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The Cuban Missile Crisis Describe how relations between the superpowers worsened between 1959 and the summer of 1962.

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Introduction

The Cuban Missile Crisis Coursework. Question 1. Describe how relations between the superpowers worsened between 1959 and the summer of 1962. The Cold War started after world war II ended, and Germany was defeated. Germany was to be governed partly by the U.S.S.R., and by the U.S.A. who at the time were the two most powerful nations in the world. They had briefly been allies, once the war was won, the differences in their ideas and beliefs about how the country should be run caused major disagreement. The U.S.S.R believed in communism, which meant that they put equality and the community first. Farms, factories and transport were all owned by the Government, and there were fixed wages and prices. This meant that there were no very rich people and no very poor people. People were unable to travel, and the there was censorship of the press, which meant people often didn't know what going on. However, education, health and housing were all controlled, which meant that everyone got the care that they needed. The U.S.A on the other hand believed in Capitalism, which meant that they put freedom and individuality first. There was freedom of speech, freedom of travel and freedom of beliefs. However, there was a large gap between the rich and the poor, and some people were living in poverty, whilst others were millionaires. Each nation disagreed entirely with what the other nation believed. The nations competed against each other, and poured out propaganda against each other, that stirred up hatred and fear. ...read more.

Middle

If one president decided to drop just one missile on the other nation, nuclear war was an almost certain possibility. Question 3. Why were the superpowers able to resolve the crisis without going to war? By 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis was in full flow. Fidel Castro was in power in Cuba, and Cuba was close allies with Russia. This looked to the Americans that Cuba was now a communist country, which it was not. Cuba had needed to set up connections with Russia after America had pulled out of all sugar agreements, and had left Cuba with no source of income. An American spy plane had been shot down flying over Russia, and the Americans had refused to apologise, which had enraged the Russians even more. The U.S.S.R. had set up missile bases in Cuba, which made America very vulnerable, as Krushchev had the capability to reach almost every major city in America with a missile, hence having first strike capability. The U.S. sent a convoy of ships to blockade Cuba, and stop Russian boats from depositing more missiles there. The Cold War was now beginning to look very hot indeed, as the threat of nuclear war became even more present. There were however, many ways that the two powerful nations were able to resolve the crisis; Kennedy had several options about what he should do about the missiles in Cuba, he chose to blockade Cuba, as I have already mentioned, instead of attack Cuba conventionally, perform an air strike on the bases, or even declare nuclear war on Cuba. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, there were aspects that stayed the same, such as the continuing to maintain nuclear weapons and missiles still remaining in parts of Europe, in Germany, and in Berlin, where there was still a risk that war could break out. Another hotspot arose in the mid 60's, between communist and capitalists. They fought out their differences by supporting north and south Korea, in the Korean war. After all that had occurred between the superpowers, they still did not see eye to eye, and were not friends, this meant that they were still hostile, but were not prepared to engage in direct confrontation. Overall, I feel that relations were better between the superpowers after the Cuban Missile crisis. I think that them realising the need to communicate was a very big step in maintaining the peace. Nuclear war seemed less likely after the crisis also, as all of the missiles had been taken out of Cuba, and so disallowing Krushchev first strike capability, meaning that he could not start a war. In 1989, the Berlin wall finally came down, meaning that Berlin was reunited as a whole city, and not parted into a communist section and a capitalist section. This was a very big step in ending the troubles between Russia and America, it meant finally that the people Of Berlin could live together. In 1991, communism collapsed in Russia. This meant that the war really was over, for good, as the capitalists had nothing left to fight over. Although the world was at the brink of self destruction in 1962, the crisis has taught the world a lot about resolving bad situations, and avoiding war whenever possible. 1 ...read more.

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