CHAPTER 17 : THE COLD WAR AND DISARMAMENT
The post World War II period saw a new kind of
international relations set in. It was neither an era of peace nor
of war. The major power blocs were the Western Bloc, led
by The United States and Great Britain and, the Eastern Bloc,
led by the Soviet Union. The Eastern or the Soviet Bloc was made
up of countries that favored Communist ideology and the communist
form of government. Countries belonging to the American camp upheld
the capitalist form of economy and a democratic form of government.
These were the main ideological differences between the two camps.
The differences surfaced during the Yalta Conference
itself. Although the two powers agreed on most fronts, there was
disagreement on one point. Russia had set up a communist government
in Poland while Poland already had a government in exile in London.
America became suspicious of Russia’s communist agenda on this account.
This suspicion was fanned during the Potsdam Conference. The tension
only grew in the following years. There was no open warfare between
the two blocs: only blatant propaganda and disruptive economic measures.
Therefore this rivalry came to be popularly called the Cold War.
The term was first coined by Bernard Baruch, an American statesman
and later popularized by Professor Lippmann.
The Cold War was marked by international conflicts
in almost every field between the power blocs. It affected the spheres
of defense, economy, diplomacy and ideology. The interesting thing
to note is that through all this the two countries made a show of
maintaining peaceful diplomatic ties.