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

To what extent was the nuclear arms race a more stabilising factor in the cold war from 1949 to 1963?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was the nuclear arms race a more stabilising factor in the cold war from 1949 to 1963? From the period of 1949 up until 1963 saw increasing developments in nuclear technology by both the two superpowers, the USA and USSR. The 'race 'meant that both superpowers aimed to match each other and even gain the upper hand in terms of nuclear missile technology. Nuclear arms were seen as a form of scare tactic against the other superpower as both felt threatened by each other's ideological capability. It was also used as a form of defence mechanism in case of future attack however, the power and destruction of the weapons in which these countries created would have proved fatal not only for the opposing country but for the world. The nuclear arms race has been argued that it stabilised relations between the countries especially after the Cuban missile crisis although there is much evidence that proves otherwise, in which relations between the soviets and the United States were as tense as ever. ...read more.


This policy however was used by both parties which in essence mad the whole of the period of time a very tense time. The false threats could be seen as a stabilising factor as both parties were not going to use the weapons, only as a scare tactic which would lead to an increase in communication between the countries. On the other side, threatening to destroy the opposing superpower could be seen as unsettling the relations even more than it already was. M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction) could also be a Stabilising factor in this period as it caused both sides to rethink their strategies. Both sides had enough nuclear weaponry to annihilate the other and to even counter-strike when hit first. Both sides knew that using this strategy would prove too costly so for their own need they needed another approach. A more flexible approach in which the sides would use smaller, targeted missiles achieving to hit a specific area would be more worthwhile as it would limit the amount of action and devastation that the arms could bring. ...read more.


They were literally hours from nuclear war. However there other factor that played into the formation of the treaty. The Soviet Union were in economic turmoil especially when they were paying almost a third of their GMP on arms. America was also in turmoil especially with the Vietnam War heating up and domestic issue of civil rights. In conclusion, after looking at the period of 1949-1963, the nuclear arms race was a stabilising factor in the cold war although things could have been the complete opposite. The risk of using Brinksmanship could have ended in war and eventual devastation of the world. Both countries, for their own sake needed to come to some agreement to limit the arms. By using the 'hot line' telephone link both superpowers could prevent each other with great speed which helped misunderstanding especially when Khrushchev had a very unpredictable mind. The test ban treaty of 63' also helped limit the use of unsettling use of the weapons but it dragged other powerful nations such as China and France into the mix when they disagreed against the treaty. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Free essay

    To what extent did the nuclear arms race make the world a more dangerous ...

    3 star(s)

    Followed by an even more destructive weapon; the lithium bomb exploded by the soviets in 1953. Under Eisenhower and Dulles who understood clearly the dangers of a nuclear war and were hard-line communists, both together were more than willing to go the brink of war.

  2. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    and SS-5 intermediate-range missiles on Cuba, was a cheaper and quicker way for the USSR to catch up in the arms race. o The USA had 15 Jupiter missiles in Turkey targeting every city in the south of the USSR.

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

    One of these women, Klien Rollo, wrote in an editorial of the local newspaper that "the light was so bright that it was impossible to recognize colors..." and that "Governor Val Peterson, head of the National Federal Civil Defense Administration, was flabbergasted by the amount of dust and debris present even at two miles distant from ground zero."

  2. The Cuban Missile Crisis

    seeking to mask the traces of imperialism in their attitude towards Cuba, and, at the same time, to undermine the Soviet position by presenting them as 'bad liars' to the rest of the world. The Soviets were less successful, but just as determined, in their attempts to use deception to work the situation to their advantage.

  1. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    If the Soviets had been allowed similar control over their sphere of influence in Eastern Europe, there might have existed a basis for compromise. As John McCloy asked at the time, "[why was it necessary] to have our cake and eat it too?

  2. The Cuban Missile Crisis and the blockade

    as well, to prevent the fighters from getting shot down while making their bombing runs. This significantly increased the scale of the attack, which worried many people.xxv As a result of this, it was decided that an invasion would need to follow the air attack, as the military of Cuba

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

    to terms and agree among ourselves on rational principles of peaceful co-existence' .The people of Eastern Europe hoped and truly believed that Khrushchev words were the first stage in a relaxation of the communist regime, and that the era of extreme repression would soon be drawing to a close.

  2. Superpower Relations and the Thaw in the Cold War

    keen to not allow the other to exert its influence over the region * Israel was established as an independent country in 1948 with the British withdraw from Palestine * British troops were withdrawn from Egypt in 1955 despite continued Ango-French ownership of the Suez Canal * The developing hostility

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