At the inception of the Cold War, the Soviet Union was on the verge of amassing a great deal of power, and it was this possibility that frightened the United States and brought about the Cold War. Any Soviet act of aggression was countered by the United States, further raising diplomatic tension. One such act of aggression came when the Soviets attempted to gain complete control of Berlin by forming a blockade against all of the other Allied forces. Despite the barrier, the United States airlifted tons of supplies to those who were in need of them in Berlin. This was the very beginning of antagonistic relations. Another form of aggression that angered the Americans was StalinÕs refusal to hold free elections in Eastern Europe, while he covertly set up their governments to act as puppet satellites, forming a protective barrier around the U.S.S.R. The SovietsÕ reluctance to reunify Korea and the strong Communist atmosphere in North Korea also disgruntled Americans and hurt diplomatic relations. Overall, each step that the Soviet Union took to strengthen its power and the power of the Communist party was viewed as an act of aggression, and there are many historians who strongly believe that the Soviets were at fault in the instigation of the Cold War due to these immense acts of aggression.
The period in the United States following World War 2 could more aptly be named American Hysteria rather than history. As the Soviet Union grew more and more powerful, every American grew more frightened of the Communist movement. No event greater exemplified this than McCarthyÕs Communist witch hunt of the 1950Õs. The Cold War tensions stemmed from the fear and paranoia that gripped American society. This was displayed by the establishment of the C.I.A. to research Communist activities in foreign nations, the commitment to the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan in order to help nations resist the influence of Communist forces, and the continuous arms, technology, and espionage race that dominated U.S.- Soviet politics. The C.I.A. was established out of fear, because the U.S. felt threatened by the Soviet influence in other smaller countries where the United States had vast interests. In order to keep small nations from being overwhelmed by Communism, the United States decided to protect themselves by giving those small nations monetary aid under the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. Finally, paranoia also fueled the vicious arms race that brought the advent of the H-bomb, the development of ICBMÕs with nuclear capability, and the escalation of the space program race. In addition, the fear that the United States was possessed by gave way to the U2 crisis as well as the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Although some of the United States fears had some foundation, the Cold War can easily be seen to have grown extensively from the minds and imaginations of the American people rather than the actual events of Soviet aggression that took place.