So what exactly was the Cold War?
In diplomatic terms there are three types of war.
Hot War : this is actual warfare. All talks have failed and the armies are fighting.
Warm War : this is where talks are still going on and there would always be a chance of a peaceful outcome but armies, navies etc. are being fully mobilized and war plans are being put into operation ready for the command to fight.
Cold War : It is a war fought mostly with words and money instead of soldiers.
Cold War is the conflict between the Communist nations led by the Soviet Union and the democratic nations led by the United States. It is fought by all means - propaganda, economic war, diplomatic haggling and occasional military clashes. It is fought in all places - in neutral states, in newly independent nations in Africa, Asia and even in outer space.
The historians have so far not reached any agreement on the time in which the Cold War began. It is, however, quite safe to say that since 1947 when President Truman of the United States declared an anti-communist policy, the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union has begun.
There were deep-rooted ideological, economic and political differences between the United States and the Soviet Union before the Second World War. These differences were intensified as a result of their mutual suspicions immediately after the Second World War.
The United States and the Soviet Union represent two opposing systems of government. In the United States, the government is elected by free elections. The people can form political parties to voice their political opinions. They also possess the right of assembly, of speech and of the press. In the Soviet Union, the government is formed by the Communist Party. The people do not have the right to form their own political parties. They do not enjoy the right of assembly, of speech and of the press. Since these two systems of government are diametrically opposed to one another, there can be little compromise between the United States and the Soviet Union.
The United States wanted to encourage free trade throughout the world. The Soviet Union wanted to shield off her own sphere from international commerce. Russia feared that trade with the West would involve the risk of Russia being opened to western influences which would have eroded the strength of the totalitarian regime. These differences led to much ill feeling between the United States and the Soviet Union.
3. Power rivalry:
After the Second World War, with the decline of Europe, power was largely shared between the Soviet Union and the United States. As one wanted 'to dominate the other, conflicts were inevitable.