March 31

Blog #61 – Who started the Cold War?

One of the main topics for post-war history has been who’s responsible for the beginning of the Cold War – U.S., Soviet Union, or both?  I’d like to throw a fourth option into the mix: Britain.

The U.S., according to revisionist historians, is said to have started the Cold War because of the following actions:

1. During World War 1, an Allied invasion of Russia during their revolution was aimed at stopping the Bolsheviks and restoring the Tsar to the throne.  We also withheld recognition of the Soviet Union until 1933;

2. At the Potsdam Conference, Harry Truman withheld the information about the atomic bomb from Stalin but not Churchill.  Even though Stalin knew about the bomb from spies, the atomic secrets were withheld from the Soviets and not the British;

3. George Kennan, an American diplomat, stated early in 1946 that the Soviet Union has only one concern: world domination, and that they understand power and strength and don’t respect weakness.  This sets up the Cold War policy of containment – keeping the Communists from taking over other countries.  This also became the Truman Doctrine in 1947;

“One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by free institutions, representative government, free elections, guarantees of individual liberty, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from political oppression.

The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forcibly imposed upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio; fixed elections, and the suppression of personal freedoms”  – Harry Truman, 1947.

4. When the Soviets blockaded West Berlin in 1948, the British and U.S. violated the blockade by sending in thousands of supply flights to help save the West Berlin people;

5.   In 1949, western European powers and the U.S. and Canada formed NATO in order to defend themselves against Soviet or Eastern European attack;

6. In 1952, we detonated a hydrogen bomb before the Soviets, escalating the arms race.

The Soviets, on the other hand, had started the Cold War, according to consensus historians, because:

1. They violated the Yalta Agreement by not allowing free elections in Eastern Europe after the war.  Many of the Communist parties in those countries got financial support from the Soviet Union;

2. The Eastern European countries were controlled by the Soviets after World War 2;

3. The Soviets put down a democratic revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1948;

4. The Soviets blockaded West Berlin when the British, French, and American parts of West Germany formed to make their own government;

5. Stalin made a speech in 1946 in which he stated that Communism and capitalism are incompatible –

“Our Marxists declare that the capitalist system of world economy conceals elements of crisis and war, that the development of world capitalism does not follow a steady or even course forward, but proceeds through crises and catastrophes…” Joseph Stalin, 1946.

6. The Soviets backed North Korea’s invasion of South Korea in 1950, sparking the Korean War;

7. The Soviets detonated their own atomic bomb in 1949 (with stolen secrets from the American bomb) and their own hydrogen bomb in 1953 furthering the arms race;

But then there’s the British:

1. Churchill knew from the outset of his reign as Prime Minister that the British would be willing to sacrifice its empire and its influence in Europe in order to save Britain, so he molded FDR and American interests in taking over for Britain as a counter balance to the Soviet Union;

2. Churchill gave the Iron Curtain speech in Fulton, Missouri in early 1946, describing how Europe had been divided into two camps: Communism and freedom;

“Mr Churchill has called for a war on the USSR” – Joseph Stalin, 1946.

3. The British had gone broke fighting World War II and could no longer support countries from Communist infiltration, so it got the U.S. to do that for them – example, Greece and Turkey in 1947 and 1948;

4. The British helped America with the Berlin Blockade in flying 275,000 flights to the city in a year’s time, bringing 1.5 million tons of supplies;

5. Because Iran had nationalized its oil producing company (formerly a British company), the British asked America for help in overthrowing the Iranian leader, Mossadegh, who had democratically elected.  In 1953, Mossadegh was out of power and replaced by the Shah.


After reading all of these accounts, which do you think is the most convincing argument for starting the Cold War and which is the least convincing?  Explain why in a minimum of 250 words. 

Due Thursday by class, April 3. 

Tags: , , ,

Posted March 31, 2014 by geoffwickersham in category Blogs

74 thoughts on “Blog #61 – Who started the Cold War?

