• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How and why did the Cold War in Europe and Asia become more serious during the period 1961-3?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assignment 2. How and why did the Cold War in Europe and Asia become more serious during the period 1961-3? Section A - Background After World War II, the USA and the USSR were competing with each other in the space race and the arms race. Although the Russians were ahead in the space race, perhaps more importantly, the USA had advanced further in the arms race. The nuclear balance was 5:1 in favour of the Americans. Here is a timeline to show how each side were doing from 1944-60. Source A1 shows a cartoon published in a British news magazine in 1960. The Olympic Games were being held in Rome at the time and so both the arms race and the Olympics themes were incorporated. It shows Eisenhower from the US in first place, closely followed by Khrushchev from the USSR, and then Britain and France trailing as 3rd and 4th respectively. It clearly shows how the arms race was intensifying. As Britain were one of America's allies it could be possible that putting the US in front, the British news magazine was being biased. However from the timeline (above), the USA were clearly more advanced than the Russians in the arms race. It would be wrong to state that the Americans were "winning" in the arms race as in reality there is no winner in an arms race. ...read more.

Middle

Source B1 is a speech Eisenhower made to the press in 1954. Here he explains his view on the domino effect. He clearly states "...we can't afford greater losses..." This statement shows how serious the US were in stopping the spread of communism. Source B2 shows a map of Vietnam and it's neighbours in the early 1960s. It shows how North and South Vietnam were split and how the Ho Chi Minh Trail travels across both sides. Source B3 shows part of a report to President Kennedy from Vice-President Johnson after a visit to Vietnam in 1961. He states that the US must decide whether to help the countries to the best of their ability or to 'throw in the towel' and draw back their defences. This is clearly an implication for the US to push strong. The Americans have a strong sense of pride and Kennedy needed to prove himself as a strong presidential figure. Johnson knows that Kennedy's first reaction will be "We are the United States and we will not give up". He later recommends the prompt move for a major effort to help the countries 'defend' themselves. Source B4i shows an extract from a book written in 1985, therefore making it a secondary source and so we can never be sure whether Ambrose is adding hints of opinion. He is clearly behind the United States and his closing sentence backs this: "When all was ready he sent them out to save the world." ...read more.

Conclusion

Source D5 is a primary source showing part of Kennedy's speech at the Berlin wall. He states that Communism doesn't work and the tension increased. Conclusion Before 1961 the East-West tension existed, both sides competing against each other in the arms and space race. It was hoped that they could discuss it in summit conferences but tensions had grown too much for reasonable debates. The USA was too curious in terms of finding out how far the USSR had advanced and the Russians were extremely secretive. As the summit conference in Vienna was about to start Gary Powers' U2 spy plane was shot down. The US had problems with communism else where also. In Vietnam the US felt they had to involve themselves in the war against communism. They began helping with weapons, ammunition and other equipment. Then 4000 US "advisors" were sent to help the Vietnamese. Eventually their actions involved them in a full scale war in which thousands of Americans died with no victory from their efforts. The Vienna conference hoped that the two super powers could discuss European conflict. Britain and France were eager to see the discussions take place but they never did. The USSR then delivered an ultimatum - the Berlin Wall. Suddenly it is noticeable of how serious the Cold War had become during 1961-3. In my opinion I believe that the USA and USSR were too suspicious of each other and so imaginary threat emerged in each others heads which lead to the escalation of the Cold War. 2 1 John Trickett ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why Was Germany At The Centre of Cold War Tensions 1945 - 1961

    as they wanted to learn from the mistakes made at the end of the previous war, however they also wanted a strong, but divided, Germany to act as a buffer against the threat of an expanding USSR. Yet the USSR wanted a weak Germany that they could drain dry of resources and reparations.

  2. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * Belgium became an independent country for the first time in 1839, after a nine year war of independence with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Belgian independence and neutrality was guaranteed at the Treaty of Westminster in 1839. * The two guarantors were Britain and Prussia.

  1. How True is it to say that the period 1953-1962 saw a relaxation of ...

    A trade embargo was placed on Cuba by the US, so Khrushchev stepped in and began to trade with Cuba, as well as supplying aid and equipment. By 1960, Cuba was communist. Kennedy was not happy to see a communist regime emerge so close to US land in Florida, and

  2. The Cold War was a big rivalry that developed after World War II.

    by stating the threat that the Soviet government had on national security. In Truman's actual words he said, "I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."(10)

  1. To What Extent was the Cold War in Asia a Bipolar Conflict?

    Europe suffered, and importantly, the region did not escape the creation power political vacuums left behind by the defeated axis powers. It was through these power vacuums that so called bipolarism formed as the two major victors sought desperately to fill these vacuums.

  2. Government efforts in Southeast Asia to create harmonious multicultural societies ultimately proved futile. How ...

    economic failure led to anti-Chinese riots, causing Chinese-owned stores to be attacked and 1000 to be killed. This reveals the fault lines of ethnic and class differences, showing that government policies had failed to genuinely create harmonious relations between the various groups of Indonesians, and that government efforts were ultimately futile.

  1. Explain how and why the Cold War in Europe and Asia got more serious ...

    The Soviet Union decided that they had take action, so the border was closed and fortified and therefore became part of the so-called "iron curtain". Berlin, however, was the gap in this "iron curtain". East Germans moved to West Berlin and from there they then caught a plane to West Germany.

  2. In the context of the period 1905-2005, how far do you agree that Khrushchev ...

    Between 1954-55 approximately 11,000 enterprises moved from central to independent control, May 1955 major planning and financial decisions were removed from state Moscow control, to republican hold: Russia had become decentralised.[14] Proportions of industry were also subject to the effects of decentralisation; with Moscow-based ministries replaced with sovnarkhozy: independent organisations, free to regulate industrial activity within their provenance.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work