By Michael L. Parker
American Public University System
January 16, 2013
HIST102: American History since 1877
The Cold War
After the end of World War two, the United States and the Soviet Union were the two main super powers left standing. Both countries were afraid of each other in different ways. The United States was worried that the Soviet Union was trying to expand its communist ways by invading other countries. They were also worried because the Soviets had nuclear weapons which posed a threat to national and world security. Henretta stated “The conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States, although it did not lead to any direct engagement on the battlefield, inaugurated a long twilight era of international tension — a Cold War — during which either side, armed with nuclear weapons, might have tipped the entire world into oblivion”.  The Soviets were worried that the U.S. would become the dominant power over the world. The Soviet Leaders did not believe in freedom and they were afraid the U.S. would spread its democratic ways throughout the Soviet Union. Henretta stated “Even had nothing else divided them, the United States and the Soviet Union would have jostled each other as they moved to fill the vacuum. But, of course, the two countries were divided by ideology, by history, by geography and strategic interest, even by relative power (with the advantage, both militarily and economically, heavily on the American side”.  FDR understood that maintaining the U.S.-Soviet alliance was an essential condition for postwar stability. Henretta wrote “But he also believed that permanent peace depended on the Wilsonian principles of collective security, self-determination, and free trade”. So the U.S. and its allies were faced with finding a way to get the Soviet Union to adopt the Wilsonian principles of allowing freedom through democracy which the communists wanted no part of. In 1945, FDR, Prime...