What was the Cold War?

The Cold War (1947-1991) was a period of political, military, and economic tension following World War II which existed primarily between the United States and its allies in the Western World and Communist Russia and its satellite states. Rather than all-out war, the countries locked in the Cold War engaged in multiple activities aimed at demonstrating overall ideological and governmental superiority over the other. These included propaganda, espionage, and intense competition on a number of fronts - a nuclear arms race, fierce competition during international sporting events, and technological achievements like the Space Race which culminated in the United States landing astronauts on the moon.