Causes of the Cold War
The Cold War is so far one of the greatest conflicts that have ever taken place in the history of humankind, although there has not been a single direct confrontation between the two major opposing forces: the USA and the USSR.
During the WWII the USSR was perceived by the West as a valuable ally that was necessary to defeat the Axis, although even then it was generally understood that such a collaboration was a deal with the devil, for the only major difference between the regimes of the Soviets and the Nazi Germany was the fact that the West was currently at war with the former. Quite naturally, when after the war the third power disappeared and only two major players left, all the reasons for cooperation disappeared. The fact that immense part of Europe fell under the more or less direct Soviet control after the defeat of Germany wasn’t very reassuring as well. The fact that the USSR officially divided the world with the Third Reich and led aggressive policy in cooperation with it before and during the first half of the WWII showed quite clearly that the Soviets’ intentions were that of conquest.
It was only logical for the western countries to unite around the most powerful of their representatives and form an organized opposition to these interests; the USSR, in its turn, used the image of an American arch-nemesis in order to keep the population content with hating someone on the outside.
The Cold War was, after all, one of the best possible scenarios – there couldn’t be peace between such different ideologies, and reason kept them from actually colliding.