As you probably know, the US and Russia haven’t had the easiest relationship for quite a while now. While it’s no secret the two nations are far from pals, it’s worth you knowing that the attitude of the US was stilted towards Russia and Eastern Europe before even WWI.

Relations between the US and Russia started to get a bit frosty in the lead-up to the war as the first two decades of the 20th century saw a massive increase in immigration into the United States. The majority of these immigrants came from Russia and south-east Europe, weren’t WASPs (white Anglo-Saxon Protestants), and were as such seen as a threat to the traditional American way of life. Racist or what?

US attitudes towards Russia shifted even further to the negative side in the mid-20th century following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, which saw Russia become a Communist country. At the time, the American economy and way of life was already very much based upon a free-market Capitalist economy. One of the key Bolshevik aims was to spread Communism across the world, and so in this respect Russian Bolshevism represented a threat to the US.

Wondering why on earth you should remember all this? It’s important to bear these tensions in mind when considering what caused the Cold War to be.