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Chapter: 11th 12th std standard History autobiography life Higher secondary school College Notes

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Beginning and End of the Cold War

ven before the end of the Second World War the Soviet Union had imposed Communist regimes in the East European countries of Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary and Yugoslavia.

The Cold War

The end of the Second World War saw the rise of the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. as Super Powers. The strained relationship between these two countries till the collapse of the U.S.S.R is known as the Cold War. The term 'Cold War' was used for the first time by Bernard Baruch. Thereafter this term gained popularity through the journalist Walter Lippman.

 

The Cold War may be described as the existence of continued tensions and conflicts between the western world and the Communist countries in general and between the United States and the Soviet Union in particular. The Cold War was otherwise an ideological war or a propaganda war or a diplomatic war. It was neither a condition of war nor a condition of peace. It was a state of uneasy peace.

 

Beginning of the Cold War

 

Even before the end of the Second World War the Soviet Union had imposed Communist regimes in the East European countries of Poland, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary and Yugoslavia. Immediately after the War the Soviet Union brought East Germany under her influence. West Germany came under the influence of the U.S.A.

The Soviet Union blocked all roads to the west-occupied zones in Berlin. This is known as Berlin Blockade. Thus, a tense situation developed between the two blocs of the Cold War groups. The West was now concerned about the Russian influence. The U.S.A. had then assumed the responsibility of containing Communism. On 5th June 1947, the Marshall Plan was announced by the U.S.A. by which economic assistance was to be provided to the western European nations. It was a step to save the European Continent from the growing influence of Communism. In response to American Marshall Plan, the Soviet Union initiated Molotov Plan. On 12th March 1948, Truman Doctrine [Truman was the President of USA] was announced and accordingly the U.S.A. provided economic and the military aid to Greece and Turkey to the tune of 400 million dollars in order to stop the Soviet influence in those countries.

End of the Cold War

 

With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe occurred. The bi-polar world became unipolar world. On 31st July 1991, American President George Bush and Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev signed the 'historic' START - I Treaty in the Moscow Summit. This marks the end of the Era of Cold War.

 

The ideological war otherwise known as Cold War was fought for about five decades since 1945. The world saw the vertical division of nation states. Military alliances were made. Arms race developed. Nuclear holocaust threatened the world on many occasions. However, after the 1970s détente resulted in the gradual relaxation of tension between the two super powers which ultimately ended with the dissolution of Soviet Union.


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