Another key turning point in international relations during the period 1879-1980 was the refusal of renewal of Reinsurance Treaty (RRT) in 1890 .When Wilhelm II took power he refused to renew the Reinsurance Treaty as he felt his personal relationship with the Tsar would be enough to guarantee further diplomatic ties with Russia. Once the Treaty had lapsed Russia allied with France so it wouldn’t be isolated and then encircled. Because of this many historians state the Kaisers refusal to renew the treaty indirectly led to World War One. And an alliance system was arguably set in motion because of Wilhelm’s refusal. It could be said that the RT was the key turning point in International relations. It ignited an alliance system in Europe, the result of which was arguably the key factor which caused World War One. Historian Dr Gary Sheffield argues that the Kaiser decided against renewing the treaty because he chose an “Austrian alliance” enforcing the view that the refusal of the treaty was a hostile move by Germany, Indirectly stating that it was now an ally of Austria Hungary and an enemy of Russia. As well as breaking alliances and forming new ones Blumberg claims that the refusal of the treaty “was one of the most critical steps in gradual disintegration of European balance of power system” and possibly it was as it led to Bismarks resignation who arguably was the most influential person of the late 19th century Europe and instead of continuing Bismarck’s policy of Realpolitik, Wilhelm II managed to undermine other countries resulting in Germany losing it sphere of influence. Overall it could be said that the Kaisers choice to refuse the treaty indirectly led to the Franco Russian alliance and a hostile camp against Germany and Austria Hungary. And if the Kaiser did not choose to refute the treaty, Russia could have stayed an ally of Germany and Russia’s dispute with Austria Hungary over the Balkans may have been resolved although Germany would still have a fear of French attack. This arguably made the refute of the RT the key turning point in International relations within period (1879-1880) as Russia inherited hostile relations with Germany as a result of the refusal RT resulting in a Franco-Russo alliance. Overall it could be said that the end of the Treaty was the key turning point in International Relations because it indirectly led to World War One.
As well as resulting in a Peaceful coexistence with Russia historian Dominic Johnson summarised that the Cuban Missile Crisis, affected relations between the USSR and China as Russia appeared to look weak in front of the world and according to Johnson this seemed to have made Russia fall short in favour of China as they appeared as the inferior superpower compared to the USA. This was a key turning point in international relations as Sino Soviet relations completely deteriorated and this deterioration in Sino-Soviet relations arguably led to the ‘Rapprochement’ policy between China and the USA. However the significance of this as the key turning point in the deterioration of Sino-Soviet relations can be questioned as the relationship between China and Russia was already strained. This strained relation, was arguably ignited by the Nazi soviet pact of 1939.The Nazi soviet pact was a non aggression pact signed between Germany and Russia. The pact contradicted the anti-comintern pact which was aimed directly at Russia. According to Yu Maochun the Nazi soviet pact had a positive effect on Soviet-Japanese relations as “Japan had become an indirect Soviet ally” and eventually the Soviet-Japanese neutrality pact was established which lasted until the end of the war. With hindsight it could be said that the CMC was a key turning point in International relations as it had a long-term effect on Sino-Soviet relations and this caused Russia to lose a key ally in its future fight for influence in the Far East with the USA.As well as being a long term significance ,the pact could be said to have had a short term significance as historian Maochun implies that Nazi soviet pact led to a decrease in moral in china as Russia decreased the amount of arms it gave to China and support for China in the Sino-Japanese war, was not as much in the years 1939-1941 as it was in 1937.Overall it could be said that the Nazi-Soviet pact ignited the neutrality pact between Japan and Russia. It could also be said that it had a much worsening effect on Sino Japanese relations than the Cuban missile crisis .Because in the long term the pact indirectly started the deterioration in Sino Russian relations, were as the Cuban Missile Crisis reinforced the continuation of an already strained relationship.
It could be said that the Cuban Missile Crisis was a key turning point in international relations as tensions between the superpowers lessened and it ignited the start of peace talks between the two powers. Historian Steve Phillips reinforces this idea by arguing that the CMC caused the superpowers to have a “growing awareness of the confrontation leading to nuclear destruction” this idea enhances the view that the CMC was a key turning point in International Relations as the superpowers were arguably forced into these talks. With hindsight it could be stated that it was not the key turning point as the decreasing tensions between the two superpowers did not last long however if tensions had increased instead of decreased it could have led to mutual . One turning point which did lead to increase hostility was the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939 Nazi soviet pact had a part to play in this as “it placed the US and USSR on opposite sides ....increasing American hostility towards the USSR” this hostility was remembered by the US after Hitler was defeated and arguably this enforces the idea that the NSP was a key turning point in International Relations as it arguably caused the USA to be hostile towards USSR during negotiations at the Potsdam conference, which arguably was were cold war was ignited. Historian Martin McCauley reinforces the idea that the NSP was a key turning point when he stated that “Stalin’s participation in the Nazi soviet pact strengthened conviction that soviet state was expansionist and aggressive” and to the Americans the soviets looked like a threat and this arguably led to the Americans the Cold war. Overall it could be said that the Nazi soviet was more of a key turning point than the Cuban Missile Crisis as it led to the Cold war and the long term hostile relations between the USSR and US. Were as the CMC was of short term significance as it led to small policies being made by USSR and US so nuclear conflict could be avoided.
Many historians argue that the Cuban Missile Crisis is seen as a key turning point in International Relations, as it resulted in better relations between the two superpowers USA and USSR. This was due to the fact that both superpowers wanted to avoid the prospect of a nuclear war. Historian Andrew Carl Sorbel reinforced this idea by stating that the CMC” led to shifts in American and Soviet diplomatic and military strategies that helped improve East-West relations” this quote emphasised how it was a key turning point and as a result of the CMC both powers learnt to put their differences aside in order of stopping another crisis. However because the CMC led to a turning point which started International co-operation instead of being the turning point of International co-operation it could be said that in that sense it was not the key turning point in International relations within the (1879-1980) period. A turning point within the period (1879-1980) that did lead to International Co-operation was the Helsinki Accords in 1975. The Helsinki Accords
Overall it could be said that the Cuban missile crisis was not a key turning point in international relations as it resulted from hostile tension in the cold war and an event like the cold war was likely to happen. Also it did not lead to any direct conflicts between the two superpowers
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