What Is Cold War(Sheet Yudh): Everything You Need To Know

The Cold War was the open but restricted opposition that developed between the Soviet Union, the United States, and their respective allies following World War II. With little to no use of force, the Cold War was fought on fronts of politics, economics, and the media.In this article, we will go into detail about what the Cold War was and what happened during it.

What Is the Cold War? 

cold war

Following World War II, the Soviet Union and its satellite governments, the Eastern European countries, and the United governments and its allies, the Western European countries, got involved in a geopolitical conflict that lasted from 1945 until 1991. After that, the US and the Soviet Union, two superpowers, split the world into two power groups.

The main ideological conflict between the two superpowers was between the communist Soviet Union and the capitalist United States. Because there was no significant direct fighting involved between the two sides, the term “Cold” was used.

The danger of nuclear war, the rivalry for the allegiance of recently independent countries, and the financial and military support of one another’s enemies globally were the three main characteristics that characterized the Cold War. When the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan to end the war, it demonstrated the strength of its military on an international level. The USSR wanted nuclear technology in response to this act in an effort to prevent US aggression. There were other benefits that the US had. It lost a much fewer number of soldiers and citizens since it joined World War II later than other countries. While the United States lost 300,000 soldiers in the war, the Soviet Union lost 8–10 million soldiers.

Capitalism against Communism

The communist USSR and the capitalist USA had incompatible political and economic systems. A capitalist state values freedom of speech, has a democratically elected government, and a mostly unrestricted economy, a state free of control. On the other side, a communist state is governed systematically, with the Communist Party-led government having complete control over the economy and society. For their own purposes, both sides wanted the nations to stick to their own separate ideologies.

What Was The Cause Of Cold War?

Disagreements on the characteristics of democracy and communism led to the Cold War. The USSR and the US disagreed with each other on how to partition and manage Germany after its defeat in World War II, even though they had an alliance during World War II. As a result, the two global superpowers—the US and the USSR—became increasingly competitive and separated.

The Cold War had three main causes

1. Differing views about the proper governance of a nation. While the US was a democratic state, the USSR supported communism.

2. Differing perspectives on how to manage Germany. The USSR demanded that Germany make significant reparations to all the people and lands they had wronged during the Nazi era. The United States felt that Germany should only be responsible for damages to the areas it had occupied during the war and wanted to help rebuild the economy.

3. The space race and the rush for nuclear weapons. Both countries wanted to develop nuclear weapons for security as well as to be the first to send a spacecraft or a person to space.

Potsdam Conference:

  • The US, UK, and Soviet Union met at the Potsdam Conference in 1945 in Berlin to discuss the following topics: Immediate governance of defeated Germany, and polish boundary delineation, Austria’s occupation, and the Soviet Union’s function in Eastern Europe.
  • The Soviet Union wanted a section of Poland, which borders the Soviet Union, to be kept as a buffer zone. But the UK and the USA refused to accept this demand.
  • Furthermore, the USA did not reveal to the Soviet Union the exact composition of the atomic bomb that was dropped on Japan. This caused tension within the Soviet Union regarding the intentions of the Western nations.
  • The Soviet authorities became suspicious as a result of this.

Truman’s Doctrine:

  • US President Harry S. Truman declared the Truman Doctrine on March 12, 1947.
  • The Truman Doctrine was an American policy that aimed at preventing the Soviet Union’s communist and imperialist projects in a number of ways, which included giving other nations financial assistance. 
  • According to historians, the official start of the Cold War occurred with the revealing of this ideology.

Iron Curtain:

  • The Soviet Union built the Iron Curtain—a political, military, and ideological barrier—after World War II to isolate itself from the West and other noncommunist regions, as well as its dependent allies in eastern and central Europe.
  • The nations connected with or influenced by the Soviet Union were situated on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain, whereas the nations neutral or allied with the United States and the United Kingdom were situated on the western side. 

How Was The Cold War Ended?

The Cold War came to an end in 1991 when the Soviet Union fell apart for a variety of reasons, weakening one of the superpowers. The reasons that led to the Soviet Union’s downfall are:

  • The Soviet Union’s military resources were significantly depleted by the space race and the arms race competition.
  • Gorbachev imposed the “openness” and “restructuring” policies of “glasnost” and “perestroika” in order to revive the declining Soviet economy. The goal of Glasnost was to liberalize the political system. Government-run industries were to be replaced by quasi-free market policies under perestroika.
  • In addition to introducing numerous market-like changes, it permitted more autonomous acts from different ministries.
  • These actions paved the way for criticism of the entire Soviet, rather than igniting a rebirth of Communist thinking. The Soviet Union saw a rise in democratic reform movements as the state lost control over the media and the public domain. Additionally, the public’s discontent was growing as a result of poverty, unemployment, etc. 
  • Another significant element in the dissolution of the Soviet Union was the Soviet-Afghan conflict (1979–1989), which depleted the country’s financial and military reserves.

The USSR’s split into a number of sovereign states marked the end of the Cold War.


From 1947 to 1991, there was a long period of conflict between the US and the USSR, known as the Cold War. More than an actual war, it was a struggle for dominance and control on a worldwide scale. The nuclear forces of both countries increased, creating an ongoing risk of conflict. This rivalry also influenced other minor fights that occurred all throughout the world. With the fall of the Soviet Union came relief and new opportunities for international cooperation as the Cold War came to an end. It influenced a large portion of the 20th century and continues to have an impact now.

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