The Cold War

Essay by strongdude59High School, 11th gradeB+, March 2009

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Almost everyone agrees on when the Cold War ended and all the events that happened between the end of WWII and 1991 are well documented. However, many historians seem to have a different opinion on when and how it started. There are major differences between democracy and communism. Some are basic political and lifestyle differences, but more than that, there was, is and probably always will be, a basic difference in the mentality of Russia and the United States. Hitler called the Russians “peasants,” and tried to justify their destruction by not considering Russia and its people worth being part of his new world order. America may have had similar opinions and thoughts about Russia, but they were half a world away and of little importance in the minds of Americans.

The hostility and mistrust between the United States, Western Europe and Russia started in 1917 when Russia became a communist country.

Then, in 1918, Russia signs a peace treaty with Germany. In 1939, Russia, now called Soviet Union, signs a non-aggression treaty with Nazi Germany, and both countries decide to divide Poland between themselves. The United States finally recognizes the government of the Soviet Union in 1933 only. World War II dramatically and quickly changed everything. The United States was drawn into the war reluctantly; we were not ready for a two-front war, either in men or machines. When Germany attacked Russia, in spite of their mutual non-aggression pact, this attack gave the western allies time to regroup and prepare for an eventual confrontation in Europe. The bitter reality of the fighting in Russia resulted in great costs in lives on both sides and destruction of the Russian infrastructure. Early on, Russia wanted a two-front war to take pressure off its “bleeding.” Although the United States needed time to...