The term Cold War generally refers to the ideological, geopolitical, and economic international rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union that characterized the period from approximately 1945 to 1991. These two states, respectively the world’s leading capitalist democracy and its most prominent communist nation, were allies during the Second World War, but within a few years perceived and depicted themselves as locked in desperate competition, a conflict in which each antagonist sought not simply to prevail, but also to win the adherence of as many other countries as possible.

The Cold War began when the successive impact of the First and Second World Wars had destroyed the prevailing international order of t…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Roberts, Priscilla. "Cold War". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 April 2010
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=199, accessed 24 April 2014.]