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Causes and Onset of the Cold War

25 Sep 2017History Essays

The cold war was simply a result of the difference in ideologies between the American leaders and the Russian dictator. On one hand you have Truman and his believe in the righteousness of America and his believe in democracy while Stalin was determined to keep and protect its conquered states. There were several issues that led to the onset of the cold war that resulted into one of the biggest arms race humanity will ever witness. These issues included their indecisiveness on issues regarding the proliferation of nuclear weapons, control of European States and the post war aid for the reconstruction of Europe. There many factors that caused the emergence of the cold war but the exact time it began remains a point of contention. Many however believe that it began during the end of the Second World War whereby despite the fact that Russia and USA fought on the same side, their differences reemerged immediately after. USA and European countries like Britain supported the reconstruction of Europe as a whole including Germany a move vehemently objected by Russia (Westad, 2005).

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However, it is plausible to argue that tension between the countries dates back to Lenin who saw capitalistic states as being hostile and a threat to his socialist government and his initiation of a campaign to convert other countries into socialism. This saw America swing into action to isolate communist regimes which in its view were undemocratic and a danger to its people. America refusal to provide Aid to Russia convinced Stalin of western hostility and contributed to a growing antagonism between the soviet and the United States. Had the

West regarded Stalin simply as a cautious leader who was trying to protect Russia rather than an aggressive dictator leading a communist drive for world domination, the tension between the two sides might not have escalated into the Cold War. U.S. foreign policy leaders initiated a major departure in American foreign affairs from the traditional policy of isolationism to one of containment, arguing that only sustained and strong resistance could halt Soviet expansionism (Robin, 2001).


  • Robin, R. (2001). The Making of the Cold War Enemy. Princeton University press.
  • Westad, O. (2005). The Global Cold Wa. Cambridge University press.
Learn more:
Bolshevik Revolution in Russia Ceremonial Speech by L. B. Johnson Fukuyama’s Liberalism Versus State-Building

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