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Important events in the Cold War

Identify and describe two events that led to / and or deepened the Cold War.

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It is impossible to say that any one event led to the Cold War. It developed as a series of small events and shifts in attitude that began before the end of the Second World War. These events slowly galvanized American and Soviet policy during the 1940s. One was the Czech coup of 1948.

The Soviets liberated eastern Europe, and were determined to have the region under their influence. Stalin was an imperialist, and eastern Europe would be his Communist empire. Since Eastern Europe was made up of small, inexperienced countries, many of whom had only been established after the First World War, the Soviets were fairly successful in establishing this zone of influence. One problem area, however, was Czechoslovakia. The Czechs had been one of the few functioning democracies before the Second World War, and were determined to return to this governmental system after liberation (Hunt, 124). After the war, Czechoslovakia was one of the few eastern European countries whose government was not dominated by Communists (Gaddis, 45). A Communist coup in 1948 ensured that Czechoslovakia too became a one party state.

The coup was resented in ...

Solution Summary

This solution examines two events that greatly affected both the strategic and ideological aspects of the Cold War in the late 1940s to early 1960s. It is particularly focused on the Czech coup of 1948 and the Bay of Pigs landing in 1961. These events are not "main events" in popular memory, but both had a substantial impact on American and Soviet policy. The solution includes a basic narrative of each event and thoughts on its importance. Citations are included with a reference list.