The conflict itself

General aspects

The Cold War was a decades-long period of tension between the democratic Western World, led by the US, and the communist countries led by the Soviet Union.

Both the US and the Soviet Union sought to maintain and expand their influence in the world while trying to minimize the influence of their opponent. However, they never engaged in actual military conflicts and, instead, fought indirectly through proxy wars, the arms race, and the space race.

The conflict was called the Cold War because it never turned into direct warfare between the US and the Soviet Union (and thus was not an actual war) - though it came dangerously close on several occasions. 

Ideological differences

The Cold War was not only fueled by President Truman’s anti-communist views and Stalin’s expansionist ambitions but also by ideological differences between the West and the Soviet Union.

The United States followed a capitalist ideology, which meant that people and companies could own land and were encouraged to run businesses for profits. The role of the government was secondary and democratic. This also meant that Americans enjoyed more freedoms than their Soviet counterparts, and saw the Soviet Union as a threat to these freedoms.

According to communist ideology, capitalism creates two main social classes, the poor and the rich, essentially maintaining poverty and inequality. In communism as theorized by Karl Marx, each person contributes in society according to ...

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