The History And Political Causes Of The Cold War

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The Cold War refers to an era of U.S. history from roughly 1945 to 1990. Although the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. fought ideological proxy wars in Vietnam, Korea, and Afghanistan, this era is referred to as the “Cold War” because the United States and Soviet Union never actually engaged in war themselves. The origins of the Cold War can be traced back to the finale of World War II. Beginning with the Yalta Conference, the Allied powers of the Soviet Union, United States, and Great Britain started a discussion concerning post war foreign policies. Specifically, the political system of Poland became an important question for the “Big Three”. Should Poland be allowed to form a democratically elected government, or should Russia be allowed to occupy Poland and further expand their communist influence? Essentially, this question and many like it characterized the motivation for the Cold War. The United States sought to contain communism while the Soviet Union pushed for both land expansion and political influence across the globe. (CITE) Harry Truman took the office of President just a few months before the end of World War II. Truman inherited a plethora of dilemmas heading into the post War World II era, and he decided to take his stance on international affairs in 1947 with the Truman Doctrine. Essentially, the Truman Doctrine promised that America would personally intervene in order to insure that democracy would remain secure in foreign governments. This was a stark contrast from the popular isolationist paradigm of the ‘20s and ‘30s. Furthermore, the Truman Doctrine prompted an unusual act of international involvement when Congress agreed to aid Greek and Turkish militaries in an effort to counter communist influence in these regions. Additionally, Truman’s handling of the Korean War is another example of his firm stance of containment. Truman made no qualms about aiding the indigenous troops of South Korea with weapons and troops, but he did openly reject the notion of meeting either China or the Soviet Union in an open land battle. Furthermore, Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur based on the general’s strong notion to invade China and reluctance to respect the President’s authority. Truman’s decisions

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