Cold War is a name used to refer to the tense relationship that developed between the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States of America. Cold War occurred after World War II and lasted for approximately forty years resulting in a defeat of communism. The United States led all the allied countries in the West while the Soviet Union led all the communist allied countries in the East. Many historians claim that the Cold War started on February 4, 1945 after the Yalta Conference. The conference had brought together Winston Churchill, Josef Stalin, and Franklin Roosevelt.
During the Yalta Conference, Churchill and Roosevelt deliberated with Stalin on the fact that Russia was to enter the war with Japan (Grant, 2008). In return, the Soviet Union would be granted a sphere of influence in Manchuria in the event that Japan surrenders. The results of the conference were not helpful to both sides. Josef Stalin failed to honor his pledge for free elections in the Eastern Europe. As a result, the American media became hostile towards the East. Another conference (Potsdam) was held in July to develop a mechanism of organizing the world after the war; however, it was evident from these two conferences that there were tensions between the two warring sides (Hillstrom, 2006).
However, Harry Truman tried to end the Cold War using several principles. One of the policies was the Truman Doctrine aimed at disbursing military aid and money to the countries threatened by communism (Gaddis, 2005). Truman Doctrine helped in stopping communists from controlling Turkey and Greece. Another policy used by Harry Truman was the Marshall Plan. It aided in strengthening the governments and economies of countries in the Western Europe. Two events have been cited to have caused the end of the Cold War. The fall of Berlin Wall in 1899 and the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991 marked the end of the Cold War.
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