Economics of the Cold War

3530 Words Jul 21st, 2011 15 Pages
The decade preceding World War II is most notably remembered for the Great Depression, a world wide economic period of decline on a scale never before seen. Obviously it affected every country differently and as a result the international political system was multi-polar and divided among two groups, the Axis and the Allies. The destruction of World War II left only two countries economically viable enough to be considered a world power, the United States and the Soviet Union. This unprecedented bi-polar international system would lead to a four decade long period of political unrest, which would come to be known as the Cold War. When most people hear Cold War, they think of the arms or space race, proxy wars, and powerful political …show more content…
By the end of the war the Soviet Union had liberated and occupied a large portion of Eastern Europe. The Soviet Union annexed these countries, on the grounds that they were the land given to them by Germany in a secret pre-war agreement, laying the foundation for what would become known as the Eastern Bloc. This spread of Soviet influence was made even more alarming by their lack of cooperation at the post war peace conferences. Stalin followed the conferences up by using his influence in these newly acquired Eastern Bloc countries, to establish pro-Soviet regimes and communist economies. With the spread of communist influence into Europe growing the West was quick to respond. In his famous “Sinews of Peace” speech in 1946, Winston Churchill claimed that Stalin had built an “iron curtain” through Europe and the countries that were behind it were now in the communist sphere of influence. It had a tremendous impact, in the U.S. and Western Europe, on the public opinion of the Soviet Union. Many Russian historians point to the speech as the beginning of the Cold War (Winston Churchill). With the battle lines drawn, the Cold War was upon us. In 1947, upon hearing that Great Britain could no longer afford to aid Greece in its civil war against communist influence, President Truman delivered his Truman doctrine to congress. Fearing that if Greece fell Turkey would not be far behind Truman, “asked the Congress to provide authority

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