  1. Imani R

    Originally, I was going to say that only the Soviet Union and the United States started The Cold War, but Britain had an equal or greater part in the start of the war. So let’s go against the grain and say that when it comes to who started the war, the strongest argument is the British and the weakest argument is the Soviets. Overall the Americans fought the war to stop the soviets from spreading communism throughout the world although they were just building a communist boarder between them and Germany. The soviets fought the war to prevent the U.S. from spreading their capitalistic ideals.
    Throughout the Cold War, Britain is a catalyst that sparks conflict between the two world powers. I feel that the Truman Doctrine is one of the main causes of the war and the Truman Doctrine would have never been established if Britain hadn’t withdrawn its services to Turkey and Greece. Therefore the U.S. got involved and vowed to protect countries threatened by the communist movement. This threatened the Soviet Union. Winston Churchill, the former prime minister of Britain was the first one to publically acknowledge that this was a war of communism and freedom in his iron curtain speech. In his speech he argued against the expansion of the Soviet Union. I feel that Britain was the main advocate for ending the expansion of the Soviet because of the power it lost during World War 2 and the fact Britain is much closer to the Soviet Union than America was. Therefore the British caused the cold war and only dragged a major global power into it, The United States.
    The weakest argument for the country that caused the Cold War would be the Soviet Union. They originally only spread communism to form a buffer between them and Germany. The Soviets are also a weaker argument because at the time the U.S. was more stable and had greater technology and it would be more probable for them to be the ones to start war. The arms race was a large proponent of the war as well and the Americans, not the soviets, sparked this arms race by forming our own atomic bombs and escalating the race by detonating a hydrogen bomb before they could.

  2. Victoria Lucas

    I would say that the cause of the Cold War was die to both American temptation and involvement and also the Soviet Unions communism. However, to narrow it down to one I would say that the Americans provoked the war more so .Originally, global warfare had been an issue . With this in mind, the U.S. seemed to exhibited smarter precaution when interacting with them. The U.S. regularly committed good acts. In fact their main purpose was to secure the safety of the world after the Holocaust warfare (genocide) that Hitler created.

    By doing so I feel that for the most part, Americans only stepped in when needed (fitting back to the recent tradition of isolationism). However , there were times when Americans got invested in problems that had already been declared “none of our business”. This includes situations such as the Americans joining forces with the British to violate the blockade that the Soviets had installed. The blockade was set in West Berlin in 1948, and the Allied pair felt that it was necessary for them to invade the territory regardless of its restrictions in order to send thousands of supplies and flights to help rescue the West Berlin people. Whole heartily , I feel that even though Americans were doing the right thing that they were aware of going against what the Soviets wanted. I feel that the bigger picture is a problem of the Soviets being irritated by the fact that dominant powers such as the U.S and Britain don’t take them seriously. I am not saying that I condone the Soviets desire to spreading communism however, after being disrespected and ignored for so long , their reaction is what I would’ve expected.

    There has always been a slight cockiness that Britain and the U.S. have showed to the rest of the world. It seems that we always try to interfere with conflict , but because we ‘must’ do what is morally correct , we don’t acknowledge that it sets us up as the “main target”. Consider being in a tennis match .’You’re over all world ranking will only go up if you beat someone who has a superior ranking.An example of competition is shown by the ‘arms race’ after Americans detonated the first Hydrogen bomb . I feel that this is what the Soviet Union say The U.S and Britain to be. Knowing the fact that they were never taken serious (U.S. didn’t even bother recognizing the ‘Union’ until 1933).

  3. Ashley M.

    I feel that the United States was the main cause of the Cold war and the Soviets just reacted to what was happening. One thing that we did to start it was the Arms race. Truman withheld the information of the atomic bomb from Stalin but not Churchill. Even though Stalin had spies in America, who acted like Americans even though they were Russian to get the secrets. And we set off the first hydrogen bomb, but as soon as we hear that the Soviets have a bomb we alert the public what to do so they don’t get hurt. An American diplomat named George Kennan spent a lot of time in Russia and he said the only thing Russia is worried about is world domination, and that they understand power and strength and don’t respect weakness. Britain, France, and the US were very upset with this so we created the Truman Doctrine which set up containment so that communism would spread to other countries like a domino effect. Unfortunately this type of effect did happen when the US, Britain and France merged their parts of Germany to one and called it East Germany. China, West Germany and North Korea were all under communists control so the US was nervous that either East Germany or South Korea would become communists as well. The Soviets were not happy that they were not part of this discussion. The US and Canada, with European powers created the NATO pact as well to stop communism from spread throughout all the other countries. Even though when you think about it we tried to spread democracy around to all the other countries to so we could have someone support that idea. When West Berlin was blockaded the US and Britain sent airplanes over to them and violate the blockade. The US started the cold war but with that stopped communism from spreading to other countries.

