The Cold War – An Introduction

The war in Europe ended in 1945. But an even greater war, without the use of battles and guns, was to start between two former allies. The period between 1945 and 1991 was called the Cold War and the two opposing sides were the United States of America and the West, against the USSR (the Soviet Union).

By the end of the Second World War, Europe lay in ruins and it fell to the victorious Allies (United Kingdom, Soviet Union, USA and France) to decide on how to sort the continent out. But, the trouble was, they were unable to all agree on the right course of action.

In terms of ideology, the USSR and USA were polls apart. The USA was Capitalist and believed in fair elections and a democratic style of governing. The USSR was Communist, one leader and a working for the people mentality. The only way to win the war had been to get along. Now, true colours were beginning to show.

When you have different countries and different ideologies, it means that they are not going to agree on everything. Germany as the defeated nation, became the focal point and was divided up into zones. The East was controlled by the USSR and the West was controlled by the Western powers (USA, UK and France).

What does Cold War mean?

The term Cold War was first used by George Orwell, an English writer famous for such works as “Animal Farm” and “1984.” It means a state of conflict between two nations where there is no use of military action and instead fought through political, economic and social actions.

Kitty Gibson
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Kitty Gibson

Kitty is a 21 year old, recent university graduate. She has a keen interest in the war periods of the 20th century. She is looking forward to spending time travelling to New York, Berlin (and other parts of Europe) as well as possibly Australia in the near future. Her interests lie in writing, marketing and reading and a bit of horse riding on the side.