Cuban Missile Crisis Sources Questions.
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Cuban Missile Crisis Sources Questions. 1. Sources A and B tell us a lot about Kennedy's reaction to the U2 spy photos. In source A, President Kennedy asks his brother Robert, the author of the source, to come to the White House. This shows that the President needed moral support, indicating that he was worried about what the U2 photos showed. Source B shows the range of the missiles. This must have been of great concern to Kennedy, because most of the USA, including Washington, was within range of long or short ranged missiles based on Cuba. Source B also shows that more Soviet missile-carrying ships were en route, which must have prompted Kennedy to consider what action he was going to take. 2. Kennedy knew that some kind of action was needed to reassure the public, and this is shown to be what the general feeling at the time in source C. To do nothing would mean the threat of missile attack would not be eliminated. It would also be very unpopular in the USA, especially as Kennedy was still considered by some to be 'soft' on communism, especially after Berlin. As it says in source C, 80 million Americans could be killed. It also states that air strikes were being considered, but Kennedy must have turned this option down. ...read more.
Kennedy seemed weak because he could do nothing to stop the building of the wall, despite his best efforts. After this both leaders tried to prove their strength, with more nuclear weapons tests and eventually the Cuban Missile crisis. Therefore, both sides are to blame for the crisis. Bad relations with the US meant that Cuba needed support, and it eventually turned to the USSR. In return, the USSR placed missiles on Cuba. This was retaliation for the US having missiles in Italy and Turkey, so again both sides are to blame. These more important issues are not really talked about in the two sources. 4. The Cuban missile crisis was settled after thirteen days. Source G is from a letter from President Kennedy to Khrushchev, agreeing that a solution is needed quickly. Source H is the reply to Kennedy from Khrushchev, agreeing to stop missile base building on Cuba and also to return all nuclear weapons to the USSR. Letter writing was the main form of communication between the two leaders in the crisis, and the wording of the letters was very important. In these two letters, the vocabulary used gives an impression of civility and respect to the other leader. Source I is from a book written in 1980, and talks about how Kennedy had won. This is a biased view, as a US historian wrote the source. It is because of this that the source is of certain use. ...read more.
An example of this is the fact that that Soviet ships didn't challenge the US blockade around Cuba. Some people considered this to mean that the US has strategic superiority over the USSR, and some may even say that Khrushchev was afraid of US retaliation if there was war between the two sides. However, this argument could be turned around and used to support the view of Soviet victory. For Kennedy too was wary of starting war with the USSR. An argument for Soviet victory is that Castro was still in power after the crisis. The US response to the crisis had failed to remove Fidel Castro, the Cuban dictator who had nationalised many US businesses after he came to power. Cuba had once been a place where rich Americans went on holiday. Khrushchev still had an ally in a small island only 90 miles off the coast of Florida. There was also a U2 spy plane shot down over Cuba, something the US could not retaliate for. All US missiles were removed from Turkey and Italy three months after the crisis. This could be further evidence of Soviet victory in the crisis, although it is actually an example of cooperation between the two superpowers, which occurred after the crisis. Both sources take the view that their own country won the crisis, although the real answer is in between. Either view from the sources can be argued successfully with the reasons I suggested. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.
This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1945-1991 section.
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