The spread of communism into which of the following made the cold war a truly global conflict?

journal article

What Was the Cold War about? Evidence from Its Ending

Political Science Quarterly

Vol. 119, No. 4 (Winter, 2004/2005)

, pp. 609-631 (23 pages)

Published By: The Academy of Political Science

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The Political Science Quarterly is the oldest and most widely read political science journal in the country. Published since 1886, PSQ offers crucial and timely analysis of both domestic and foreign policy issues as well as of political institutions and processes. PSQ has no ideological or methodological bias and is edited to make even technical findings clear to political scientists, historians, and other social scientists regardless of subfield. Each issue consists of five or six insightful articles by leading scholars as well as 30 to 40 scholarly and useful book reviews. To browse and search through issues published in the last five years, please visit

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The Cold War was a lengthy struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union that began in the aftermath of the surrender of Hitler’s Germany. In 1941, Nazi aggression against the USSR turned the Soviet regime into an ally of the Western democracies. But in the post-war world, increasingly divergent viewpoints created rifts between those who had once been allies.

The United States and the USSR gradually built up their own zones of influence, dividing the world into two opposing camps. The Cold War was therefore not exclusively a struggle between the US and the USSR but a global conflict that affected many countries, particularly the continent of Europe. Indeed, Europe, divided into two blocs, became one of the main theatres of the war. In Western Europe, the European integration process began with the support of the United States, while the countries of Eastern Europe became satellites of the USSR.

From 1947 onwards, the two adversaries, employing all the resources at their disposal for intimidation and subversion, clashed in a lengthy strategic and ideological conflict punctuated by crises of varying intensity. Although the two Great Powers never fought directly, they pushed the world to the brink of nuclear war on several occasions. Nuclear deterrence was the only effective means of preventing a military confrontation. Ironically, this ‘balance of terror’ nevertheless served as a stimulus for the arms race. Periods of tension alternated between moments of détente or improved relations between the two camps. Political expert Raymond Aron perfectly defined the Cold War system with a phrase that hits the nail on the head: ‘impossible peace, improbable war’.

The Cold War finally came to an end in 1989 with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe.

Published in October 2011, this subject file is based on material previously contained in the European NAvigator digital library (

Discover an interactive chronology on the history of the Cold War.

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What was the cause of the spread of communism?

Communism launched from Lenin's October Revolution and spread to China with Mao Zedong's rise to power and to Cuba, with Fidel Castro's takeover. It was the ideology behind one side of the Cold War and saw a symbolic decline with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

What was the spread of communism during the Cold War called?

The Red Scare was hysteria over the perceived threat posed by Communists in the U.S. during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, which intensified in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Was communism the cause of the Cold War?

COMMUNISM) The third main cause of the Cold War was the ideological conflict that existed between the United States and Soviet Union.

What was the spread of communism called?

Containment was a foreign policy strategy followed by the United States during the Cold War. First laid out by George F. Kennan in 1947, the policy stated that communism needed to be contained and isolated, or else it would spread to neighboring countries.