The Origins of the Cold War
By: Ashley Fairbanks

These two countries were the main countries involved in the Cold War.
These two countries were the main countries involved in the Cold War.
What triggered the Cold War?
The United States and Soviet Union had different goals for the future. Differing from popular belief, the cold war between the United States and Soviet Union has its origins and events that occurred pre-WWII. In 1917 the United States declined the new Bolshevik government after the Russian Revolution and it sent American soldiers to fight against the new government. This shaped a distrusting relationship between the two countries. Stalin also disrespected the USSR in their nuclear weapons inquiry. The United States and Great Britain did not disdain.

Containment- February 1946 George F Kennan, an American diplomat planned a policy of containment. The United States wanted to contain communism in Soviet Union and did not want it to spread to other countries. In March 1946, Winston Churchill gave a speech to the United States notifying Americans of the situation Containment began to guide the Truman administration’s foreign policy.

Truman Doctrine- Britain was accountable for the financial support for both Greece and Turkey. Britain’s economy had been rigorously damaged by the war which no longer could afford to give help. United States agreed to take over the responsibility to widen democracy. They wanted to make sure countries did not fall into Communism. The Unites States sent $400 million dollars and military aid to Greece and Turkey to help rebuild and stop conflicts from conflicts spreading. Greece and Turkey were aided through 1947 to 1950 confining communistic takeover.
Iron Curtai
A map of postwar Europe with the metaphoric "iron curtain" (green line), which seperates the continent into two regions (democratic and communistic regions)
Churchill described Europe as being divided by “the iron curtain”. The Iron curtain is a metaphor, dividing Europe between democratic and communistic countries by an invisible curtain.

Satelite Nations- Contries denominated by the Soviet Union;
Stalin created communist governments in various nations such as Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Poland.

The first United Nations meeting, joining 51 nations, assembled at the Westminster Central Hall in London, England.
The first United Nations meeting, joining 51 nations, assembled at the Westminster Central Hall in London, England.

United Nations- On April 25th 1945 fifty nations met in San Francisco to confirm the peacekeeping body. On June 25th 1945 delegates signed the charter

of the United Nations officially creating the United Nations. (Littell 809). With the strong desire of power, the United States and Soviet Union took advantage of the United Nations by extending their influence to other countries.

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Marshall Plan- June 1947, George Marshall suggested giving support to any European Nation in need. Marshall directed the plan against poverty and desperation; not against any country or doctrine. (Littell 812). The Marshall Plan gave Europe hope. They wanted to become stable after all that has gone downhill. The United States gave about $13 billion into Europe to rebuild it. By 1952, Western Europe was flourishing, and the communist party had lost much of it's appeal to voters.

June 1948, planes brought food and supplies to West Berlin every few minutes.
June 1948, planes brought food and supplies to West Berlin every few minutes.

Berlin Airlift- Germany and the United States had many problems about coming together as one. American and British officials aided West Berlin by establishing the Berlin Airlift to fly food and supplies into the awful region. Like Berlin in 1948 The United States, Great Britain, and France joint German zones. Stalin tried to force Western Powers out of Berlin by starving them and other disconcerting events. In June 1948, Stalin closed all highways and trails in Western Berlin. The United States and Great Britain tried to assist the nation as much as they could. There was no access to Berlin at this time which cut off food and supplies. The Berlin Airlift continued for 327 days and 27,000 flights. In the fight Russia was seen negatively where the United States was viewed as a supportive country.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization- On April 4, 1949, ten Western Euexternal image 36dfe038a3d9d5bc65a561bbeb5c4390_1M.pngropean nations joined with the United States and Canada to form defensive military alliances known as the NATO pact. Each member of the NATO had a pledge of military support incase an attack occurred. “This was the first time United States entered a military alliance with other nations during peace time” (Littell 814).

Warsaw Pact- The USSR’s response to NATO. This treaty involved Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union. The meeting was held on May 14, 1955 in Poland. The Warsaw Pact acted as a potential threat to all Eastern European Countries. The Pact quickly became a powerful political tool for the Soviet Union to hold away of its allies and harness the power of their combined military. When a country tried to extricate themselves from the treaty, the soviets were certain to have them suffer consequences.

Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin ("The Big Three") connect with the decision-making on postwar Germany at the Yalta Conference.
Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin ("The Big Three") connect with the decision-making on postwar Germany at the Yalta Conference.
Yalta and Postdam Confrences-
Before Germany had been defeated the Yalta Conference came about. One of the most important points agreed upon at the Yalta Conference was to divide Germany into four zones.United States,France,Great BritainandSoviet Unionwould each control a zone. Even though it was in the Soviet territory, they would then divide the city of Berlin. Similar to the Yalta conference, the most important agreement in the Potsdam conference was to set up the four zones of occupation. There was an open disagreement about the boundaries. If both sides had accepted these new spheres of influence, a cold war might never have occurred.

Atomic Bomb- After 1949, both the soviet Union and the United States had access to atomic bombs. The next war could not be a nuclear war or ongoing atomic bombing would destroy the Earth. With no trust between Stalin and Truman, Truman decided to keep the next atomic dropping a secret from Stalin. Truman was scared of Russians conventional army. When Truman dropped the Atomic Bomb with Stalin having no consent of his plan, Stalin was furious that Truman did not warn him. At this time, the USSR had the biggest army in the world. Soviets were so angry that Truman lacked to send them caution of the atomic bomb so all trust was lost.

Russian troops ready to fight for a democratic republic in Moscow.
Russian troops ready to fight for a democratic republic in Moscow.
ssian Revolution-
It has been said the President Woodrow Wilson longed to overthrow the Bolshevik regime; however, Wilson never put forth that he would like to do so. On the other hand, Wilson was ideologically motivated to overthrow Bolshevik. However he was opposed to using U.S and Allied military forces to achieve his end. (Powaski, pg 33). “He feared that direct allied military intervention, particularly unilateral Japanese intervention would throw the Russian people into the laps of Bolsheviks, who posed as the defenders of Russians independence and territorial integrity.” (Powaski ph 33-34). At this time in the war, the United States was viewed upon as the helpful Allies. (i.e helping Mensheviks and not Stalin or Lenon), and they were not looking for that to be ruined. If Wilson brought the Allies into his plans, the Bolsheviks would turn to the Germans for aid against the Allies. Wilson slowly sent U. S troops to Russia to maintain the unity of the Western Allies. American troops frequently came into conflict with Bolshevik forces (Powaski, pg34) U.S forces were soon withdrawn from Siberia.

D-Day- Stalin demanded that the allies create a second front in Europe ever since the day the Soviet Union had entered the war. Roosevelt and Churchill argued that if they initiated troops in Western Europe, many casualties would follow the plan. Stalin continued to believe that without a second front Germany would defeat the USSR. He believed that there were political, as well as military reasons for the allies’ failure to open up a second front in Europe (Simkin). After long discussions the “Big Three” realized that there hadn’t been an allied invasion of France. Their operation overload plan launched 1,000 invasion craft, 600 warships,and 11,000 airplanes June 6 1994 in Normandy, France (Brune and Burns 84) D-Day marked a turning point in World War II, paving a way for Allied victories and the end of Hitlers’ reign.

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Significance and Impact- Each of the origins of the Cold War mattered as they lead to an escalation of a deadly war. Needless to say, the cold war was not fought over one situation, but many minuscule problems. The cold war left the United States as the super power!! The Soviet Union was the biggest threat to the United States during the Cold War. At the end of the war, the Soviet Union, present day Russia, collapsed.

These are the most important aspects of the cold war

1. The opposing ideas of the United States and the USSR 00:00-01:48
2. The Yalta & Potsdam Conferences 01:50-03:22
3. The Truman Doctrine 04:45-06:00
4. The Marshall Plan 06:00-07:12
5. NATO 07:14-08:33
6. The Warsaw Pact 08:34-09:20

Works Cited-

Brune, Lester, and Richard Burns. Chronology of the Cold War: 1917-1992. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, 2006. 84. Print.

D-Day.” 2012. The History Channel website. Jan 18 2012, 7:58

Kreis, Steven. "The Origins of the Cold War." Randall McNally The History Guide: Lectures of Twentieth Century Europe. 2002
Steven Kreis, 05/11/2005. Web. 12 Jan 2012. <>.

Littell, McDougal. Randall McNallyThe Americans. . 809-815. Print.

Powaski, Ronald. The Cold War: The United States and the Soviet Union 1917-1991. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1998. 33-34. Print.

Simkin, John. "D-Day." Spartacus Educational. Spartacus Educational, n.d. Web. 15 Jan 2012.

"The Warsaw Pact." Warsaw-life//. Lifeboat Limited, 09/11/2009. Web. 18 Jan 2012. <[[>.Randal |]]>.Randal lRandall