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

Cuban Missile Crisis Essay

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Cuban Missile Crisis The origins of the Cuban Missile Crisis can be found in 1959, when Fidel Castro's supporters finally overthrew Batista's military dictatorship, which had been in power since 1953. Within a year Castro had introduced reforms, such as nationalisation (state ownership) of various companies, and of land, which was redistributed to the peasants. He also brought communists into the government and relations with the USA steadily worsened. Why did America oppose Castro? 1 Batista was a corrupt dictator, but he had been careful to stay friendly with America and, up until 1959, most of Cuba's trade in sugar and cigars was with America. 2 Though Castro was not officially known to be a communist in 1959, the Americans suspected this from the start. His policies, such as nationalisation, seemed to confirm their fears and what made it worse was the fact that some of the companies, and land, taken over by Castro's government, belonged to American citizens. 3 As a result Eisenhower refused to meet Castro, when he visited America in 1959, and he refused loans and economic aid. When Castro turned to the USSR for help, the USA banned all trade with Cuba. ...read more.

Middle

17 October Kennedy got Khrushchev's assurance that he had no intentions of installing missiles in Cuba 20 October: Having decided against a full scale invasion, or an air strike, both of which would cause Soviet casualties and likely lead to war, Kennedy decided on a naval blockade around Cuba. This would prevent Soviet ships, known to be carrying missiles, from reaching Cuba. It also forced Khrushchev to make-the next move. 22 October: Kennedy addressed the nation on television, announcing the discovery of the missile sites and his decision to impose a blockade. The news stunned the world. 23 October: A blockade zone around Cuba was established. Americans waited for the Soviet response. 24 October: To everyone's relief the Soviet ships stopped before reaching the blockade. Those thought to be carrying nuclear warheads turned back. However the missiles in Cuba still had to be removed and there was no guarantee that nuclear warheads had not got through already. 26 October: Kennedy received the first letter from Khrushchev in which he said he would remove the missiles, if Kennedy promised not to invade Cuba. 27 October: A second letter arrived. This took a tougher line and demanded that US missiles in Turkey be removed as well. ...read more.

Conclusion

5 The crisis demonstrated the dangers of forcing leaders to act under pressure of circumstance, without having time to reflect upon their decisions. It showed how both superpowers needed to avoid direct conflict, and how communications between them needed to be improved. This led to the hot-line - a direct telephone link established between the White House and the Kremlin in 1963. 6 Having recognised that their possession of nuclear weapons led to stalemate between them in Cuba, the way was paved for better East-West relations. Nuclear weapons as a deterrent, became the main focus of the arms race after 1962. The Cuban missile crisis led to arms control, firstly by the signing of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963, which forbade atmospheric and underwater testing, though not underground tests. Later, in 1969, the superpowers agreed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The threat of a nuclear war in 1962 was frightening enough, but recent revelations show that, to some extent, the threat was avoided as much through good luck as sound judgement. As Robert Mc Namara said in 1992: "The actions of all three parties were shaped by misjudgment, miscalculations, and misinformation." The crisis may have contributed to Khrushchev's downfall in 1964, but it also promoted 'peaceful co-existence' and prepared the way for d�tente. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1941-80 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 GCSE USA 1941-80 essays

  1. The USA 1941 - 80 : The Divided Union.

    * Selma, was a small town community with 15,000 blacks of whom only 325 were registered voters, compared to the whole white population of 10,000. King's Civil Rights workers moved into Selma to start Voter Registration drives. * This was violently opposed by many militant whites in Selma.

  2. Priam is even-tempered and wise while Agamemnon is hot-tempered and foolish

    Agamemnon lacks forethought and his primary concern is himself. This leads to other characters often feeling the effects of Agamemnon's selfishness and pride. Agamemnon knows that the people do not want to go to war, but does not care. He kept Chryseis though the Achaeans beg him to give her back.

  1. Were Contemporaries correct in regarding President Kennedy as the saviour of the Western World ...

    Kennedy decided to blockade Cuba rather than permitting military action against Cuba. This decision kept open the chance of a peaceful outcome to the Crisis. Also at the height of the crisis Kennedy received two letters from Khrushchev, one aggressive and the other more appeasing.

  2. Robert MacFarlane and the fall of the Soviet Regime

    (McFarlane 189) "The first year had been one of drift, of reacting to events." (McFarlane 193) After he moved his office into the White House, McFarlane eventually contributed to forming tactics that put pressure on the soviets politically, economically, and socially.

  1. Cuban Missile Crisis

    Just after the American sugar trade with Cuba was stopped, Russia stepped in to buy Cuba's sugar and other exports. America's actions made Castro go into the side of Russia. Now with a communist country supporting Cuba which is only 50 miles away, President J F Kennedy decided to give the anti-Castro some support.

  2. The Planet of Which Apes Exactly?

    animals are mutilated or amputated to produce behavioural changes; animals are the victims of extreme pain and stress, inflicted out of idle curiosity, in nightmarish experiments designed to make healthy animals psychotic. He uses such strong and vivid images- almost to the point of exaggeration- that those lines end up coming off as morbid sarcasm.

  1. Malcolm X essay

    His effectiveness as an organizer of temples in Boston and Philadelphia and his oratorical skill led to his appointment as minister of Harlem's important Temple Number Seven in June 1954. On January 14, 1958, Little married Betty X Shabazz. They had six children.

  2. Personal Log : The Cuban Missile Crisis

    Hersh criticises President Kennedy for his actions during the crisis labelling him as incompetent rash and reckless. He firmly believes that it was Premier Khrushchev who brought this "superpower game of chicken to an end1." Hersh puts forwards a well argued and convincing view, which questions the traditional opinion held by many western historians.

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