The Soviet Union and the United States – Revelations from the Russian Archives | Exhibitions – Library of Congress

    relations between the soviet union and the united states were driven by a complex interplay of ideological, political, and economic factors, leading to shifts between cautious cooperation and often bitter superpower rivalry throughout the years. The clear differences in the political systems of the two countries often prevented them from reaching mutual understanding on key political issues and even, as in the case of the Cuban missile crisis, brought them to the brink of war.

    The US government was initially hostile to Soviet leaders for pulling Russia out of World War I and opposed a state ideologically based on communism. Although the United States embarked on a famine relief program in the Soviet Union in the early 1920s and American businessmen established business ties there during the New Economic Policy period (1921-29), the two countries did not establish diplomatic relations until 1933. at that time, the totalitarian nature of joseph stalin’s regime presented an insurmountable obstacle to friendly relations with the west. Although World War II brought the two countries into an alliance, based on the common goal of defeating Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union’s aggressive and anti-democratic policy toward Eastern Europe had created tensions even before the war ended.

    The soviet union and the united states remained far apart during the next three decades of superpower conflict and nuclear and missile arms race. In the early 1970s, the Soviet regime proclaimed a policy of détente and sought further economic cooperation and disarmament negotiations with the West. However, the Soviet stance on human rights and its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 created new tensions between the two countries. These tensions continued to exist until the dramatic democratic changes of 1989-1991 led to the collapse of the communist system last year and opened the way for an unprecedented new friendship between the United States and Russia, as well as the other new nations of the old soviet union.

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