  4. Karlie S

    Britain had a greater part in the start of the war. All thou American and the soviets also had a part in this but we are going to focus on the British. The Truman Doctrine is one of the main causes of the war and the Truman Doctrine would have never been made wit out Britain withdrawing from Turkey and Greece. This is why American go involved, they wanted tot help the countries who were thought to become communist countries. This threatened the Soviet Union. Churchill in his Iron speech talked about how this war was communism vs freedom. He argued against the expansion of the Soviet Union. Britain was the main advocate for ending the expansion of the Soviet Union. Therefore the British caused the cold war and only dragged other major global powers into it.

    The Soviet Union is the weakest argument. . At the time the U.S. was more stable and had greater technology and it would be more probable for them to be the ones to start war. The arms race, a large proponent of the war, as well as the Americans, not the soviets, sparked this arms race by forming our own atomic bombs and escalating the race by detonating a hydrogen bomb before they could.

  5. Quinn Costello

    I think both the Americans and the Soviet Union are to blame for causing the Cold War. With no fighting in this war it is not clear who is responsible. You could point the finger at either country but with the amount of things they did that they collectively did that angered each other there is not one solely at fault. First the US tried to stop the formation of the Soviet Union and when that failed refused to recognize it until 1933. Also at the Potsdam Conference, President Truman withheld information from the soviets but not the British. This distrust was not going to help relationships. When Russia blockaded West Germany, the US and Britain flew supplies into their part of Berlin, which violated the blockade. Then the formation of NATO was another slap in the face to the US and Soviet relations because NATO was created to protect against communists. Then the US detonated the first hydrogen bomb causing an arms race. The Soviets are to blame because they violated the Yalta agreement by not allowing free elections in Eastern Europe. They also stopped Czechoslovakia from being a democratic nation in 1948. Stalin also said that Capitalism and Communism could never co-exist and many Americans agreed. Then when North Korea invaded South Korea the soviets backed North Korea. The Soviets also escalated the arms race with their own nuclear bomb in 1949. So both the US and the Soviet Union had very little trust with each other and were piety pissed at each other. Britain was not the cause because they were broke and had no weapons like nukes and were not as big a threat to Communism.

  6. Paige W.

    I believe that the British were responsible for the Cold War. After World War Two the British realized that their influence in europe was diminishing and Winston Churchill put it in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s mind that it was the United States’ duty to be the worlds police because Britain could never and would never be the great empire that it once was. After the British influenced America to take on the responsibility of the worlds security, America ventured into the battle against communism. From this point on in history America would feel that it’s their duty to protect other nations from the spread of evils in the world, since the were the worlds third largest country. The United States was on a selfless crusade to contain communism and keep it out of democratic nations. From this point the fault in the Cold War also lies in the hands of the Soviet Union. The Soviets had seen how well communism worked for them and sought to help the world and spread communism all throughout the world, as a charity. They shouldn’t have tried to force their values on everyone else, and when they saw that others were resistant they should have just let it go and let them continue with what they were doing before. The Cold War could have easily been prevented, and it is typical of people to want to put the blame all on one single entity but just as with any other war many things contributed to the genesis of the war. The Soviets shouldn’t have tried to spread communism, and the British shouldn’t have placed the idea in Americas head that it was their job to stop communists (and all other forms of evil), and America shouldn’t have listened to them and just stayed out of it and minded their own buisness.

  7. Jillian Gordner

    Although the United States created an arms race with the creation of nuclear weapons, , I still believe the Soviet Union caused the Cold War. The first reason I think the Soviet Union was the cause of the Cold War was Stalin’s speech in 1946, “Communism and capitalism are incompatible -“. He asserted that either communism or capitalism would have to prevail at the cost of the other, meaning the destruction of one was inevitable. Stalin annihilated any chance of peace between the two countries, and necessitated a Cold War. Acting on this statement, Stalin put down a democratic revolution in 1948, proving he would not allow any democracy to flourish. Another way he sparked the flames of the Cold War was by backing North Korea in their attempt to take over South Korea. The only real fighting between the Soviet Union came at this time, when U.S. went in to prevent communism from spreading. Furthermore any chance of peace was crushed when the Soviet Union violated the Yalta Agreement by not allowing free elections in Eastern Europe after the war. They would not allow free elections to prevail in Eastern Europe, and threatened democracy everywhere, by not allowing democracy to survive anywhere. With America’s way of life threatened, not that we didn’t threaten the communist way of life, we felt that it was necessary to hold the upper hand at all times lest we be destroyed. After West and East Berlin was split, the Soviets wouldn’t allow any supplies to reach the democratic West Berlin. They barred trains going through; although planes got around this quite easily. The only reason they didn’t shoot down our planes was because we had the atomic bomb, and so they had to get the upper hand, and then we had to get the upper hand, leading to an escalating arms race and the Cold War.

