From land purchases to fights for hegemony and all the way to the ideological differences many people know today, the United States of America and Russia have a lengthy past with one another. The two countries have long been seen as forces to reckon with in the international political world, spending most of the that time on opposite sides of the world (literally and figuratively). To understand how the countries came to form the relationship they have today, it is necessary to explore their history.
The relationship today between the U.S. and Russia is a bit more polar than it has been the past few decades. The hardening attitude between the two nations stems from many political events of the past decade. Firstly, the war in Iraq has pushed Iraq and Russia to be closer allies, separating Russia further from the United States. Secondly, the battles between Russia and Ukraine have strained U.S.-Russian relations, as the U.S. has vocally defended Ukraine's sovereignty. Lastly, the general inability of the U.S. and Russia to create international agreements with one another greatly damages their relationship, as the two can still be seen fighting to be the world's political hegemon (though, a new complex has been added with China in the mix).
The prominent history between the two nations began with the purchase of what is now known as Alaska by the U.S. from Russia in the mid-19th century. When the Soviet Union formed in the beginning of the 20th century, the United States opposed and denied the union. This denial could only last until the rise of the Nazi power in Europe. From there, the United States went on to make an ally of the Soviet Union during World War II, aiding to defeat Germany and the Nazis. However, after the war, the tensions really began as the Cold War sprouted.
Both nations had invested tremendous amounts of money and soldiers in WWII, and both nations sought to be seen as the dominant world power after the war had ended. However, Russia had drained proportionately more of their resources in the war and had to withdraw to focus on rebuilding the nation's infrastructure. With this withdraw, the U.S. was widely seen as the world political hegemon for the decades following WWII.
Though the U.S. and Russia have been both friend and foe, the two nations have come together for some remarkable causes. The nations were allies in defeating a spreading humanitarian threat during WWII. The two countries have also created initiatives ranging from anti-terrorism and nuclear arms proliferation all the way to space travel. While the two nations may hold different political ideologies, they have successfully created shared political platforms on which to usher in a safer and more technologically advanced future for our children.
With their bright moments comes shadows. The U.S. and Russia have a complex history that includes the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, the Cold War, and most recently the disagreement over the situation in Ukraine. While this is an ongoing situation, the world remains hopeful that much like the past between these two nations, all will be resolved in a forward-thinking manner.
The United States of America and Russia are undeniable forces in the world. Both have shared the privileges and responsibilities of being powerful developed nations. The history between the two continues to be written with every day that passes. The future between these two great nations is truly unpredictable.