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When did the Cold War really begin between the United States and the Soviet Union

Updated on September 6, 2016

When did the Cold War really begin?

On August 2,1918 using the Civil War as a pretense small

expeditions composed of British, French and American

troops (the U.S. sent 8,000) seized Russia's Arctic ports of

Murmansk and Archangel, in order to aid the White

Russian forces against the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks

after taking power found themselves in a bitter civil war with

the opposition forces (the Whites). It was obvious that the Western

powers almost certain of their victory over Germany were attempting

to divide a weakened Russia among themselves. It was a strange twist

for America's President Woodrow Wilson who would become known as a

leader that promoted peace in postwar Europe. In November 1920, President

Wilson would receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts at Versailles.

The Allies also extended their maritime blockade of Germany to include

Russia in an attempt to starve its people.

When did the Cold War really begin?

In November 1918 after the end of World War I further

hostile action against Soviet Russia became more difficult

to sell in public, but in private there was no difficulty. The

American government undertook a series of covert actions

against Soviet Russia, secretly giving money to its enemies.

American hostility toward Bolshevism was partly based on a

fear of immigrants, anti-Semitism and racism. Wilson was

described as the head of American multi-millionaires whose

main interest was the exploitation of Russia's vast resources for

the profit of American corporations. After World War I the victors

were attempting to divide the spoils of war and Russia appeared

weak enough to exploit. It would prove a mistake as the Bolsheviks

began to grow more powerful as they expelled all foreign influences

from their country and withdrew behind a curtain of ambivalence.

Sporadic operations were conducted for over a year until the final

evacuation of Allied troops took place in September 1919. This silent

war (1918-1920) would create a lack of trust between the Western powers

and Russia that can still be seen today.

Americans in Russia 1919


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