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What was the Cold War?  |

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From around 1945, through the decades of the fifties and sixties the Cold War was waged between Communist countries and Democratic countries.  The leaders of course were the United States and Russia.  The United States did not approve of the Communist form of government and there was a lot of posturing between the nations, but no one wanted to actually go back to war.

The actual term “Cold War” was derived because neither side really wanted to fight in a direct war.  The world was still recovering from WWII.  We had just finished a “hot war.”  Each side decided to fight with threats of war and propaganda.  The arguments took place in the newspapers; the United Nations, on Television and each side threatened the other side and tried to make everyone frightened of a war with atomic weapons.  I can remember when I was in grade school; we used to have atomic bomb drills.  A siren would sound and all the students would have to drop to the floor and get under their desks, as if that would have helped. 

Both the United States played with power struggles in other countries; like Cuba and Vietnam. The governments of both countries would threaten and denounced each other.  Several decades of leaders came and went on both sides, yet, the Cold War continued. The Cold War was the major force in world politics for most of the second half of the twentieth century.

"The Cold War was incredibly expensive over its four decades, costing the U.S. eight trillion dollars in military expenditures and over 100,000 lives in Korea and Vietnam. Although the exact figures for the Soviet Union are unknown, they spent a larger percentage of their gross national product on the war, maybe as much as 60 percent."

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