Origins of the Cold War

As this map shows, Europe was in many ways divided even before the Cold War dawned, largely because of the way in which US forces and the Red Army liberated the continent.


bullet Paterson, Major Problems, pp. 201-266.
bullet Hahn, US, Great Britain, and Egypt, pp. 38-61
bullet Little, American Orientalism, pp. 77-87.
January 5, 1946: President Truman indicates that the US will not recognize future communist governments, since "I'm sick of babying the Soviets
February 9, 1946: Before the Communist Party Congress, Stalin suggests that communism and capitalism were incompatible.
February 22, 1946: George Kennan's Long Telegram, one of the most famous documents of the Cold War, contending that Russian behavior was determined by a "traditional and instinctive Russian sense of insecurity," and that "we have here a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with US there can be no permanent modus vivendi."
March 5, 1946: Former British prime minister Winston Churchill, at Fulton, Missouri, declares that an "Iron Curtain" has descended on Europe.
March 10, 1946: Truman demands Russia withdraw from Iran, which had been jointly occupied by the British and the Red Army during World War II, with no oil concessions and no annexation of Azerbaijan.
September 12, 1946: Former Vice President and then Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace delivers a Madison Square Garden speech announcing ""the tougher we get with Russia, the tougher they will get with us"; he was forced to resign as Secretary of Commerce September 20.
March 12, 1947: President Truman announces the Truman Doctrine, informing Congress, "I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.
June 5, 1947: Secretary of State George Marshall, in a commencement address at Harvard University, announces a package of economic assistance to aid in European recovery. Though not "directed not against any country or doctrine but against hunger, poverty, desperation and chaos," the Marshall Plan further divides Europe into two spheres of influence.  For his efforts, Time named the secretary of state its "Man of the Year" for 1947.
July 26, 1947: Congress passes the National Security Act, which creates a civilian Secretary of Defense (the first was James Forrestal), a National Security Council, a Central Intelligence Agency--but does not call for universal military training.

February 25, 1948: Communists overthrow the government of Eduard Benes in Czechoslovakia, the last democratic nation in the Soviet bloc.