Nations willingness to spread self-determination to other nations (Hook 2315). America correctly used its Economic superiority as a strategy to fight the Soviets.


The cold war was a vital aspect which affected most American elements. Cultural conflicts between the Soviets and the Americans led to favorable and adverse repercussions. Mutual disagreements between the nations almost resulted in a world war. Besides, different economic policies led to conflicting views on what freedom exactly meant. Further, Military competition between the countries led to massive budgetary spending (Sempa 43). Due to its significant influence, the cold war defined the second half of the 20th century which impact various American economic and political policies.

Works Cited

Carlson, Cody. "The Foundation of the CIA: Harry Truman, The Missouri Gang, and the Origins of the Cold War." (2018): 1100-1103.

Davis, Lynn Etheridge. The Cold War Begins: Soviet-American Conflict Over East Europe. Vol. 1255. Princeton University Press, 2015.

DeGrasse, Robert W. Military Expansion, Economic Decline: Impact of Military Spending on United States Economic Performance. Routledge, 2016.

Hook, Steven W., and John Spanier. American foreign policy since World War II. Cq Press, 2018.

Kuniholm, Bruce Robellet. The origins of the Cold War in the Near East: Great power conflict and diplomacy in Iran, Turkey, and Greece. Vol. 732. Princeton University Press, 2014.

Legvold, Robert. "Managing the new Cold War: what Moscow and Washington can learn from the last one." Foreign Affairs 93.4 (2014): 74-84.

McCauley, Martin. Origins of the Cold War 1941-1949. Routledge, 2015.

Messer, Robert L. The End of an Alliance: James F. Byrnes, Roosevelt, Truman, and the Origins of the Cold War. UNC Press Books, 2017.

Sempa, Francis. Geopolitics: from the Cold War to the 21st Century. Routledge, 2017.

White, John Kenneth. Still seeing red: How the Cold War shapes the new American politics. Routledge, 2018.

November 13, 2023

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