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AS and A Level: International History, 1945-1991

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  1. Examine the claim that Hoover was responsible for the dramatic collapse of the economy after the Wall Street Crash.

    However there is also evidence to suggest, that Hoover has done everything he could to help the situation. He involved himself more in the country, more than any other president before and in fact there were other factors involved that were beyond Hoover's control. However despite his continuous effort to face the problem America continued to fall into Depression. Although the situation of the country before the Wall Street Crash was extremely difficult to mange, after the collapse of the stock exchange the economy suffered even more.

    • Word count: 1567
  2. Korean war - Domestic pressure an devents in asia

    These two leaders wanted to unify North and South Korea into a unified Korea that was ruled by one of them. The war between North and South Korea started out as a civil war with border skirmishes since 1949. Many of the events in Asia caused domestic pressure on the Truman Administration back home. The US Administration came under heavy domestic pressure in 1949 , after feeling very happy for winning the Berlin airlift, When in august 1949 the USSR developed their own Atomic Bomb , The world was living in fear of a new world war with nuclear weapons.

    • Word count: 1135
  3. Assess the reasons why the USA reacted strongly to Castro(TM)s revolution in Cuba.

    In the cold realities of superpower rivalry, having a pro-Soviet regime so close to the USA was a humiliation, especially as the US public felt they were losing ground to the USSR in the Cold War throughout the 1950s. American prestige was at stake. Castro did not come to power intent on seeking economic and military assistance from the Soviet Union. His early statements and policies did not betray that he was a communism waiting to out himself. In many respects American reactions to Castro forced him closer to the Soviets and into declaring Cuba a communist state.

    • Word count: 1082
  4. Assess the reasons why American military intervention in Vietnam increased from 1954

    The United States were not present at Geneva and did not accept the terms presented, though there was little they could do except give support to the South and ignore the issue of the forthcoming elections. The USA were aware that Bao Dai, the Vietnamese Emperor ruling the South, would be incapable of presenting a valid alternative to Ho and encouraged the accession of Ngo Dinh Diem to lead the South. In many respects, the US failed to understand the local context, the war against French colonialism was inspired by nationalist zeal and much of the later conflict was more motivated by removing foreign (i.e.

    • Word count: 1034
  5. Assess the reasons why the USA intervened in Korea 1950 to 1953.

    Without the spoiling tactics of the Soviet veto, the USA had much freer rein to take the UN along with it in taking decisive action. The cloak of the United Nations and the support of the World community lent greater legitimacy to US actions and the moral sense of mission for Truman. Korea had been divided after the war into two zones of occupation divided by the 38th parallel. In the North under the supervision of the occupying Soviets, a communist government was established by Kim Il Sung while in the South a pro-American regime was led by Syngman Rhee.

    • Word count: 1012
  6. Was USA losing cold war

    American citizens no longer felt as safe and this was one of the key reasons for US anti-communist paranoia and the perception of losing the Cold War in the early 1950s. Eisenhower came to power in 1953 stating that he would be more vigorous in the challenge towards communism than the democrats had previously been. His Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, took a tough line on containment and the roll back of communism. This was after the failure of this policy in the Korean War where American efforts to push communism out of Korea under general MacArthur failed and containment was all that was achieved by the armistice in 1953.

    • Word count: 1272
  7. Who was responsible for the outbreak of the Cold war to 1946?

    With the memory of the Great Depression still fresh in many Americans minds and the high cost of the war, the USA, under Roosevelt, needed to stimulate economic growth and sustain the economic boom triggered by the war. Roosevelt decided on adopting an occupation policy of rehabilitation instead of one simply based on punitive punishment, another reason why America treated the countries of Eastern Europe so well was the need for them to buy American exports and keep the US economic boom going. The American actions in occupied Germany contradicted those of the Russians who began to strip there territories.

    • Word count: 1450
  8. The Final Rise and Fall

    Power is maintained by expenditures in a balance of creating new wealth and military expenditure. When in decline, a powerful state should shift expenditures to creating wealth but most, mistakenly, shift their expenditure to the military thus accelerating their decline. When fully understanding the basic pattern of rising power, over-extension and decline, it can be seen in past and modern societies. This process is not uncommon to the United States and in the time period from 1885-1945, it was beneficial. The pattern described allows more visibility into what events propelled the United States into becoming a world power, the domestic and outside forces involved, and how much of the process was natural versus wooden-headedness on the part of other states.

    • Word count: 1400
  9. The Crisis Decades(TM) of capitalism in the early 1970s and early 1980s were the direct result of its Golden Age(TM) of 1945-73. Discuss.

