How Did the Cold War Begin

Topics: Cold War, World War II, Soviet Union Pages: 7 (2700 words) Published: November 20, 2011
Alicia B. Vaughner|
How Did the Cold War Begin?|
POL 300 027016*201004|
Strayer University|


How Did the Cold War Begin?
No one seems to be able to agree on an exact date of when the Cold War began. There was never an official announcement of warfare to note the start beginning of the conflict. The cause of the Cold War stems from many causes. However, it was mainly due to conflict between the United States and the then Soviet Union. “Both the United States and the Soviet Union had been born in revolution. Both embraced ideologies with global aspirations: what worked at home, their leaders assumed, would also do for the rest of the world.” (Gaddis, 2005, p 7) Both were well ahead of other countries in many areas. Both entered the war, the Soviets because of Germany’s invasion and the United States because Hitler declared war after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. But here is where their similarities ended. The differences between the nations were outweighed the similarities enormously. Both countries had their own ideas as to how things should have been during the period after the war. The United States envisioned the “One World” concept. (Anderson 2001, pp. 7-9) That all nations should be self-governing and allowing the United Nations to resolve differences and make certain there was peace. The United States had believed that its way of life and culture was much better than other nations and that everyone else would fare better if they were like America. The Soviet Union was a communist society. That meant that everything was owned by the country, however, it was controlled by the government. This idea was the total opposite of the United States and many other countries where businesses were ran and owned privately. The Soviets wanted the nations that they governed to operate as they did. The leaders of both nations tried, tirelessly to work out their differences. There was a conference held at Tehran, Iran in 1943. This is where “the leaders of the three great Allied powers- the United States president Franklin Roosevelt, British prime minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet premier Joseph Stalin,” began a series of several meetings they would have leading up to the end of World War II. (Maus, 2003 pp. 13-14) These leaders discussed topics such as the influences each of their countries had on regions in which they had control and liberation. “All three leaders believed they had made progress at Tehran. Churchill felt he could get along with Stalin, and began to refer to him as ‘Uncle Joe’. What the Western leaders did not know was that their rooms at Tehran were bugged and that every morning Stalin went through a transcript of their conversations. He would leave nothing to chance.” (Isaacs & Downing, 1998, p 12) Lack of trust was a major issue. By February of 1945, they held another conference in Yalta. Here they discussed how they could get a piece of Germany after they were defeated. They decided that they would not question one another’s power in regions in which they were already engaged. They all agreed to maintain control in the areas they already governed. They also agreed to set up their own elected governments as quickly as possible, and this basically stayed in effect for the next 45 years. The three Allies leaders met again later in 1945 in Postdam, Germany. President Roosevelt had been replaced by Harry Truman and Winston Churchill had been replaced by Clement Attlee. Stalin was concerned that the new United Nations may have been controlled by the United States and Great Britain, and that the Soviet Union would be over powered. “It was agreed that two or three Soviet republics would be admitted as members and that each of the great powers should have a veto over resolutions of the Security Council.” (Isaacs & Downing, 1998, pp 15-16) By this time the war was over. All of the decisions that had been made in Yalta were now put...

Cited: Anderson, Dale. (2001). The Cold War Years. Austin, New York: Raintree, Steck~Vaughan Publishers
Isaacs, Jeremy and Downing, Taylor. (1998). Cold War: An Illustrated History, 1945-1991. Boston: Little, Brown and Company
Gaddis, John L. (2005). The Cold War A New History. England: Penguin Books
Hanhimaki, Jussi and Odd Arne Westard. (2003). The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts. New York: Oxford Press
Maltz, Leora. (2003). The Cold War Period 1945-1992 Volume 8. Michigan: Greenhaven Press
Maus, Derek C. (2003). Turning Points in World History: The Cold War. Michigan: Greenhaven Press
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