  8. Emily Levin

    I believe that both the United States and the Soviet Union are both at fault for starting the Cold War. After reading the evidence given above, I think it is safe to say that there was bound to be a tension between the United States and the Soviet Union no matter what. The United States saw Communism as inhuman, while the Soviet Union did not agree with democracy. The fact that The United States did not even recognize the Soviet Union until 1933, could have been where the tension started between the too. To me the United States seems like the younger brother that always messes with his older brother (the Soviet Union) and wants to grow up very quickly. The United States happens to be the younger brother but the “over achiever” with the atomic and hydrogen bomb, making them lead the arms race. The United States kept secrets from the Soviets about the Atomic bomb which I believe is wrong and would make me reconsider my partnership with a country if they were hiding a discovery that big from me, mostly while we are fighting on the same side of a war. I think that because America has a passion for protecting democracy, that when in 1948 the Soviets put down a democratic revolt, America most likely felt betrayed. They were just two opposites forcing a friendship that was bound to blow up.
    I think the least convincing argument is the British, although they have been there through it all, they are not the main culprits of the war. They are just selfish and look for what’s best for them. Maybe through the greediness and want of oil in Iran they added some kindling to the fire because they asked America for help to take down a democratic elected person. Something America has always wanted, democracy. And with the Iron Curtain speech in 1946 by Churchill added some more kindling but never enough to keep the fire going. Britain was not involved in the arms race because they had America but that means there is no reason for them to be involved in it. Britain is part of the problem but is not the culprit of it all.

  9. Ian Rice

    The United States and the Soviet Union both started the Cold War. This rise in tension was bound to happen because of the opposite beliefs in social, economic , and political matters.
    The United States antagonized the Cold War by keeping Nuclear Secrets of how to make the Atomic bomb from the Soviets by gave it to the British. This was an avoidable cause of increased tensions. Americans initial involvement in the attempt to keep the the Tzars in power in Russia during WW1 was deep rooted tension between the US and the Soviets. These factors helped start the Cold War.
    The Soviets started the Cold War because they backed the North Korean invasion of South Korea which sparked the Korea War, which the US fought in. The Soviets also detonated several nukes which sparked the arms race which made up most of the Cold War.
    The least convincing nation for causing the Cold War was Britain because their antagonistic was minor with Churchill’s speech and their greediness of the oil in Iran. Thought Britain was part of the antagonistic that caused the Cold War they were not the lead culprit.

  10. Leo

    In regards to the cold war I believe that both the Americans and the Soviets are held to blame. Without countries truly fighting with bloodshed it’s hard to tell which country really sparked the tension. Think of it like two brothers hitting each other in the backseat of a car, both are responsible for horseplay, but when asked who started it the fingers will be pointed in opposite directions. The US started some tension from withholding information from the Soviet Union about new bombs and war craft equipment. We shared our information about the atomic bomb and the later formed Hydrogen bomb with Britain but we kept this information secret from the Soviet Union. Another punch to the gut between us and the Soviets was the fact that we didn’t support their creation until 1933. The formation of NATO also pissed the Soviets off because the whole purpose of the creation was to team up western European countries, with us, and also Canada to protect ourselves from Soviet attacks. It wasn’t all us aggravating the Soviets because the Soviets did some things that didn’t make us very happy too. For example the soviets were shutting down democratic revolutions such as the one in Czechoslovakia. The Soviets also backed the North Korean invasion on the South Koreans which sparked the Korean war. Also the Soviets used there spies Intel to detonate an Atomic bomb who’s secrets were stolen from the Government, as well as their own Hydrogen Bomb furthering the arms race, which gave both countries more power than needed.

