• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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

    Problems developed as the Russians seemed to be trying to drain the Soviet sector of resources whilst the three Western powers were trying to rebuild their zones of occupation. However, the Austrian state treaty of May 1955 meant that Austria did not become a divided nation.

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

    At the end of their 1942 meeting, Roosevelt pledged to Molotov-and through him to Stalin-that a second front would be established that year. The president then proceeded to mobilize his own military advisors to develop plans for such an attack.

  1. Superpower Relations 1945-90

    Why did the superpowers produce so many nuclear weapons in the 1950s? The superpowers had financial, political and military reasons for continuing the arms race: * At the time President Eisenhower came to power in 1953, it was 70 times cheaper to match Soviet military strength with nuclear, rather than conventional weapons.

  2. The Prelude to the 1975 War and the Cairo Agreement.

    It addressed grievances though without undermining the confessional foundations of a political system. One such grievance was Lebanon's Arabism. The document proclaimed Lebanon's Arabism but stated that Lebanon is a sovereign, free and independent country. Of the seventeen points stated in the Constitutional Document, five dealt with Muslim grievances.

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

    abolished the Comintern, or Communist International, which had been organized in 1919 to foment communist revolutions in other countries. [This brings favorable comment from most Americans, including Joseph Davies, ambassador to the Soviet Union, Eric Johnston, president of the US Chamber of Commerce and even Rep.

  2. Nuclear Arms Race - A cold war investigation.

    to retaliate against a surprise first strike attack), so that if either the United States or U.S.S.R launched an attack on the other, then they would be able to retaliate so that both nations would be destroyed. This was defined as the M.A.D concept which stood for Mutually Assured Destruction.

  1. To what extent was the Civil War the main factor in the Bolshevik

    family utilised the vulnerability of the Whites and removed this figurehead for the Monarchists thus leading them to believe that the war effort and the counter-revolution was futile. This also strengthens the point that although removing opposition was relatively an easy process, it still was necessary and the Whites did pose a threat.

  2. Superpower Relations and the Thaw in the Cold War

    and H Bomb (1955) * Destructive power of the H-Bomb (x1000 more powerful than A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima) posed a very real danger to the existence of life on earth. * Moral dilemma for leaders whom the responsibility of using the weaponry fell What, if anything were the achievements of the ?Thaw??

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