The Cold War

the indirect conflict between Democracy and Communism

The Events leading up to the Cold War

After WWII, the US and Russia emerged as superpowers and began to compete with each other. The Marshal Plan was geared towards helping Europe recover from the war but the USSR did not want to use it because it was 'American Money'. This showed the 'Iron Curtain', a term coined by Winston Churchill, that divided the USSR with anti-communist countries in the rest of the world. The 'Iron Curtain' grew thicker when the Truman Doctrine was created. It stated that the US would protect other countries from Russian influence, the main idea in the Containment policy. By this time, tensions were high between the USSR and the US.

During the Cold War

Even though there was a lot of tension in the Cold War, this remained an indirect political conflict. Berlin, the capital of Germany, was bisected; the west was under the care of the Allies, and the east was under the care of the USSR. Russia wanted to starve the Germans on its side of the wall, so the Americans responded with the Berlin Airlift, supplying the Germans with food and supplies. Another indirect conflict was the Space Race, where both superpowers raced to put the first man on the moon. Also, NATO was created to create alliances to protect themselves against external threats. However, there were a lot of internal threats in the US. McCarthyism was the idea that the US government had communist spies and terrorists during the Red Scare. Senator McCarthy uncovered many of these spies. The Korean War was a conflict showing the division between democracy and communism. North and South Korea were fighting and the US entered the war to support South Korea, but China supported North Korea which caused some problems for the US. The U-2 incident was when Russia shot down a US U-2 spy plane in USSR airspace that was used for surveillance. Later the Eisenhower Doctrine came out, stating that countries in the Middle East could request help from the US if another state (the USSR) were to threaten them. Also the Cuban Missile Crisis was when the USSR placed nuclear warheads in Cuba. It was an indirect threat towards the US. The US promised to retract its missiles from Turkey if the USSR took backs its missiles from Cuba.