What was it?The Cold War was a state of political and military tension after World
War II between powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO
allies and others) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and
its allies in the Warsaw Pact).Historians have not fully agreed
on the dates, but 1947–1991 is common. It was termed as "cold" because
there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides,
although there were major regional wars in Korea, Vietnam and
Afghanistan that the two sides supported.
There is disagreement among historians regarding the starting point
of the Cold War. While most historians trace its origins to the period
immediately following World War II, others argue that it began towards
the end of World War I, although tensions between the Russian Empire,
other European countries and the United States date back to the middle
of the 19th century.Various events before the Second
World War demonstrated the mutual distrust and suspicion between the
Western powers and the Soviet Union, apart from the general
philosophical challenge the Communists made towards capitalism.
was Western support of the anti-Bolshevik White movement in the Russian
Civil War, the 1926 Soviet funding of a British general workers strike
causing Britain to break relations with the Soviet Union, Stalin's 1927
declaration of peaceful coexistence with capitalist countries "receding
into the past," conspiratorial allegations during the 1928 Shakhty show
trial of a planned British- and French-led coup d'état, the American
refusal to recognize the Soviet Union until 1933 and the Stalinist
Moscow Trials of the Great Purge, with allegations of British, French,
Japanese and Nazi German espionage. However, both the US and USSR were generally isolationist between the two world wars
Causes of the Cold War
Russian historians blamed Churchill (the British Prime Minister) and
Truman (the American president, 1945–1953). They said Truman and
Churchill wanted to destroy the USSR, which was just defending itself.
The Traditional View: At first, western writers blamed Russia. They said Stalin was trying to build up a Soviet empire.
The Revisionist View:
Later, however, some western historians blamed America. They said
Truman had not understood how much Russia had suffered in the Second
The Post-Revisionists: Later still, historians think BOTH sides were to blame – that there were hatreds on both sides.
Most recently, historians agree that the Cold War was primarily a clash of beliefs - Communism versus Capitalism.