"No issue in twentieth century American history has aroused more debate than the questions of the origin of the Cold War. Some have claimed that Soviet duplicity and expansionism created the international tensions, while others have proposed that American provocations and imperial ambitions were at least equally to blame. Most historians agree, however, that wherever the preponderance of blame may lie, both the United States and the Soviet Union contributed to the atmosphere of hostility and suspicion that quickly clouded the peace" (Brinkley 963). .
The US and USSR had very different belief systems. This may have contributed to the cold war tensions. Communism versus Capitalism, Dictatorship versus Democracy. Each economic system calls for the destruction of the other. The US was desperate to end the spread of communism and dictatorship. We provided much legislation in an attempt at containment. We used tools such as the Marshall Plan and the Truman Doctrine to attempt to contain communism. In the Truman doctrine, Truman asked for major economic aid to Greece and Turkey to oppose communism. In the Marshall Plan, western European nations provided $12 billion to rebuild economies and resist Soviet pressures. We wanted to protect our interests abroad and we saw the USSR as a threat. The US failed to open up a second front. They were repeatedly asked by the USSR, but they waited a full two years before compliance. The US also ended their lend lease policy, denying the USSR supplies and materials that it desperately needed. America wanted to be the dominant nation, and took many measures to insure that the USSR would not expand following WWII. For example, without Stalin even knowing that the US had atomic power, an atomic bomb was dropped on Japan. The US and England had and extreme lack of trust of Stalin. Neither Churchill nor FDR told Stalin about the atomic bomb. The American people were told that it was done in order to scare the USSR.