The Beginning and End of the Cold War

The Beginning and End of the Cold War. Even after the end of World War II, a political rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union recommenced in 1947. When the second world war ended, both nations gained intimidating powers; while they avoided direct conflict, they instigated proxy. The war was called “cold” because both side did not battle directly.

            As the United States and the Soviet Nation pursued the Proxy Wars, various events took place; the arms race between the U.S. and Russia, the containment of Russia, the hydrogen bomb development, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. The arms race was a major event during the cold war as both states competed over control of nuclear weapons (Council on Foreign Relations). Nonetheless, with the help of George Kennan, an advocate of the containment policy, the U.S. managed to create a balance in several conflict areas, resulting in the containment of Russia. To improve defense against its enemies, the U.S. created a hydrogen bomb. Even so, the creation gave the Americans little advantage over the Soviet Nation, causing the latter to create its weapons. Lastly, a political contention occurred during President Reagan’s visit to West Germany; the Berlin War collapsed following the President’s challenge to Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s leader. These events occurred while the United States and the Soviet Union conflicted incidentally.

            The crumbling of the Berlin Wall marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War in 1991. Preceding the event, borders opened for the Central and Eastern Europe nations. The unification of European states led to the fall of the Soviet Union, thus, new conflicts. According to McBride and Park, while the European Union formed after the Union’s fall, it struggled with economic crises and rising nationalism. After the Soviet Union dissolved, the new Russian Federation faced increased poverty due to the lifting of trade barriers and the withdrawal of state subsidies. While the Soviet Union fell, the United States became the only global superpower. Correspondingly, the world has experienced positive impacts; for instance, the rise of international organizations, disarmament and arms control, and technological advancements. On the other hand, the Cold War caused massive consequences for the modern world. The conflict contributed to the development of nuclear weapons that threaten today’s world.

crumbling of the Berlin Wall

            The Cold War occurred due to an ongoing rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union; the war was referred to as “cold” because neither of the nations intended to fight directly. Consequently, the events that transpired during the conflict led to the end of the Cold War. Today, the issue of the Cold War has contributed to numerous international relations and arms control. Sadly, it has also caused a threat to world peace due to the invention of nuclear weapons.

Works Cited

Council on Foreign Relations. 1949-2021: U.S.-Russia Nuclear Arms Control, 2023, Accessed 17 April 2023.

McBride, James, and Jeanne Park. “After the Berlin Wall; Europe’s Struggle to Overcome its Divisions.” Council on Foreign Relations, 6 January 2022, Accessed 17 April 2023.

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