Cause of the Cold War

Essay by ChickenFeedHigh School, 10th gradeA+, August 2004

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Soviet domination of the countries in Eastern Europe was the main cause of the Cold War. Stalin's aim, to take advantage of the military situation in post-war Europe to strengthen Russian influence, was perceived to be a threat to the Americans, thus erupting in a Cold War.

World War II dramatically changed the United States from a bench-warmer to a player in world affairs. Since so much work had to be done in order to restore world peace and reconstruct Europe, the US could not help being a part of world affairs. Meetings among the major world leaders, such as Truman, Attlee, and Stalin, established new boundaries for countries and discussed plans of what to do with postwar nations. The United Nations was an outcome of one of these meetings, in a hope to prevent further wars and promote peace. However, because of the meeting at Yalta, conflicts arose between two great nations: the US and Soviet Union.

It was agreed that there would be free elections in the liberated countries of Eastern Europe even though the Soviets controlled the area (Newman and Schmalbach 535). Deceivingly however, the Soviet Union started establishing its own form of government in these liberated countries and took over all of Eastern Europe. This growing threat sparked the beginning of a long, nearly disastrous, Cold War.

After World War II was over, the Soviet Union wanted to ensure that it would be safe from further invasion. To do this, Stalin decided to establish Communist pro-Soviet governments throughout Eastern Europe. This helped defend the Soviet Union in two ways. First, an enemy could not directly attack the USSR from the west by land, as the Germans had done in both World Wars. Second, since these nations were pro-Soviet and their leaders had to take orders directly...