  11. Ross House

    I believe that the cold war is the fault of both, the Americans and The Russians but in different ways. The americans, from what we have learned, come across as overly sensitive and overly involved in controlling other countries and their governments. The Americans involvement in Russian activities and their paranoia involving communism as a whole seems over done in a way. It seems that throughout history america has been made responsible for countries thousands and thousands of miles away. Using up our resources either by sending in supplies to Berlin during the blockade or sending our own countrymen to die on foreign soil. This is an extremely isolationist view point but i do believe that if America had not been overly interested in the aftermath of WW2 we could have completely avoided the cold war. On the other hand, the Russians are guilty of provoking America to intervene. I am not sure if the provocation was intentional but things like invading countries and violating agreements tend to cause a lot of problems. The soviets violated the Yalta agreement, invaded Poland, Romania and Lithuania to name a few, and they also cruelly blockaded west berlin. These actions made it very hard to not intervene in europe for the United States. If you have the power to save thousands of people, as America did during the blockade, it would be unacceptable and shameful to not do so. Lastly, by violating the Yalta agreement, they refused one of the main goals of the Allies during WW2. The allies wanted the people to be able to choose the government they wanted and the Russians denied eastern european countries the right to do so. The Russians blinded by revenge and the Americans blinded by paranoia both had a part in setting off the Cold War.

  12. Seth Allen 3rd Hour

    I believe that the U.S caused the Cold War. The Cold war was more of a war over competition and pride than actual fighting. With the arms races, Olympics and spread of their views the U.S and Soviets were the two major players in this war. The U.S wanted to contain the thoughts of communism. They realized that Places like the Soviet Union would never give up Communism but they thought they could contain it into that region. This idea of containment made the Soviets want to push out. As I said this was a war of words so the Soviets were basically just trying to prove the U.S wrong. Also with the U.S acquiring atomic bombs and flashing it in the faces of the soviets every chance they get the soviets became very determined the arm races part of the war. Then there is everything that happened in Germany. When the U.S, Britain and France put their areas of Germany together to create West Germany, problems arose. With the Soviets responding with their East communist Germany it became a geographical standoff between communism and democracy. The U.S and Britain then started violating international law by constantly sending shipments of materials to West Germany. There was so many shipments that a plane with materials landed about every 15 minutes. Then the NATO was created to protect against the Soviet Union incase of an attack. This angered the Soviets because it made them seen as a threat and created yet another barrier between the democratic and Communist sides of the world.

  13. Audrey Laport

    I think that Britain, America, and the Soviet Union were all partially responsible in causing the Cold War. But I also think it was mainly the Soviet Unions fault. America was scared that the Soviet Union was spreading communism all over the world and especially eastern europe. The Soviet Union was not willing to cooperate with capitalist countries. When America offered money to eastern Europe with the Mashall plan Russia told all the eastern european countries to not take the money. Stalin stated that communism and capitalism were not compatible. The Soviets did everything possible to anger the United States including sparking the Korean War by backing North Korea when they planned to invade South Korea. They also created the blockade in Berlin which forced America and other countries to drop 2.5 tons of food and supplies. When the soviets made and detonated their own atomic bomb america became very paranoid that the soviets were going to try to bomb us. America had to become prepared and create a lot of nuclear weapons. This was the beginning of the arms race. The Soviet Union also violated the Yatama agreement. Both countries were trying to vcreate more weapons than the other to be prepared if the cold war became a real war. I think the Soviets were purposely trying to instigate America in everything they did. America and Britain were also partially responsible.

  14. Grant A

    I believe that both parties are to blame for the cold war, however if I had to pick one I would say the Germans. This may seem obvious but I think it makes sense. For instance the Non-aggression Treaty was broken by the Germans bring the Russians to the allies side. Before this the Russians hadn’t shown a real will for an empire, they where more considered about internal problems. For instance Stalin committed some 3 or 4 great crusades, really mass Genocides of people Stalin didn’t like. Since the Operation Barbossa the USSR became part of the allies, and a huge player. The Russians absorbed the bulk of the infantry fighting and lost more than the US and the other Allies. The fact that the Russians had been on the other side the US and Britain where worried about the Russians, and Stalin equal distrusting the US didn’t share its nuclear secrets. The Russians where mad at this and thus didn’t trust the allies. Germany basically set up the cold war to happen. And with the differing ideas on what to do with Germany after the war also set the allies apart. As stalin said the Communism and Capitalism can’t exist together.

