America, Russia, and the Cold War

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America, Russia, and the Cold War

The origins of the Cold War came about when United States President Harry Truman issued his Truman Doctrine. This doctrine stated that the United States would support "free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures." This would end up being the foundation of the U. S. involvement in the Cold War. The main idea of the doctrine was to support nations in the resistance of communism. Truman felt that if one nation fell to communism then this would lead to a "domino effect" resulting in many other nations in the region falling to communism. The greatest fear was that the Soviet Union would spread communism throughout the world thus the reason for the policy of containment. Truman felt it necessary to also provide economic aid to nations that surrounded the Soviet Union. The idea being that they would create a ring of Allies that would contain the threat of the Soviet influence of communism. Economic support would be given and if necessary military support as well. The basis for this economic aid was presented in the Marshall Plan. This plan called for $16 billion in economic aid to be used in the reconstruction of Europe.

In April of 1949 nations from North America and Western Europe signed a treaty that stated if the Soviet Union attacked any of the Allies it would be considered an attack against the U. S. itself. In what was perceived as an escalating threat from the NATO alliance, the Soviets created a military alliance, known as the Warsaw Pact, with Eastern European Soviet bloc countries in May of 1955.

Throughout the Cold War there were numerous incidents on both sides which exacerbated the threat of an all out war. However, there were also several attempts at bringing about an end to the Cold War. One of the greater attempts came from Georgi Malenkov following the death of Stalin in 1953. Stalin had previously appointed several young fanatical Stalinists in a new...
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