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1) Describe how relations between the superpowers worsened between 1959 and the summer of 1962.

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History coursework draft 1) Describe how relations between the superpowers worsened between 1959 and the summer of 1962. The allies were divided after defeating Germany and the relationship between superpowers worsened between 1959 and 1962. These two nations became the superpowers because they had greater military and economic resources than anyone else. They had tried to embarrass, humiliate and defeat each other in everything including sport, foreign aid, TV and the arms race. During 1945 to 1962, many events had contributed to the Cuba crisis such as the American use of the A.bomb in Japan and the misunderstanding in Germany, including the Berlin Blockade, rigged elections in East Europe etc... Khrushchev had many of his own problems and was under pressure to gain supporters. He needed to convince the Chinese and enemies in his own country that Russia was a match for America. In 1957 the Russians had moved ahead in the space race when they launched the Sputnik. This had worried the Americans. However, in 1961, Russia was able to send Yuri Gagarin into space and bring him back again. The Americans were now terrified. Everyone was afraid of the arms race, some protest groups were formed in Britain but it was impossible to protest in USSR without such freedom and equally difficult in the USA in the early days of McCarthy. ...read more.


They had tried to use the "economic weapon" to destroy Castro. However, America failed because Castro seized America's assets and turned to Russia for help. Therefore the countries who where already against each other had yet another reason for the races and tensions between them to rise even higher and develop into a crises. This was a great opportunity for Khrushchev as the trade agreements followed in the mid-1962; Russian missiles and technicians arrived on Cuba. Many tensions arose between America and Russia; Khrushchev always got the better of the Americans wins propaganda advantage. For example, in 1957, Sputnik successfully landed. This had frightening implications for weapons technology. The Americans feared that Russia could target American cities with missiles. However, Gagarin successfully returned from space in 1961, the Americans seemed to be trailing behind. The Americans were humiliated again at the Peace Summit in Paris which Khrushchev offered in May 1960. Khrushchev demanded an apology for the U2 spy plan which America had sent over. The Russians walked out on the summit so it had failed and the tensions keep rising. The Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 and the building of the Blockade wall in August 1961 had embarrassed Kennedy yet again. ...read more.


There was a big step forward in 1972 when Nixon officially recognised the Communist Chinese Government and agreed to them joining the United Nations as this had frightened the Russians. They feared America and China will combine their forces against them so they will be even more powerful. After signing the SALT 1 Interim Agreement and an ABM Treaty, they also signed a Trade Agreement and encouraged sporting and cultural links, both countries continued to build nuclear weapons. Brezhnev had made a Programme for Peace 1972 when the East Germans were allowed more freedom. In 1975, 35 countries had signed he Helsinki Agreement. This made USA recognise the Russian dominance in Eastern Europe. Each side agreed to advise other of military exercises and allow them to send observers. Although discussions were delayed because in 1975 Jimmy Carter became had the new American President and tried to pressurise Russia into improving conditions for Russian dissidents. He insisted that SALT talks were to be liked with Human Rights. However, in 1979, SALT 2 Agreement was ready to be signed when Russia invaded Afghanistan. So the detent was over. The Detent was an uneven process, it showed progress and regress. There was a clash of values about Human Rights. But detent prevented a massive disaster from happening. 456 words 1,232 words in total ...read more.

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