  15. Rebekah H

    Obviously the Cold War mainly involved the arms race between the Soviets and the U.S., however, the start of it, I believe, was caused by the British. Britain had become like a little brother to the U.S., and thus the Unites States protected them. But it wasn’t because the U.S. is an overprotective sibling, but because Britain is that annoying little sibling that always comes asking for “help” (doing things for them). All throughout WWII, Churchill practically begged FDR for the United States’ help in their war efforts. Because of this sibling-like relationship, the U.S. shared many of their secrets with the British. This left the Soviets feeling pretty left out to say the least. The British were even involved in the violation of the Soviet’s blockade in West Berlin. Churchill was pretty manipulative in getting the U.S. to support his causes. Basically everything he did with the U.S. was purely for the gain of his own country. It’s like a conspiracy theory or something. He sucked up to FDR, got close with him, and used that relationship to get whatever he wanted out of the U.S. Pretty much, they used us like a crime boss uses hit men to do their dirty work, except not really like that because they only used the U.S. because they were broke and incapable. The facts say the war was started by the Soviets and United States, but sometimes you have to look beneath the facts to discover the true story (like a someone being framed for a crime they didn’t commit). So, while the Cold War was a dispute between the Soviets and U.S., it was started or sparked by the mastermind of it all, Britain.

  16. Ethan A

    The Cold War wasn’t simply between the Russians and the United States. It was a war fought between a collection of nations, the Warsaw Pact versus NATO. However, it is commonly said that the main aggressors were the United States and Russia, even though many other nations were involved. I think that unless you add a variety of nations to the fault of beginning the cold war, you cannot bring in Britain. Britain clearly had a much smaller role in agression compared to the Russians and the United States, and acted in similar ways to many other European nations. Though Britain had an influential leader and was a huge part of WWII, they had huge debts and not a whole lot of power afterwards, and certainly not as much as the U.S. or Russia. Both those countries had the physical strength to start the Cold War, with nuclear weapons, and blockades, etc. Both countries were leaders of their representative governments, communism and capitalism, and both had similar goals. They wanted to spread their ideals across the exploitable European and Asian countries. These countries were convinced that they could not exist together, Stalin said so himself. The United States made policies devoted to stopping the spread of communism. Both competed, and aggrivated each other. The fact that both countries participated for so long is evidence that they both took part in its start. No one else was leading the battle except these two. Both these countries took equal part in aggression alone. Neither could have been influenced by lesser countries, such as Britain, to enter the cold war.

  17. Lizzy C.

    In a fight between Communism and Democracy, the two main enemies included the Soviet Union and the US. While Britain did have a role in Cold war and its startup, they acted more as an ally towards the Americans. Numerous times Britain was found asking America to both help and support their efforts or to complete a task in full for them (points 3-5 under the British). This made America the country that physically took part in and had the biggest influence in most of the causes leading to the war versus the Soviets. Thus, this leaves most of the blame is to be taken by either the Soviets or Americans. Because of the Berlin blockade, the bombs that were made, and the fact that the Soviets helped spark a separate war, the Soviet Union should take the blame for the start of the Cold War.

    After the US, British, and French won a few zones from the previous war, the countries combined the areas to form West Berlin. The Soviet decided to put a blockade in this area. Because West Berlin was made up of a zone from America, the allying countries acted in a paternal way towards the land and wanted to save the people living on it. Thus, America’s violation of the blockade is justified because it was protecting this land that was still a part of the country in a way, while the Soviets were trying to start a fight by blockading this area that America deeply cared about.

    The race towards who could make the largest, most destructive and efficient bomb was on its way. While America attempted to keep its bomb plans on the down low, the Soviets discovered our plans and raced to make their own weapon. Although America completed their hydrogen bomb before the Soviets made theirs, the Soviets completed the creation of an atomic bomb before us, however, and then went on to make their own hydrogen bomb after the news of ours. With the Soviets in the lead of this bomb madness (in the lead as in they made both an atomic bomb and hydrogen bomb while we only made the hydrogen bomb), they infused more fear into the world towards the fight between Communism and Democracy.

