After World War II, there was a growing political, economic, and military tension between the US (and its allies) and USSR (and its allies). This was known as the Cold War. The cold war was an ideological war rather than a military one. The Cold War roughly lasted between 1947 and 1991. The collapse of the USSR saw the official end of the Cold War in 1991. The USSR, a Marxist state, was trying to gain supremacy over their rival, the United States, a capitalist state. The name "Cold War" was used because there was no physical conflict between the two sides. Military might was at the center stage with the use of proxies to advance the ideology. The US possessed weaponry power with the advent of a nuclear bomb that had ended the Second World War. The USSR on the other side had the largest army.
The Cause of the Cold War
Despite having fought together as allies during World War II, the relationship between the United States and the USSR collapsed after the war. The alliance between the two states had been an alliance of convenience. There was distrust between the two nations even during World War II, and therefore, the cold war was a war of pro-Communists against pro-Capitalists.
What Were the Effects of the Cold War?
The first major crisis was the Berlin Blockade of 1948-49. It was soon followed by the Chinese civil war and the Korean War where the communist USSR triumphed. In 1956, the Hungarian revolution was halted by the Soviet Union. At the height of cold war, several crises which include the Suez Crisis of 1956, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. In 1968, the Prague Spring liberalization program ended. In 1975, the Vietnam War ended with a victory to the communists. The 1970s saw the start of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and US establishing relations with the Republic of China. However, the talks collapsed in 1979 with the ignition of war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan. The period of the 1980s was heralded with high tension that forced US to increase diplomatic, economic, and military pressures on the USSR. There was increased liberalization pressure on USSR after the new leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, took power in the mid-1980s. The pressure climaxed in 1989 culminating into a wave of peaceful revolutions. The Communist Party of the USSR lost power and was subsequently banned following a botched coup attempt in August of 1991. In December 1991, USSR collapsed and was formally dissolved, and therefore the US remained as the world’s only superpower.
Repercussions of the Cold War
The Cold War continues to have a significant influence on world affairs today. The US remains the world superpower but Russia, which is a remnant of the Soviet Union, still holds its ground. An underground military intelligence war, space wars, and economic wars continue decades after the cold war.
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