Cold War Essay

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COLD WAR During 1945 and early in 1946, the Soviet Union cut off nearly all contacts between the West and the occupied territories of Eastern Europe. In March 1946, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill warned that "an iron curtain has descended across the Continent" of Europe. He made popular the phrase Iron Curtain to refer to Soviet barriers against the West (Kennedy 1034). Behind these barriers, the U.S.S.R. steadily expanded its power. In 1946, the U.S.S.R. organized Communist governments in Bulgaria and Romania. In 1947, Communists took control of Hungary and Poland. Communists seized full power in Czechoslovakia early in 1948. These countries became Soviet satellite nations controlled by the U.S.S.R. Albania …show more content…
Fear grew among all peoples that a local conflict would touch off a third world war that might destroy humanity. The nature of the Cold War began to change in the 1960's. Neither the East nor the West remained a monolith (united bloc). Communist China challenged Soviet leadership. China accused the Soviet Union of betraying Communism and being secretly allied with the United States. Some Communist countries followed China's leadership, and others remained loyal to the U.S.S.R. Among the nations of the Western bloc, France harshly criticized many U.S. policies and demanded independent leadership in Europe. West Germany also acted independently of U.S. policies. It searched for new economic and political relationships with other European countries, including East Germany. On October 22, 1962 the world would be the closest to nuclear war it had ever been, after reviewing newly acquired intelligence; President John F. Kennedy informed the world that the Soviet Union was building secret missile bases in Cuba, just 90 miles off the shores of Florida. After weighing such options as an armed invasion of Cuba and air strikes against the missiles, Kennedy decided on a less dangerous response. In addition to demanding that Russian Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev remove all the missile bases and their deadly contents, Kennedy ordered a naval quarantine or blockade of Cuba in order to

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