The history of block formation began a long time ago. Already during the second world war, several political leaders had become afraid of the new Russia. They saw that this country was becoming more and more powerful. Since 1922, Russia has called itself the Soviet Union. It was a communist state. That meant that the country was communist ruled. No one was allowed to own their own business or their own country anymore. All assets became state-owned and distributed by the state. The Soviet Union was very rich in its early years. Communism seemed to work. There was little poverty in the country and everyone had jobs.
In the era of the second world war, the Soviet Union fought alongside America to defeat Germany. America and the Soviet Union were the two most powerful countries on earth after winning this war. They helped rebuild Europe. The Soviet Union mainly helped the Eastern European countries. Many of these Eastern European countries also became communists at the time. They eventually fell under the government of the Soviet Union. America felt that the Soviet Union was becoming far too powerful in this way. They lent the Western European countries money so that they did not have to take aid from the Soviet Union to rebuild the economy. They called the money-loan program the Marshall Plan.
Both America and the Soviet Union wanted to increase their power during this era of television and computer. Western countries saw communism as a great evil. Together they signed a treaty in which they agreed that they would prevent the Communist Soviet Union from becoming too powerful. This treaty organization was called NATO. As many as 12 countries joined. The Soviet Union was also looking for allies. Together with them they concluded the Warsaw Pact. The Warsaw Pact contained eight countries. Germany was torn apart. East Germany had signed the Warsaw Pact and was communist. West Germany was part of NATO. The capital of Germany was also torn apart. In the middle of Berlin, a wall was built to separate communist Berlin from western Berlin.
So that's how two blocks came into being. Nato is called the Western bloc. The countries that signed the Warsaw Pact are called the Eastern Bloc. We also spoke of the Iron Curtain. This Iron Curtain divided Europe in two. Both blocks competed for the greatest power in this era. They threatened each other all the time. There was an arms race. Atomic bombs were tested. With this, they wanted to show that they were powerful enough to make such a bomb. Such a bomb had already claimed 100,000 lives in the second world war. The bombs only got stronger. If they actually used a bomb like that, millions of people would die. That's why they didn't use the bomb.
However, they kept a close eye on each other. The threats were serious. That's why we called it a war. The Cold War. The Soviet Union had its missiles aimed at America. America had its missiles aimed at the Soviet Union. But fortunately, these missiles were never fired. This is also the reason why the war is called cold. The war lasted until 1991. In 1991, the Soviet Union had a new president who no longer wanted to play this game of threats. This was Boris Yeltsin. From the moment he became president, the Soviet Union was transformed into the Russian Republic. As a result, a chapter in history was closed.