The Cold War was characterized by the bipolar division of the world: the East led by the Soviet Union, communist (socialism), and the West led by the United States, capitalist (liberalism).
The 2 blocs will confront each other - opposing each other on different points:
West founds NATO (4 April 1949) while East forms the Warsaw Pact (14 May 1955)
- NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) or ATLANTIC PACT: Military defence treaty signed in April 1949 between the United States, Canada and Western European countries. It was supplemented in 1950 by a military organisation.
- VARSOVIA PACT: military alliance (1955 to 1991) bringing together the people's democracies (= Eastern bloc) under the leadership of the USSR.
USA and USSR never confronted each other directly, but by interposed countries as in Korea and Vietnam in particular.
Politically and ideologically
The West defends capitalism and Western democracy while the East defends communism and so-called "popular" democracy.
The West based itself on private property and defended the Marshall Plan, while the East created COMECON and advocated the socialist regime (state capitalism).
The West is predominantly Christian while the East is officially atheist.