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Cold War, Geography of

  • By: Jonathan Leib
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The Cold War was a geopolitical division between the Western allies and the Soviet Union that emerged in the late 1940s, shortly after the end of World War II, and continued through the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. During World War II, the United States was allied with the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union against Germany, Italy, and Japan. However, within several years of the war's conclusion, this global division of power changed dramatically to one where the United States and its allies in Western Europe and Japan were aligned against the Soviet Union and its satellite states in Eastern Europe.

From the U.S. perspective, the Cold War geopolitical model of the world saw the United States and its allies (the “First World”) ...

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