Causes of Cold War

The cold war was the 1945 to 1989 clash between democracy and the communist countries. The tactics employed throughout the cold war included trade and industry wars, diplomatic haggling, misinformation, and sporadic military conflicts. The fighting took place in locations, which had no direct relationship with either The United States or The Soviet Union. The impartial states such as Asia, African countries that had attained self-rule, and even outer space felt the effects of the cold war. The United States of America advocated for Democracy whereas the Soviet Union piloted the communist states.

Tensions between these two sides existed even before the Second World War. There were deeply ingrained ideological, political, and economic differences between America and the Soviet Union. Immediately after the war, their mutual suspicions intensified. In the United States, choosing a government is through free and fair elections. Citizens possess the right of speech, assembly, and of the press, however, in the Soviet Union, the Communist Party formed the government. The people did not have the right to form their own political parties and neither did they have the freedom of speech, assembly, or press.

The Soviet Union wanted to extend communism. Since these two forms of government are entirely opposed to one another, they caused friction between the two sides. America on one side advocated for capitalism and free trade in all countries of the world, however, the Soviet Union, wanted to protect itself from global trade. This is because the Russians feared that engaging in trade with the western world would expose Russia to western influences, which would have undermined the strength of the dictatorial regime, leading to both sides having ill feelings for each other.

The initial conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States started at peacetime conferences. During talks at the Paris Peace Conference in 1946, a terrific urge developed between the Western nations and the communist block to see who could achieve certain European objectives before the other. The lack of cooperation and refusal of the United States to accept the agreements of the Geneva Accords severed their conflict with the Soviet Union hence fueling the cold war.

The Cold War developed out of definite diplomatic disagreements, among them Eastern Europe, Germany, and atomic weapons. The leadership system denied people the right to choose their leaders and in a way, govern themselves. President Stalin murdered just as many of his own people as those he lost in war. This was through, flushing out those he considered unpatriotic as well as, not providing enough food. On the other hand, American hegemony was liberal, pluralistic, and generous. Territorial interests also fueled this war in that the United States did not want the Soviet Union to gain control of Central Europe as it had done with other parts of Europe (Pillai, n.d.).

Perestroika, a political movement within the Communist Party in the 1980s is widely viewed to be the cause of the end of the cold war. The cold war came to a dramatic end in 1989. The nations that had embraced communism and were on the side of The Soviet Union suffered economic stagnation. For example, people in East Germany are backward in terms of development, could see the affluence and wealth of their neighbors in West Germany. In Russia, many people lacked food, having to queue for long periods in order to purchase some. For people to be able to purchase anything including socks, they used coupons supplied by the government. The citizens in the communist nations began to push for freedom, and this led to the end of the cold war (The End of the Cold War, n.d.).


Pillai, P. (n.d.). Causes and Effects of the Cold War. Web.

The End of the Cold War. (n.d.). Web.

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