    Both America and the Soviet Union had a goal- to spread their beliefs on the rest of the world. The SU and US had different methods of doing this. While America may have been known for going to countries and even paying them to be democratic, the Soviets sparked a whole separate war while spreading their ideas. The Soviets took a disastrous and harmful path towards encouraging communism, which is much worse than bribery.

  18. Christina M.

    In my opinion the Cold War was caused by both the United States and the Soviet Union. A simple reason for why the Cold War started was because of the distrust between the Soviet Union and the U.S. which lasted from the late 1940’s all the way to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.There was a struggle for international power politically, economically, ideologically, and through military. In The Long Telegram (1946), George Kennan had a sent a word telegram to the U.S. that talked about how the Soviets would not be able to live with the U.S. in “cooperation and harmony” because of its need to extend Communist ideology to other nations. The U.S. and Western Democracy goals were containment of communism and the collapse of the communist world. While the Soviet and Eastern Nations wanted to spread worldwide communism. The Russian policy was to undermine the general and strategic potential of Western powers (turn them against each other). The Cold War as a “battle between civilizations” and it was a clash between American capitalism and Soviet Communism. During the Iron Curtain Speech (1946), Winston Churchill said that an “iron curtain” had fallen across Europe and behind the curtain Soviets expanded their influence and made Communist governments. Even though the U.S. and the Soviet Union didn’t fight directly (military wise) they still had nuclear rivalries (Arms Race) proxy wars (when opposing parties use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly and espionage (KGB vs. CIA) where they would spy on each other. In conclusion, the Soviets could have started the war because of them not agreeing to let the people of Eastern Europe live their own lives, instead enforcing communism, or the U.S. who held information from the Soviets, scared the world with the atomic bomb and pushed to expand internationally.

  19. George G

    I understand the arguments for all three countries to start the Cold War but personally, I believe that the United States started the Cold War for many reasons. When we dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki we not only showed the World our destructive capabilities but we primarily showed the Russians. They had been doing their own thing during World War II and didn’t really comply with any Allied strategies. They were the only Communist country that sided with the Allies and suspicions of USSR and US had been shared by both countries since we sided with them. Our belief of freedom and democracy directly contradicted with the USSR’s belief of communism and capitalism.
    The Soviets hold the least amount of the blame because they weren’t stable financially, militarily, or even population wise because they lost millions of people in World War II; something only a few other countries could comprehend losing. The U.S. was in a fighting spirit after World War II and we had a bone to pick with Russia when they abandoned the allies and signed a non-violence treaty with Germany. Russia was “on the allies side” during the War even though they wanted to conquer many nations and create a huge dictatorship when the whole belief of the allies was that they were fighting to stop this exact belief.
    Britain holds a fair share of the blame because they were sided with us during the West/East Berlin days and helped us airlift supplies to West Berlin when the Soviets locked it down. They would have fought with us against USSR had any fighting actually broken out and they had some blame for starting it but the Cold War was really the United States idea.

  20. Adam M

    I would like to say that all of the countries are at fault for the start of the cold war. But that isn’t what has been assigned. So I will say that the British have the strongest argument for starting the cold war and that the soviets have the weakest argument for the start of the war.
    After reading about what had been written about the British involvement in the wars. I feel as though we got played by the British to have the same social and economic values. Maybe it’s that the British were still upset over losing the revolution. (Talk about holding a grudge). The British have apparently molded the American government to still help them no matter what. Fro example, they had America overthrow a democratically elected leader from Iran so they could possibly have control over the oil again. Not to mention when they ran out of money after ww2 they asked us to support the countries economically for them.
    It is not fair to say that the Soviets are not a fault for the start of the cold war. They did help invade South Korea and built a wall around West Berlin. I feel as though the Soviets played the cards they were dealt. They believed in a different form of government and were judged by the western nations for the type of government that they wanted. Yes both communism and capitalism can not be become one with each other but one country should not decide on who start a war in which no shots were directly fired by each other.

  21. Jonah Rzeppa

    “Takes 2 to tango”/ unmovable object meets unstoppable force + stuck between rock and a hard place.

