Sample History Essay on The Cold War

The Cold War


The Cold War was the rivalry that grew after the Second World War between the Soviet Union and the United States, and their respective allies. This war was based on economic, political, and propaganda fronts. The war rarely took the path of armed conflict and when it did, it was minimal or limited to the allies of the Americans and the Soviets. The term “Cold War” was first used by George Orwell, the English Writer, in an article published in 1945. In this article, Orwell was referring to a predictable nuclear impasse that would occur between two or three big nations, each harboring a weapon that could wipe out millions of people in a few seconds (Orwell, 1945). In the United States, an American presidential adviser and financier, Bernard Baruch, in a speech in 1947 at the State House in Columbia, South Carolina, first used the term.

The War

A major basis of the difference between the Soviet Union and the United States was the destiny of Eastern Europe. The United States wanted free and democratic Eastern Europe in which countries chose leaders by elections. The Soviet Union on the other hand wanted Eastern Europe to constitute friendly countries that would create a buffer zone to shield it from prospective aggression from the West. Even before the end of the Second World War, the Soviets had annexed many Baltic Countries into their union. These states included Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. Parts of Finland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Poland were also taken. Many Eastern Europeans took up communism, which the Soviets continued promoting (“Cold War international politics”, 2015).

Nuclear weapons were also another source of conflict. The Soviets In 1946 rejected the U.S. suggestion for a global organization to supervise and manage nuclear energy creation and research. The Soviets thought that the Americans were attempting to have an upper hand in nuclear weapons technology. Another source of conflict was economic development assistance after the war. The Americans refused a Soviet request for huge reconstruction loans. The Soviets called for extensive reparations from the Germans in response to the refusal of loans by the Americans (“Cold War international politics”, 2015).

This impasse between the two great powers resulted from the insecurities and the ambitions harbored by the two sides. It resulted in the suffering, split of nations, and families. For example, War and death like Vietnam in Korea, and political assassinations like the Congo. The split of the Soviet Union heralded the beginning of the end of the cold war, but the scars are still evident. The divide between Technological and Governance development between the former Soviet Union countries and The Americans and their allies is highly visible today. However, while the soviet’s actions can be seen as legitimate to some degree in protecting their interests, the effects are long lasting. Today, the cold war may be over and buried but mistrust between the two groups still exists.

From the world political setup today, It is evident that the Soviets, led by the Russians had legitimate reasons of concern, especially when the state of affairs in places like Ukraine and the NATO expansion plans are looked at. The Americans on the other hand would have been in a better position had they achieved what they had gone out for in the post war Era: Freedom and Democracy in Eastern Europe.




Cold War | International Politics. (2015, February 3). Retrieved March 17, 2015, from

Orwell, G. (1945, October 19). You and the Atomic Bomb. Retrieved March 17, 2015, from