Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941-1991

The tension between the two superpowers, the United States of America (USA) and the Soviet Union (USSR) initially grew from ideological differences between the two: the Soviet Union was communist and its political and economic systems were at odds with those of the USA which were capitalist.

Despite their differences, the USA and USSR were able to join together in an uneasy wartime alliance against Nazi Germany during World War Two. However, once the war was won, this wartime alliance began to fall apart and the ideological differences between the two developed into outright hostility.