What year did the Cold War start?

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2 Responses

  1. Caleb says:

    What about 1917? The United States intervened in the Russian Revolution, giving aid to the White Shirts making an attempt to stop the Communists. I guess one could say that some tension between Democracy and Communism existed then…

  2. Andy says:

    Yes, the history of conflict between Russia and the US goes back to the Russian Revolution – although before that relations between the US and the Tsarist Russia were actually pretty good.

    To my mind, the difference between Cold War and the post-Revolutionary conflict is that by the end of the Second World War, the risks of conflict between the two new superpowers were so much higher. Once both had nuclear weapons, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) came into play, pushing both sides away from actual (hot) war.

    But, even before that, in the period before the Soviet Union developed its first nuclear weapons, a conflict between the two superpowers would have been unimaginably destructive – although the US had (some) nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union had a massive military that many believe could have over-run the rest of Europe.

    As an aside – you’ve reminded me that I really should get around to writing an article about the US intervention in the Russian Revolution and Civil War (and the intervention by other countries – notably the British and Japanese). It’s a fascinating period.