    I Feel like it’d be both, “you need two ta tango”-someone who probably talking about the cold war. The fact that the political,economical, and foreign ideas were based on polar opposites, communism and capitalism and the fact that both after the (for russia it took a little power) second world war were the 2 major powers actually left living, while east Europe was devastated, the U.S. being the only to benefit, and the Russians large enough to not collapse in on itself. determined that there was no way of living happily together. us wanting Democracy and Russia wanting Marxism to lead the world into the future. Russia saw that we were obviously winning this spread jumped into action and started building up (missals, tanks, etc.) we saw them building but were too late, they’d basically caught up with us, I like to think of this as the Spongebob episode involving the snowball fight, where we didn’t want to get involved but saw that the other side was stronger and stronger and built and built until we had a huge mound of snow fort (metaphor for nuclear weapons if you don’t get my comparison) waiting to attack. which leads me to my second comparison, the guy locker room after school, 2 people are about to fight but they keep yelling at each other “swing first”
    “no you swing first” while everyone is waiting for someone to actually to throw a punch but the people don’t punch b/c they know Coach F will find out. people fighting = russia & U.S. coach F = nuclear war. so if there was only 1 nation there would be no cold war probs or if they both had the same ideas then there would be no war. thats what i think…TL;DR

  22. Ky W

    I believe that both the United States and Russia started the Cold War. The tension between the two countries was inevitable due to the major cultural, economic and political differences. The US started the Cold War by keeping nuclear secrets, we withheld how to make atomic bombs from the Soviets but we let the British know how to create these weapons! The tension between the two countries started during World War One. The United States tried to keep the tsar in power, so this also contributed to the start of the war. The Soviets started the Cold War by supporting the invasion of South Korea, the Soviets were on the North Koreans side. Every war has a spark and this is the spark of the Korean War which America fought in. It was one of the first proxy wars. The Cold War was really a battle of arms, which country could out do the other and have the better weapons. The Soviets set off multiple nuclear weapons which started the arms race. The United States and Soviets had little to no trust, which can make you paranoid like it did the United States and they were very upset with each other.Britian was not the cause of this war because they had no money, or nuclear weapons plus they weren’t a big threat to communism.

  23. geoffwickersham (Post author)

    I think that both the Soviet and the Americans started the Cold War. The Soviets reneged on their agreements to allow the people of Eastern Europe to determine their own fates and imposed totalitarian rule on territories that fell behind the “iron curtain”. The Americans ignored the Soviets’ security concerns, and intimidated the world with the atomic bomb, and constantly tried to expand their international influence to feed their insatiable need to control the international markets.Building tensions that led to the Cold war started as early as 1943, there were heated debates over Poland because it had not one, but two governments, one communist and one anticommunist. There were disagreements over which part of the country should take control. Franklin Roosevelt (FDR), the US president at the time and his good friend Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Britain thought that Poland should be able to choose their own form of government. Stalin thought that the communist part of Poland should gain control of the government there. This was just the first of many conflicts over communism that eventually led to the Cold War. When FDR died, Harry Truman got into office and made it his personal mission to demolish communism internationally. He saw the Soviet’s dealings in Eastern Europe as violations of the Yalta Agreements. Shortly after he became president, The Cold War was started. Foreign policy became dominated by the drive to demolish communism. It was clear to Americans during this time that the war was not being fought against just the Soviets, but against communism as a whole.

    Annie M.

  24. Kris Thomas

    I think that the Soviet Union and the Untied States clashing ideas made them both responsible for the start of the cold war. The reason I believe that the United States contributed to the start, was because during the time when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were supposed to be allies, the United States clearly did not make an effort to include them in their plans like they did with Britain. For example, at the Potsdam Conference during World War II, President Truman made the information about the newly invented atomic bomb known to British Prime Minister Churchill; however, he did not find it necessary to deliver this information to his other allied nation, the Soviet Union. This clear lack of trust and respect for each other created tension that easily sparked some aspect of the Cold War. The reason I believe the Soviet Union was partly responsible for starting the Cold War, was because when they should have been focusing on rebuilding their own country after the war, they were more focused on withholding democracy and spreading communism. For example, after the war, the Yalta agreement was created to allow free elections in the eastern European countries. However, the Soviet Union broke the agreement. The fact that the Soviet Union held most influence in Eastern Europe after Nazi Germany was defeated in the war, made it possible for them to not allow the smaller, less influential European countries to hold their own free elections. In addition to this, the existing communist parties in Europe at the time were given financial support by the Soviet Union, making it clear that they wanted to expand communist influence throughout many nations. There were many factors that caused the Cold War, and I believe most of the tension sparked from both the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *