2. A divided world
2.1. The consolidation of antagonistic blocs
The rivalry between the two superpowers reflected the opposing values of the two Economic and political systems.
USA: represented a liberal democratic system based on several political parties, Respect for individual rights and the predominance of a capitalist market economy.
The USSR: single-party political system, rejected free elections and individual Freedoms, and implemented a state-run economy based on state ownership of the Means of production and prohibited private ownership.
The split between the Allies took place in 1947 when US President Truman made the Containment of communism around the world a national priority (the Truman Doctrine). His Secretary of State, George Marshall, said that financial assistance to post-war Reconstruction was the best weapon against communist expansion and introduced The Marshall Plan. This was an economic assistance programme for Europe, which Distributed aid and credits among participating countries over a period of four years.
The American proposal was criticized by the Soviets (the Zhdanov Doctrine) as a form of Imperialism intended to keep European countries under its control. The USSR opposed Economic aid and forced eastern Europe, under its control, to reject it.
2.2. Opposing alliances and systems
The two superpowers organized their respective blocs through systems of economic and Military alliances.
In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was signed by the United States, Canada and 10 countries in western Europe. It was the origin of NATO, a military Cooperation organization to defend against any foreign aggression under the leadership of Washington. In 1961, 20 countries in North America and Europe created the OECD to Promote economic development in free-market countries.
The USSR and eastern European Countries also strengthened their Ties. In 1949, they created The COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance), an Organization offering financial Assistance to the socialist bloc. In 1955, a military alliance was Founded through the Warsaw Pact, which united the USSR and Eastern Europe to guarantee the Security and integrity of communist Countries.