U.S. – Soviet relations
U.S. – Soviet relations
The relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, also known as the U.S.S.R., was marked by tension and hostility during the 20th century. This relationship, known as the Cold War, was characterized by a lack of direct military conflict between the two nations, but instead by political, economic, and military tensions.
The origins of U.S.-Soviet relations can be traced back to the Russian Revolution of 1917, which led to the establishment of the Soviet Union as a communist state. The United States, a capitalist democracy, viewed the Soviet Union as a threat to its political and economic system. This led to a series of tensions and conflicts, including the U.S. support for anti-communist groups in the Soviet Union during the Russian Civil War and the U.S. refusal to recognize the Soviet government until 1933.
The tension between the two nations continued to escalate during World War II, when the Soviet Union and the United States were allies against Nazi Germany. However, their cooperation was limited, as the two nations had different goals and priorities. After the war, the Soviet Union established communist governments in Eastern European countries, which the United States viewed as a threat to its security and political interests. This led to the creation of the Truman Doctrine in 1947, which provided military and economic aid to countries resisting communism.
The Cold War reached its height during the 1950s and 1960s, with both nations engaging in a nuclear arms race and a series of proxy wars in countries such as Korea and Vietnam. The United States and the Soviet Union also engaged in a series of political and economic confrontations, including the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, when the Soviet Union placed nuclear missiles in Cuba, bringing the two nations to the brink of nuclear war.
Relations between the two nations began to thaw in the 1970s, with U.S. President Richard Nixon and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev signing a number of agreements, including the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 and the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty of 1972. However, tensions between the two nations continued throughout the decade and into the 1980s, with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the U.S. support of anti-communist groups in Central America.
The end of the Cold War came in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The United States and the Soviet Union began to work towards a more cooperative relationship, with U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signing a number of agreements, including the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991.
U.S.-Soviet relations were marked by tension and hostility throughout the 20th century. The relationship between the two nations was shaped by their different political and economic systems, and by a series of conflicts and confrontations, including the Cold War and the arms race. However, in the latter part of the century, a thaw in relations and a series of agreements between the two nations marked the end of the Cold War and the beginning of a more cooperative relationship.
The Cold War: A New History, John Lewis Gaddis.
Russia and the United States: From Cold War to Cold Peace, Robert Legvold.
The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947, John Lewis Gaddis.
The Soviet Union and the United States: A History of Superpower Relations, John Scott Lucas.
The End of the Cold War, Robert Legvold.