The quote, “Communism is based on the belief that man is so weak and inadequate that he is unable to govern himself, and therefore requires the rule ofstrong masters . . . Democracy is based on the conviction that man has the moral and intellectual capacity, as well as the inalienable right, to govern himself with reason and justice” defines the brewing conflict that ensued throughout the world in 1940s through the 1950s. The United States emerged from WWII a relatively unified, peaceful, and confident nation. Victory gave Americans a guileless pride in the prowess of their armed forces, in productivity of their economy, in rectitude of their motives, and in the strength of their ideals.
In the eyes of the West, the Soviet Union was a state dedicated to world revolutions and to the overthrow of capitalism everywhere. For its part, the Soviet Union had a historic distrust of the West. At the Yalta Conference, a meeting involving representatives from the United States, Great Britain, and Soviet Union, the U.S. and Britain insisted on free, open elections in Poland and in other Eastern European nations after WWII. Stalin had agreed, but by the time of the Potsdam Conference, it was clear that Stalin would not keep his promise.
Winston Churchill delivered a speech that warned Americans of the expansive tendencies of the Soviet Union under Stalin:”A shadow has fallen upon the scene so lately lighted by the Allied victory. . . An iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe.
” After 1945, both the United States and the Soviet Union tried to spread their political and economic influence wherever they could. They formed military alliances, carried on an arms race, and supported opposing sides in several civil wars. An added precaution was the Truman Doctrine, which stated that the U.S. should prevent communist government for being set up anywhere i..