What were the origins and the early manifestations of the Cold War?

Essay by zuraskA+, January 2006

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In 1945 as the Second World War was coming to a close there emerged a new and altogether different type of war. The Cold War, as it is known, was a war where the two superpowers of the time the United States (US) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) fought each other in many different battlefronts but never involving actual armed conflict with each other. This war lasted for about half a century and in this essay I shall relate the origins and the early manifestations of this war.

The most significant reason for the start of the Cold War was the opposite and conflicting ideologies existing within the two superpowers. Communist USSR held principles that went against the principles of Capitalist US. To give one example, capitalism needed countries as "markets" for American products so that the US economy could stay healthy and competitive. After the Second World War the Soviet Union created an "iron curtain" by establishing communist dictatorships in much of Eastern Europe and thus the Americans lost many possible markets dealing a blow to the US' economic might.

Thus the actions of the communists were damaging for the capitalists as it went against their principles and this was a cause for the establishment of the Cold War.

The most obvious origins of the Cold War lie, however, in the conferences that the Allied leaders held in the final years of the Second World War. In these conferences difference of opinions emerged in various issues such as Poland's border, Germany's future and the future of liberated Europe. This became more prominent when the wartime leaders of US and Great Britain (Roosevelt and Churchill) were replaced by Truman and Attlee respectively. Thus, a great division occurred amongst the Allies now that the common enemy was...