The Causes of the Cold War
The short-term causes of the Cold War basically relate to the ways in which the Soviet Union and the United States wished to shape the post-war world. Although the Yalta and the Potsdam Conferences had given the Americans, the British, and the Soviets different spheres of interests or influence it soon became apparent that only the Soviet Union and the United States could be considered to be global superpowers.
The Americans were unhappy about how the Soviet Union managed to install communist regimes throughout Central and Eastern Europe. The Soviet Union's blockade of West Berlin worsened relations even further. There was also the fear that communist parties could take power in France and Italy, and also win the savage civil war in Greece. The British admission that they could no longer support the Greek government inadvertently led to the Marshall Plan that assisted the economic reconstruction of Western Europe, yet not extended to the states of Central and Eastern Europe due to Moscow not allowing them to take American money.
On the other hand the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin mistrusted the United States as well as Britain and to a lesser extent France. Stalin resented the fact that the Americans had developed and then used the atomic bomb without letting the Soviet Union know of its existence. The Soviet Union felt vulnerable for not been a nuclear power, Stalin's successful quest to make it one harmed Moscow's relations with Washington DC even further.
The long-term causes of the Cold War were fundamentally due to the ideological differences between east and west. The Soviet Union and the United States had been ideological opposites since the October Revolution. The United States standing as the foremost capitalist liberal democracy whilst the Soviet Union was the foremost communist state.
In many respects the wartime alliance between Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States had been brought about by the need to fight Nazi Germany. Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin were aware that the wartime alliance would not last for long, only Roosevelt had been optimistic about the relations between the Soviet Union and the United States remaining good.
冷战的近因是由于美苏两强希望瓜分二战后的世界局势, 尽管雅尔塔密约与波咨坦宣言已赋与美英苏三强在东西半球的各自势力范围, 但不久就明显地只剩下美苏为公认的超级强权
美方不满于苏联将中欧与东欧地区纳入共产制度的体系下, 而苏联封锁西柏林的举动更让双方关系降至冰点. 同时共产势力在法国与意大利的增长, 以及在希腊内战中的胜利更加升西方世界对共产主义的恐惧. 英国也承认对于希腊政府无法有效执行协助西欧社会重建的马歇尔计划感到力不从心, 更无力阻止莫斯科方面禁止中东欧国家接受来自美国的经济援助
另一方面, 苏联领导人史达林也极度不信任美英两国, 只对法国稍表好感. 史达林更不满美国发展并使用原子弹而却把苏联蒙在鼓里. 这让苏联在核武竞赛上备感压力. 于是在史达林的极力追赶下, 苏联终于成功研制出原子弹的举动更使得莫斯科与白宫间的关系雪上加霜
冷战的远因则源于东西方社会的意识形态差异. 自苏联的十月革命后, 美苏两国在意识形态上就分道而驰. 美国成为资本主义民主社会的领导者, 苏联则成为共产主义的老大哥.
二战时, 出于对抗纳粹德国的需要, 美英苏三国结成战时同盟. 邱吉尔, 史达林均了解到这一战时同盟不会是长久的, 只有罗斯福乐观的以为美苏的友好关系将可持续长久.