The Cold War is the term used to describe the extreme political and friendliness that existed from the end of world war II to the late eighties between groups of Communist and non communist countries. On one side with the USSR and its communist allies known as the Eastern bloc and walked and on the other side by the western powers of the USA and its allies.
There was mutual suspicion distressed and misunderstanding between two blocs. The USA and its allies felt that the USSR’s game of spreading communism throughout the world threatened their security. The soviets on the other hand accused the USA of practicing imperialism and after attempting to stop revolutionary activities in other Nations. Each bloc had its own political ideas which were diametrically opposed to the other.
THE BEGINNING OF COLD WAR:
Soon after world War II the two great blocs were formed and the cold war began. It intensified during the 1940’s and 1950’s and reached its peak in the 1960’s. World peace was severely threatened the arms race begin a fresh with both sides experimenting with nuclear weapons at the same time there was a space race between the USA and USSR. The world was in astonishment as the Americans and the soviets try to outdo each other in conquering space. By the seventies both sides begin to realise the dangers involved in recklessly amazing powerful weapons that could wipe out large cities and populations in minutes. In the eighties many efforts were made to improve relations between the two superpowers.
HISTORIANS ABOUT THE COLD WAR:
Most historians agree that the cold war begin after the Yalta conference. The Big Three-President Franklin D Roosevelt of the USA, Premier Joseph Stalin of the USSR and the Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain met at the Yalta (Ukraine) in February in 1945 to plan for the peace that would follow the war. Stalin would not co-operate with the other leaders regarding the peacetime program. Great Britain join the USA in criticizing the USSR plan to spread communism in Eastern Europe.
During 1945 and 1946 the USSR broke off all contacts between west and the occupied territories of Eastern Europe in March 1946 Churchill want that an “Iron Curtain” had descended across the continent. The Berlin wall became a symbol of the confrontation between the two blocs.
In the 60 the world came dangerously close to a nuclear war. this time both block started to practice nuclear weapon and they started to treat each other with weapons many efforts made to improve relationship between both two superpowers. The cold war took a fresh turn in the eighties when Mikhail Gorbachev took over the leadership of the USSR. Glasnost ( openness) and Perestroika (reconstructio) were the terms which came to be associated with the campaign of Gobrachev to reform the economic and political missionary of the USSR.
Great Britain as one of the country’s belonging to The Western bloc, had to support the USA in any action that it took against the USSR. Britain had to pay a high price for the cold war she had to face every high military expenditure and there was uneasiness in the minds of the British that they were playing second fiddle to the USA. In the seventies Britain’s role as washington’s partner was reduced due to her economic deterioration.
Margaret Thatcher became the prime minister in 1979 and she paved the way for an economic revival and sought to avoid any public conflict with the USA. Through her personal friendship with President Reagan of the USA she was able to make Britain’s position more respectable. Up to 1982 to 83 Thatcher continue to repeat the anti-Soviet rhetoric of the Reagan administration. she was the “Iron Lady” in the USSR after she was re-elected in 1983 she changed her approach. The British government began to establish contact with the Warsaw pact countries. Thatcher paid a visit to Hungary and later she went to Moscow.
The Warsaw pact was a treaty signed by the communist nations of Europe that were under Soviet military command. They were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania.
FRESH START BY THATCHER:
In 1984 she made a visit to the USA and the secured the Camp David pacts which said that the USA would not seek nuclear superiority over the Soviet member that played a major role in the negotiations leading to the signing of this treaty. President Reagan spoke of a fresh start in East West relationships.
BREAKING OF BERLIN WALL:
The breaking of the Berlin wall in 1989 was a symbolic act which site signalled the end of bitterness between the power blocs. The cold war become a thing of the past with the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991.