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Section 1- Introduction
The cold war is the name given to a period of history between 1945 and 1989.
During this time the USA and the USSR challenged each other. This was a time
of extreme tension and threat of war. The USA and the USSR were known as
superpowers as they were far stronger and more powerful than any other
Although fear and threats of war were very real and there were times when this
seemed imminent, the war never happened.…read more

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The cold war was conducted in a number of ways with conflict always being
The Arms Race
The two sides engaged in ongoing nuclear and conventional arms race from
1945 onwards. Each side tried to develop increasingly powerful and
sophisticated weapons. Nuclear weapons were never meant to be used.
Both sides had a network of spies and secret agents engaged in intelligence
and information. The USA made extensive use of CIA and the USSR used the
KGB.…read more

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The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 was the ultimate crisis. This was a direct conflict
between the USA and the USSR with war becoming very close. World war 3
was avoided with an agreement being reached.
The leaders of the superpowersEisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Khrushchev,
Brezhnev were intelligent and rationale which led to massive efforts being made
to limit confrontation.
Section 2- Opening moves
The cold war begun in 1945 after WW2. During the war the USA and the USSR
had been allies.…read more

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The First Sign of Tension
Even with the onset of victory and peace. Tensions became apparent at the
Potsdam Conference.
Eastern Europe
The Russian army was the dominant military force in all Eastern European
countries. Stalin had promised free elections but this did not happen as the local
communist party was strengthening.
The atomic bomb
At Potsdam Truman told Stalin the USA had successfully tested the atomic
bomb.…read more

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A civil war was occurring in Greece and the USA believed the USSR was
providing support for the communists. This was not the case.
The Truman Doctrine
In a speech on the 12th of March 1947, Harry Truman spelt out the USA's
position very clearly.…read more

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Section 2: The Soviet takeover of Eastern
The Creation of the satellite states
Since WW2 the Eastern European countries had been occupied by the Red
Army. Stalin moved to bring these countries under strict Soviet domination with
all power in Russian hands. These countries were to become satellite states.
This would mean they would be smaller versions of the Soviet Union, with
identical political and economic systems. These states would support the Soviet
Union and follow its lead.…read more

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other political parties were banned.…read more

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Section 3: The pace quickens: the Berlin
Crisis, 1948-9
The main concern for the Western powers became Berlin.
Since the end of WW2 Germany had been under the control of the USA, USSR,
the UK and France. The city of Berlin which was inside the Soviet zone
remained under the control of the four powers.
By the early 1948 the relations between USA and USSR had deteriorated badly
and a crisis was developing in Berlin.…read more

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This was a major success for the Western powers.
The Berlin airlift had been a clear success for the West led by the USA. The
Berlin crisis had a further impact as the USA was convinced that communism
was posing a frightening challenge to democracy in Western Europe. The USA
were alarmed by the takeover of Eastern Europe especially Czechoslovakia.
The prospect of threat to Western Europe was increasing as the states were not
strong enough to stand up to the Soviet Union.…read more


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