The Cold War is a term used to describe the period of non-violent conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union, as well as their respective allies, between the mid-1940s and lasted until the early 1990s. This essay seeks to examine the political relations between the leaders of Britain, the United States of America and the Soviet Union during and immediately following World War II. The deterioration of Soviet-American relations was the combined result of the mistrust between both sides and the inconsistent American foreign policy resulting from the replacement of Franklin D. Roosevelt by Harry S. Truman. The question of a second front during World War II laid the foundation for this mistrust. In order to understand the Cold War, one must understand Soviet motives for expansion following the WWII and the consequences of such expansion, most importantly in regards to Poland, all of which will be examined. This will be followed by a discussion of the events of the Yalta conference. Subsequently, an examination of Harry Trumans first meeting with Vyacheslav Molotov, his behaviour at the Potsdam conference and his response to the Moscow Council of Foreign Ministers shall take place. These events played a key role in the development of the policy of containment which was cemented by Winston Churchills Iron Curtain Speech and George Kennans Long Telegram. Lastly, it is important to consider how American economic and military concerns provided further motivation for the creation of a new threat. .
Much of the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union stemmed from a general mistrust between each side. A root cause of this mistrust began during the Second World War. On July 18, 1941, Soviet Prime Minister Joseph Stalin requested that the allies create a second front by invading German-occupied France. Both Great Britain and the United States agreed that such a move would be advisable for a multitude of reasons.