The beginning of the Cold War - reasons, main stages and results
The beginning of the Cold War - reasons, main stages and results
After the end of World War II, many states lay in ruins, and their economies were on the verge of collapse.

The beginning of the Cold War - reasons, main stages and results

After the end of World War II, many states lay in ruins, and their economies were on the verge of collapse. At the same time, a bipolar system was emerging, on the one side of which were the United States and its allies, and on the other, the USSR and a number of countries of Eastern Europe, which were under the complete control of the Soviet Union. Simultaneously with the recovery of the economy, difficulties begin to appear in the relationship between the two hegemons, which led to the beginning of the Cold War.

The Cold War is a state of contradiction between the two dominant world systems: capitalism and socialism.

Preconditions for the conflict

To resolve the issues of the post-war world order, the leading victorious countries convened the Berlin, or as it is also called in another way, the Potsdam Conference, which took place in July-August 1945. This meeting was attended by authorized persons and representatives of the United States of America, Great Britain and the USSR. It was decided to evict the ethnic German population from a number of regions in Poland, Hungary, French Alsace, Lorraine and Czechoslovakia. An occupation regime was introduced on the territory of Germany, while the country was actually divided into American and Soviet zones of influence.


Europe gradually began to recover from ruins, in particular, the Americans proposed the Marshall Plan for the western part of Germany, which implied transferring the economy to market relations, full democracy, as well as significant investments in industrial development. This gave a significant impetus to the development of the Federal Republic of Germany, which literally 20 years later, in terms of GDP, was on the same level with the leading European countries.

In the GDR, development went much slower, since the social system was built exclusively on planned indicators, requiring more and more financial infusions from the center, that is, from Moscow.

Causes of the Cold War

After the end of the world war, a number of states lost their influence on the world arena, such countries included Japan, Italy and Germany. Among the winners, two world leaders stood out - the USA and the USSR. In such a bipolar world, the most powerful superpowers began to dominate, ultimately this contributed to the aggravation of relations between them, and, as a result, the Cold War began to unfold. It was at this time that the UN was organized, but its role in the peace settlement after the Second World War was not very high.

In addition, the capitalist and democratic countries had numerous disagreements with the totalitarian Soviet Union, which tried to impose its influence in Europe, Africa and Southeast Asia, while the United States adhered to a strategic course for democratic transformations around the world. The leadership of the USSR and, in particular, Stalin dreamed of building communism initially in Europe, and then throughout the entire globe.

The main contradictions that contributed to the Cold War are:

  • The USSR instilled socialism, while the US wanted democratic development for a united Germany.
  • The Soviets sought the complete withdrawal of the foreign contingent from Japanese territory, while the presence of US troops provided guarantees for the independence of this state.
  • The USSR sought to spread communism throughout the world, and the United States adhered to and implanted democratic values.

Literally one and a half to two years after the end of the war, when the allied countries acted as a united front, all the numerous contradictions that arose led to numerous conflicts, and already in 1946 the Cold War began between the USA and the USSR. This period included both a certain warming of relations and an almost open military confrontation in Vietnam or the threat of a nuclear war on the ground during the Cuban missile crisis.

Fifties period

Under the Cold War, it is customary to understand the hostile policy of two powerful superpowers, which adhered to diametrically opposed ideological, political and economic views on the structure of the world. It is believed that the beginning of the Cold War and the formation of a bipolar world falls on 1946, after the speech of the British Prime Minister Churchill. Great Britain, and with it the United States and other democratic countries of Europe, accused Stalin of imposing communism, breaking all formal relations with the USSR.

In response to the actions of the Soviet Union, the countries of the democratic bloc - the United States, Great Britain and their allies around the world created the North Atlantic Military Alliance, which appeared in 1949. NATO was seen as an opportunity to contain the spread of Soviet influence in continental Europe. The Soviet Union also created its own Warsaw Pact Organization, which in 1955 included Poland, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary and a number of other countries.

Of course, in those years it did not come to a direct conflict and a clash of two powerful superpowers, which is explained primarily by the presence of nuclear weapons initially in the United States and soon in the USSR. Atomic bombs were considered as a deterrent, therefore, if there were possible collisions, they were rather local in nature. An example of such a conflict was the Korean War in 1950-1953.

The result of this local conflict was the division of the peninsula into two parts. In the DPRK, with the support of the Soviet Union, one of the poorest states in the world was formed, and South Korea fell under the protectorate of the United States, later becoming one of the most progressive, wealthy and high-tech countries. Subsequently, the United States and the Soviet Union clashed in Vietnam.