How the Cold War Started

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The United States in the Early Nuclear Age (1946-1952)

With the atomic bombs, not only was the war ended abruptly but it also ushered in a new era that called for new rules for foreign relations.


Although the times had changed, WWII left behind three legacies that would affect American life forever.


With nuclear weapons it was possible to annihilate an entire civilization.

Humans had the guts to harm other humans and end numerous lives- atomic bomb and the Holocaust. People finally saw the cruelness of the Holocaust and how people were gathered to be killed like animals. It showed human cruelness and made people question if we had progressed or not.

The war ended with the Soviet Union and the United States as true victors and soon enemies. With both holding nuclear power, they engaged in a "cold war" as each feared for their own safety against the other.

Roots of Soviet-American Animosity

America and USSR had nothing in common. They united when Germany threatened but there never really agreed on anything else. US called for democracy while the Bolsheviks established a powerful, tyrannical ruler. Even more importantly, the US wanted freedom to trade everywhere while the Soviets tried to take over the worlds markets and not allow capitalists to trade there. Throughout the war, politicians on both sides hated each other and even Stalin was uneasy with the US.

An Insoluble Problem

FDR thought he could work things out with Russia. He hoped to make Poland, Czech, and other neighboring countries democratic and open to trade while they did not challenge Soviets. This would never work however because the Poles hated Russia. The Red Army had slaughtered the Poles and there was no way they would be friends. FDR may...