AP History Period 1
The Cold War began over a period of several years following World War II as a result of increasing political and ideological tensions between the USSR and the USA; the weapons used were political and technological, in that many different types of strategies were utilized. Speeches given by world leaders provide evidence of the escalation of tensions between the two countries. The arms race played a major part in the Cold War, but other factors contributed to the struggle for power.
The conflict between capitalists and communists always existed, but since they needed to become allies against the Axis powers during World War II, differences were put aside. Once the war ended, the need for the alliance ended as well, thus beginning a new conflict called the Cold War. It really began, as Winston Churchill said in 1946, with the concept of a dividing line between Central and Eastern Europe and the rest of the world, which he called “the iron curtain.” On either side of the curtain lay opposing ideologies, comprised of political, military and economic differences. The US's plan for European recovery was to support or uplift the economy to help European states resist communism and make them less vulnerable to it. This was the plan that Secretary of State Marshall suggested in 1947. The USSR and the USA did not see eye to eye because each feared that the other would either take control or wreak havoc on their country.
With this growing fear of each other, each country was trying to get ahead of the other technologically and militarily. A prime example was the nuclear arms race between the USSR and the USA, which reached its peak between 1966 and 1974. This weaponry could have resulted in the extinction of humankind. Along with military efforts to gain power were technological advances in space, like NASA and the Soviet Space Program which also proved to be a race of technology. The fear that drove the races...
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