Introduction

Interpretations of 'cold war'.

The term 'cold war' had been used before 1945 to describe situtations characterised by extreme international tensions between states, but which avoided tipping over into 'hot wars' (those in which direct fighting took place). After 1945 - and especially after 1947 - the term was quickly applied to the deteriorating relationship between the USSR and the USA/the West.

Different historians use the term to mean slightly different things when they use the term 'cold war, including for example, the conflict between capitalism and communism that has existed since the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1913. However, this pathfinder, will use the term to refer to the period in the tense years after 1945.

Todd, A. (2011), History for the IB Diploma, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p. 2.