The cold war was a war between two superpower nations, the Soviet Union which believed in communism and the United States which advocated for free governance hence supporting a democratic government. The cold war can be said to have been caused by the difference in ideologies that existed between the two nations and the hunger to control and dominate the world as the superpower.
The cold war did not use military or army weapons; it used other measures to curb the power and the influence of the other nation. Economic restrictions and spread of propaganda against each other were used as the war weapons, as each nation tried all available means to destroy and weaken the ability of the other nation in expanding and gaining popularity.
The beginning of the cold war can be traced way back even before the beginning of the second world war that is after the Bolshevik Revolution and formation of Russian union in 1917. According to Leffler in his book “The Specter of Communism”(1994) the cold war was a political and economical war between the United States and the Soviet Union, which started few years after the end of the First World War, as they struggled to gain popularity and control over the world.
The two nations had differences in terms of governing, whereby the United States dominated by the capitalism and the Soviet Union dominated by the communism. Each state believed that its governing policy was more superior and should be adopted by all nations, thus they tried to influence other countries to form allies against the other superpower nation in order to reduce their power.
The major threats of cold war started with the raise of the Russian revolution under the readership of Bolshevik regime which was determined to spread the communism all over the world, by influencing and cooperating with various countries in order to outfit the Americans.
The United States and the Soviet Union did not involve themselves in any war, but aided the ally’s nations in fighting their opponents. In 1918 to 1920 the United States and Britain joined together to fight Bolshevik regime, but they were unsuccessful. After this inversion, the relationship between the Americans and the Russian worsened, the soviet attitude regarding the Americans and the west became even worse.
Upon the Bolshevik revolution, Russia was a semi-peripheral state and was still struggling to catch up with west which was viewed as most industrialized by then, thus the Russian spent most of its time and economic in strengthening its army. It also invested a lot in the manufacturing of the atomic booms and military ammunition in preparation to defend itself in case of war outbreak. Russia was suspecting that the United States were manufacturing the atomic bombs and they may use them in attacking them.
The landing of the American troops in Russia to assist the anti- Bolshevik in the Russian civil war increased the tension and suspicion within the communism leadership over the capitalism. After the involvement of Americans in the Russian civil war, the relationship between Russians and the Americans became a major point of suspicion and mistrust. 1n 1935 the Stalin adjusted his policies; he started forming alliances with the democratic powers in the western in order to fight the Nazi of Germany.
His initiative failed and he decided to sign the Nazi-soviet pact with the leader of the Nazi the Hitler. The signing of the treaty only increased the anti-soviet tension and the hostility in the western nations. This treaty delayed the beginning of the war between the two superpower nations.
In 1941, Germany invaded the Russians breaking the treaty signed between Germany and the Russian nations. After the attack, the Stalin withdrew his cooperation with the Germans and supported Britain under the rule of the Churchill.
Churchill and Stalin signed a treaty to form a formal alliance to fight against Adolf Hitler. The United States did not join the treaty as it wanted to remain neutral and concentrated in military upgrading. After the American Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Hitler, the United States joined the union formed between Russian and Britain in aid to fight Germany.
This alliance did not last long due to the disagreement that arose between Poland which was an alley of Britain and the Soviet Union concerning the support and cooperation of Stalin with Hitler after Hitler ordered the killing of Polish officers. Despite this suspicion, the western allies and the soviet continued to cooperate in order to defeat the growing strength of Adolf Hitler.
During this war, both sides had a lot of disagreements on various military strategies especially the opening of the second fight against Germany. The Soviet Union believed that Britain and the United States delayed the invasion intentionally in order to attack at the last minute so as they can influence the settlement of the peace with a view to dominate Europe.
Stalin saw that the United States and Britain waited for him and his troops to get exhausted so that they can defeat him and take control. Soviet Union suffered a great loss as it recorded a high number of casualties. This increased tension and hostility among the allied powers.
In conclusion it can be said that cold war started in mid 19th century some years before the beginning of the world war two. The major causes can be attributed to the suspicion and high tension that existed between the Soviet Union and the United States over control of the world.
The Americans viewed communist as enemies who needed to be monitored and controlled as they threatened to take control of the world. On the other hand, Russia under the Soviet Union viewed the United States as a major threat to their ambition of expansion, as they posed the main challenge to Russia.
The war remained cold without the use of military as each nation did not want to be directly associated with the cause of the war. The two nations just supported other nations that were fighting.
Americans supported the British army while Russia supported Germany army in the Nazi war until the time when the Nazi invaded Russia forcing the Soviet Union to collaborate with Britain and America in fighting the Nazi. The real effects of the cold war were fully seen and felt after the second ward war, where each nation viewed the other nation as an enemy, and they had to keep an eye on each other.
Leffler, M., P.(1994) The Specter of Communism. New York. Hill and Wang