The Cold War resulted from a variety of conflicts between the US and USSR which began even before WWII was finished.
The existence of nuclear weapons added a new dimension to post-war conflicts and diplomacy.
De-colonization and the rise of the Third World also complicated international affairs.
Eastern and Western Europeans were often unhappy with domination by the superpowers but were politically and economically forced to submit to their wishes.
The Cold War created cultural and social turbulence in Europe.
Cold War tensions eventually led both Eastern and Western Europeans to seek ways to separate themselves from the influence of the superpowers.
Growing discontent with Soviet influence in E. Europe, coupled with growing economic and political problems in the Soviet Union led to a series of revolts against the USSR which culminated in not only the autonomy of E. European nations, but also the breakup of the USSR.
Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and perestroika played an important role in the E. European and Soviet changes.
Western European nations reorganized the Common Market into the EEC, and many have adopted the Euro, in an attempt to become autonomous and competitive economically and politically.
Ethnic nationalism, among other causes, led to war and the breakup of Yugoslavia.
The collapse of the USSR has created new political, economic, cultural, and social relationships in the world.
NATO has had to reexamine its purpose and membership.
International terrorism has created new challenges for European nations.
What were the steps in the outbreak and development of the Cold War, & what led to confrontation and conflict between the USSR & the West?