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UCLA Historical Journal

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Birth of the Cold War


Much of the literature about the Cold War victimizes one side and puts most of the blame for the emergence of tensions on the other; thus, it is no wonder that the general public remains misinformed about the whole affair. Hence, this paper presents an analysis of the events that were crucial to the rise of the Cold War, including the question of control over Poland, the British intervention in Greece, and the incidents that increased tensions between the Allies. It examines why missteps from both sides generated further missteps and, finally, a dangerous confrontation. Finally, this paper concludes with an analysis of the combined impact of these factors. The timeframe for these events is the period from the end of World War II in 1944 to 1945 until the Berlin Blockade, which began on 24 June 1948 (and ended on 12 May 1949). The latter is commonly acknowledged as the “real” manifestation of the Cold War but will not be described in detail here, as it is not my intention to describe the Cold War itself, but rather the events and interactions that caused the conflict.


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