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:: Nuclear Weapons History Cold War Strategy The USA as a Superpower

Why did the United States become a Superpower After 1945?

If it was correct that the Soviet Union had to be contained, the United States was the most likely candidate to do so. The peoples and industries of Europe had been devastated: Britain was economically weakened, Germany was devastated, demilitarized, and had lost its credibility, in France the communists had gained 1/3 of the votes, in Italy the communists had gained 1/2 of the votes, while the Soviet Union could possibly exploit the situation.

At the same time Europe was vital, because it ranked second as compared to U.S. in potential i

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ndustrial power. If these assets would shift to the Soviet Union the balance of power might be tipped in favor of the Soviet Union. The Soviets, however, should not be allowed access to the Atlantic.

Since the United States emerged from the war as a superpower with a strong and healthy economy, a substantial military industry, and above all a monopoly on nuclear weapons, politicians in Washington felt destined or obligated to prevent the political, economic, and social breakdown of Europe.