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|Cold War (Differently)|
The World in 1960
|First World powers||Second World powers|
The Cold War was the continuing state of conflict, tension and competition between pro-socialist and pro-capitalist countries, which were often called respectively First World and Second World and represented chiefly by the United States/Western Europe and the Soviet Union/Eastern Europe, that lasted roughly from the end of the Great War in 1918 until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1975, although the exact dates varied from region to region. Many historians consider that the Cold War truly began in the early 1920s, when the first socialist regimes rose.
Sided with the United States were most countries in Western Europe (including its colonies and dependencies), as well as Byzantium, Syria, China, Japan, Brazil , Australia, among other countries. Sided with the Soviet Union were the Confederation of American Socialist States, Austria-Hungary, the People's Republic of Persia, North Vietnam, Venezuela and Colombia. The remaining countries in the world remained neutral.
The last 25 years of the Cold War, the period approximately from 1950 to 1975, was known as the Space Race, in which different countries showcased their technological advancement in spacefaring, eventually leading to landings on the Moon, Mars, and several important astronomical discoveries.
Causes and polarization
After the Great War, the nations that participated on it were devastated both physically and economically. Even neighboring countries that remained neutral through the entire conflict, such as Austria-Hungary, had their economies damaged because they largely depended on trade with the warring powers. As those countries struggled to rebuild themselves, a power vacuum was created in Western and Central Europe. A few years later, the newly formed Soviet Union took advantage over the situation to expand its influence over Eastern Europe and other neighboring regions. At the time, it controlled an extremely large territory and its leaders ruled with much power in their authoritarian government (which became even more repressive when Joseph Stalin rose to power in 1924). Generally speaking, the Soviets were arguably unmatched by any other nation and many considered them the world's sole superpower. Their sphere of influence led to the creation of the People's Republic of Persia in 1924, the radicalization of Austria-Hungary (as explained below) and later to the creation of North Vietnam and the Confederation of American Socialist States in the 1940s.
Meanwhile, distant countries such as the United States, China, Korea, Brazil, and Egypt, the first three of which were the winning side at the Anglo-American War, began to form an alliance that would match the Soviet Union and oppose its ideology. Those nations, united under democratic capitalism, formed what was called the First World, while the Soviet sphere of influence was called the Second World. Fearing the threatening expansion of the Eastern bloc, Central and Western European nations joined the First World by the late 1920s.
In the earlier years of the Cold War, approximately from 1918 to 1925, Western and Central European powers were attempting at all costs to recover its damaged economies and reconstruct its cities. During this period, Austria-Hungary was getting closer to Germanic nations through the Germanic League, and the adoption of Teedish as the official language later in the 1940s proved an efficient way to unite the country's multiple ethnicities, which spoke several different languages. Towards the late 1940s, however, the Empire developed stronger ties with the Eastern bloc and started to flirt with socialistic politics. Eventually, it became the world's first socialist monarchy, even though it never became a full Marxist-Leninist one-party state like its allies.