Soviet Union during the late 1900s was the US’s biggest threat and were killing millions of people due to their evil communist government. The Soviet Union developed to be such a dominant country due to their harsh government which used communism. Communism was a form of government that put the country before the people so if that meant killing innocent civilians to help the country the government was not against that. The Soviet Union used communism and had the threat of nuclear power which made them the biggest concern to the USA, and this caused tensions to grow between both countries almost leading up to the possibility of not having the lives we have today with no concern of being attacked by a nuclear weapon everyday.
The Soviet Union during World War II had a communist leader come into power of the name Joseph Stalin. Stalin developed a neutral agreement with one of the most evil dictators of all time, Hitler himself, which was Germany and the Soviet Union would remain neutral during the war. This gave Stalin time to develop his country from a peasant society to an industrialized military power, and did not have to worry about the possible threat of war. However, while he industrialized his society he killed about 60 million people to get the Soviet Union to become the feared country it became. Stalin was able to due this because he had control of the government and the economy so he spent the money however he wanted and did not worry about people questioning his authority. Also he took control of all the agriculture and forced farmers to give their crops to the government across the entire country. On top of all of that, he had labor camps to industrialize his country swiftly, and these labor camps killed millions of people. At the end of his 5 year plan to industrialize the Soviet Union it ended up being successful and made Stalin one of the scariest dictators of all time.
At the end of World War II the Nazis invaded the Soviets breaking the neutrality agreement. Next, the Soviets had already developed a huge military which led them to push the Nazis back to Berlin which led to the Nazis surrendering to the Soviets. This battle was named the Battle of Berlin, which was one of the most gruesome battles of all time. Millions of soldiers and citizens of Berlin killed and raped by Soviet Union soldiers. The Battle of Berlin also led to Adolf Hitler, dictator of Germany, committing suicide, which led to the end of the Nazi reign and led to a victory for the allies and the fall of the axis powers. After the defeat of Germany, the Yalta Conference in 1945 took place, which was held by the Soviet Union, USA, and Britain. The agreement was that USA and Britain got West Germany and the Soviet Union got East Germany. Overtime West Germany became the democratic party of Germany and East Germany became the communist party of Germany. This made tensions start to rise between the Soviets and the US, which ended up leading to the Cold War. This war was over Communists and Democrats different beliefs, with each country believing their form of government was the right one.
The Cold war never actually was a hot war due to the fact that if one country nuked the other country the other country would get nuked back, which would lead the end of both these countries as we know it. Although the Soviets and US never actually fought directly towards one another, proxy wars developed from the conflict. A proxy war is a conflict between two countries where neither directly engage one another. One of the biggest proxy wars was the Korean war which was a battle of Democratic South Korea and Communist North Korea. The US supported South Korea and sent troops and weapons to help them fight North Korea, while the Soviet Union did the same for North Korea. This war ended up leading to a split between Korea developing South Korea, which today remains democratic and North Korea which remains Communist today. Another proxy war was South Vietnam and North Vietnam, which was one of the deadliest wars of all time. This war was over the same conflict of communism vs democracy. USA fought for a long time and helped a lot of citizens. Vietnam became a communist country and is still communist today. Also their was the Berlin Blockade when citizens of Berlin started fleeing from East Germany from the harsh treatment to get into West Germany to be safe and free. Due to all of these citizens leaving Berlin, Stalin made a wall surrounding all of Berlin with military troops on watch tower to watch the city and make sure no one would escape. Also Stalin turned off all power and resources in the city. Living in Berlin under Stalin was like living in prison. To help the citizens of Berlin, USA had aircrafts fly over the city and drop down needed supplies. This continued for a year and was known as the Berlin Airaid. These series events made the tensions of the soviets and the US grow even more. The cold war during the mid 1960s became an arm race of both countries building as much nuclear weapons as possible to show their dominance and to put fear into one another. The closest point the US came to attacking the Soviets was known as the Cuba Air Missile Crisis. This began when Cuba became a Communist country and started to threaten the US with their Nuclear weapons that the Soviets were giving them. In response the US made a naval blockade around their country cutting off all supplies going into Cuba. If the Soviets would have brought supplies into the US, we would have attacked the Soviets. The Soviets were as close as they could be to going past their naval blockade and then pulled away last second. This led to the Soviets later leaving Cuba and the US coming over and putting democracy back into Cuba.
Their were many proxy wars and close encounters to a world war III but eventually the cold war was over and the end of Stalin’s reign came to an end. The Soviet Union changed their countries name to Russia and citizens had a lot more rights and freedom. Some concerns today in Russia are that their new president used to be communist and the US and Russia still have some tensions and grudges between each other. As a citizen to make change in Russia protest against the President, right letters to the government to make change.
Article by Ryan Carpenter & Video by Ryan Rogers
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Cold War.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 23 Jan. 2018, www.britannica.com/event/Cold-War.
History.com Staff. “Joseph Stalin.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009, www.history.com/topics/joseph-stalin.
History.com Staff. “Vietnam War.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2009, www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-history.