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 the early twentieth century. In 1900 several great European powers,
Citation: Roberts, Priscilla. "Cold War". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 April 2010 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=199, accessed 23 February 2024.]