• 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 arms race the key cause of the Cold War?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent was arms race the key cause of the cold war? Cold war is the era of hostility, high tension and rivalry between the superpowers that emerged in the post second world war period which is USA and USSR. Previously, the two nations had an alliance, a wartime alliance so that they could be united in defeating Germany, which at that time seemed very hard. The end of Second World War itself meant that there was no common interest holding the new superpowers together as Germany was defeated. This wartime alliance of the USA and USSR could not sustain as rivalry became apparent. The initial battle of the alliance was to defeat Germany, later it seemed the battle was for influence, power and authority in the ruins of Europe. When the two countries emerged as the new superpowers of the world each of them had already had the status as USA had become the number one air force power and USSR had become the number one land force power in the world. ...read more.

Middle

on 6th August, 1945 and fat man on 9th August, 1945 on Nagasaki had a crucial impact as the cause of the cold war and the nuclear arms races. Uranium, which was thought to be rare, was acquired by USSR in the late 1940s and shocked the world by detonating its first nuclear bomb in 1949, several years before USA had thought possible. The arms race was on. The United States then stepped up its efforts to develop the hydrogen bomb, which was 1000 times more powerful than the bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It achieved this in 1952, only to be followed by the USSR a year later. These new and terrifying weapons started an arms race between the major powers which was the cause of cold war and also an integral part of the war period. This also caused both sides to rethink military strategy and thus the way conflicts were handled during the cold war. ...read more.

Conclusion

The arms races in turn, intensified the cold war. Thus, the arms race is a definite cause for the outbreak of the cold war. The superpowers each thought that the other posed a thereat to them. Thus, Arms race was a way for that superpower to be prepared in case the other decided to do anything. The arms race is not only intensified in the nuclear level but also in the space level. There was an incredible technology race going on. The superpowers wanted to prove their supremacy by taking control of the space. The launch of Sputnik and sputnik II by USSR in 1957 sent the Americans to a state of panic as they became convinced of Soviet superiority in missile technology. The US congress and the media promoted this idea of a' missile gap'. Later, the launch of explorer by the United States reconfirms this race for space supremacy. This demonstrates the importance of arms race during cold war. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. To What Extent Were Hitlers Policies the Cause of World War II?

    So this policy had changed from one of German unification to one of aggressive German expansion, and although an ultimate success for Hitler and his government, these actions confirmed the west's suspicions of Hitler's motives and increased distrust for him among them.

  2. Investigation: The Cuban Missile Crisis as a Thaw in the Cold War

    As a documentary, the film offers a view of McNamara in a positive light. His lessons outlined in the documentary narrative portray the lessons of the United States government after the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam, both occurring during the Cold War, and after the mistakes of politicians.

  1. The Cold War

    In June 1948, a new type of currency called the Deutschmark was introduced into the Western zones and Berlin. This was designed to help bring back prosperity to the German people. Stalin, however, did not want anything to do with the new currency.

  2. Why Did War Time Friends Become Cold War Enemies?

    Hitler had predicted this situation during his last days: "After the collapse of the German Reich, and until there is a rise in nationalism in Asia, Africa or Latin America, there will only be two powers in the world". Besides the different political systems both nations were ruled by, the

  1. Did Truman really save 500,000 American live through dropping the Hiroshima atomic bomb?

    9. Maddox, Robert, Asada Sadao, Drea Edward, Giangreco D, Gentile Gian, Newman Robert, Kort Michael and Moor Kathryn. Hiroshima in History: the Myths of Revisionism. 1st ed. 1 vol. USA: University of Missouri Press, 2007. Print. 10. �tansk�, Peter.

  2. To What Extent Did The Space Race Exacerbate Political Tensions Between The USA and ...

    Nikita Khrushchev throughout his time as Soviet Premier, from 1958 to 1964. The steps taken by the two superpowers to ensure the other would not attempt a nuclear attack meant that the following 50 years became synonymous with espionage, defectors, stealth, spies and treachery.

  1. Discuss the Space Race from the USA Perspective.

    In July 1958, Congress passed the National Aeronautics and Space Act, thus creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).[4] [5] 4. Upon recovery, cosmonaut Gagarin exulted, ?Now let the other countries try to catch us.? Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev added, ?Let the capitalist countries catch up with our country, which has blazed the trail into outer space.?[6] 1.

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    Successes and setbacks in the peace process 1987-1996 Hinchcliffe: "The white dove with its olive branch had finally shown up in the region where conflict had become a way of life for citizens and of politics between states." The Proclamation of the State of Palestine: - In July 1988, Jordan's King Hussein dropped claims of sovereignty over the WB.

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