From 1947 US and URSS became rivals because they had different political and economic systems. Two blocs were formed:
- The capitalist bloc led by the United States included Western Europe countries and Japan. The common features were that all had capitalist economy and democratic parliamentary systems. All of them formed the NATO created in 1947 to ensure mutual assistance among its members through the Marshall Plan.
- The communist bloc led by the URSS included countries in Central and Eastern Europe occupied by the URSS in the Second World War. These countries had “people´s democracies” and shared planned economies. The bloc also had a military alliance called the Warsaw Pact formed in 1955 as well as a Council of Mutual Economic Assistance created in 1949.
Later, each bloc look for new partners in Latin America, Africa and Asia.