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The Cold War And Technology Essay

1179 words - 5 pages

The Cold War was not an actual war at all. It was a period of technological, ideological, and economic competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. It lasted from 1947 to 1989, followed by the end of communism in the Soviet Union in 1991. No fighting occurred, as the war instead was basically an arms race involving both conventional and nuclear weapons, as well as propaganda and economical warfare that led to both positive and negative effects in both countries.Tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union were put on hold during WWII, but resumed once it was over. The two main causes of tension were Communist ideology and Russia wanting to gain more territory. The two ...view middle of the document...

Khrushchev used his rising power to ease restrictions that Stalin had created.One problem that the Soviets had was people fleeing from the Communist East into the West. As a result, Khrushchev had the Berlin Wall built between the East and West. However, this didn't help the international image of Communist Europe. Both sides were worried about the possibility that things would erupt into an all-out war. The biggest concern during this time was the threat of Nuclear War, and both sides wished to avoid this if possible.The concept of Mutually Assured Destruction helped to keep things stable. Basically, this meant that if there were nuclear war, neither side would win. As a result, both sides were afraid to take risks and turned to other methods of competition, such as the Olympics. One of the most important events during this time was the Space Race. In 1957, the Soviets launched Sputnik, the first satellite, into space. This shocked the U.S., as they believed they were ahead technologically. They soon developed a space program of their own, but were behind Russia until the 1960s, when they successfully sent people to outer space.As a result of the fear of nuclear war, many families built fallout shelters. These shelters were made of steel and built to withstand direct bomb strikes. These shelters were almost like small homes, with restrooms, beds, storage, and food supplies.The most tense of all periods in the Cold War was the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. U.S. reconnaissance photos showed Soviet nuclear launch sites in Cuba. This resulted in a terrifying standoff, known as the closest the world has ever gotten to nuclear war. People started to panic. Thirteen Days later, Khrushchev agreed to have the launch sites dismantled.Between 1962 and 1979 was the period known as detente or "thaw". This was a period of comparative peace and mediation. This lead to the Warsaw treaty between Poland and West Germany, the Four Powers Agreement between the Soviet, the U.S., France, and Great Britain, and a few agreements between East and West Germany. There were a few limits to reconciliation, however.Between 1979 and 1985 was a "freeze" in relations between the U.S and Russia. This became known as the Second Cold War. The Soviet invasion of...

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