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The Cold War was a massive conflict that lasted for nearly 50 years and affected almost every country in the world, but its depth and scale makes it difficult to understand. While no article can cover all the details of this vastly complicated conflict, this outline highlights some of the biggest moments and major effects of the conflict. From World War II to the Space Age, the Cold War created some of the most significant changes in the modern world.

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1. The Basic Definition

Although the term "Cold War" can technically apply to many situations, it is usually used to reference a period of hostility between the United States and the USSR that occurred after World War II and lasted until approximately 1991. It was called the Cold War because the two countries never actually reached armed conflict, unlike most wars previous.

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