    This was further exacerbated by the artificially cheap prices of oil at $2 per barrel which prevented the capitalist countries from seeking alternative sources of fuel and engaging in energy conservation. Thus, when the first oil shock occurred with OPEC's quadrupling of oil prices, the capitalist nations were badly hit with recession, unemployment, balance of payments deficits and even an uncommon phenomenon of 'stagflation' in which negative growth was accompanied with inflation. However, the above merely explains why capitalist countries were in such an economic crisis when the first oil shock occurred, and does not explain why the oil shock occurred in the first instance.

    • Word count: 1708
  10. Both sides were merely pursuing their legitimate interests. This was the crux-and the tragedy-of the Arab-Israeli dispute. Discuss with reference to the period 1948-2000.

    The Palestinians also had valid reasons to resist Jewish seizure of their land which they had inhabited for centuries, as they were made to pay for the crimes that the Europeans (Nazi Germany) had committed. This is made worse by the disproportionate division of land, including the fact that the more fertile land was given to the Jews. Thus, it can be argued that the beginnings of the conflict were indeed a case of both sides pursuing their legitimate interests, and the start of a mounting tragedy.

    • Word count: 1662
  11. 'The development of the international economy in the period 1945-91 favoured rich countries at the expense of the poor.' How far do you agree?

    was founded in 1947 as a predecessor to the aborted International Trade Organisation (ITO) and was one of the three pillars that supported the post World War Two international economic order. Its aims were primarily to reduce trade barriers and free world trade. To say that GATT favoured rich countries at the expense of the poor can only be agreed upon to a small extent. This is due to a number of factors like the motivations behind the formation of GATT, the incompetence of the poorer countries and other circumstances. The assumption that GATT favoured rich countries at the expense of the poor arises when one considers the Prebisch and Radical school of thought, that GATT was a means of exploiting poor stated and denying them opportunity.

    • Word count: 1266

    There were, it is true, a number of general conditions and contexts that pointed in the direction of such a break-up. Ideological differences and a history of difficulties in Soviet-Western relations are just two of them. During the war a large measure of agreement on post-war issues had been achieved but important unresolved disputes remained. At the end of the war there emerged numerous practical problems of working together in liberated Europe, above all in Germany. The fact that the Americans had the atomic bomb and the Russians did not was also problematical, as was the extent of the Soviet need for human and material resources to rebuild their war-devastated economy.

    • Word count: 1101
  13. Free essay

    Assess the reasons why Britain and Russia were hostile towards one another, 1945-1953.

    This inevitable clash of ideas featured a clash of Communism not only against Democracy but also Capitalism. Linking to this was the fact that although the Grand Alliance was over by 1945, Britain and USA remained close allies and the USSR was clearly the root of all evil for them. This closeness may have also led to resentment from Stalin towards their alliance and this rubbed off on his actions, notably the takeover of Eastern Europe and his adamant refusal for these nations to receive any form of Marshall Aid - the nations were, no doubt, in great competition with one another; Stalin was threatened by US economic penetration and dollar imperialism, which inevitably affected his attitude further towards Britain.

    • Word count: 1007
  14. To what extent may the Great Leap Forward launched by Mao in 1958 be considered a failure?

    This policy was considered a success as an estimated 60% of the entire population benefited form the reform. However, this was to be a sign of Mao's disregard for human life as this policy resulted in the death of 2 million landlords, by means of public execution during 'struggle' meetings. Mao also started an early form of collectivisation, by 1952, 40% of peasants were collectivised. The next step was the encouragement of cooperatives, these favoured central management of land under private ownership, and by 1956 80% of peasants were part of cooperatives. The important factor of the land reform policy is that Mao was able to gain support from the peasants, the same peasants he would later use to conduct the Great Leap forward.

    • Word count: 1517
  15. How far do you agree that the terms of the Paris peace settlements were too harsh?

    The French representative in the 'Big Three', Clemenceau was an uncompromising politician and clearly displays this attitude of rigid vengefulness. With the German economy already crippled and tattered due to the war, Germany was in no shape to pay the excessive reparations demanded. The 7th of May 1920, the Germans believed that it would be unpleasant but not unfair to the degree that it was. Wilson's 14 point plan was largely ignored and Germany was not to be allowed what should have been a given; true self-determination.

    • Word count: 1475
  16. How far do you agree with the view that is was primarily the existence of contrasting economic systems that prevented the relaxation of superpower tensions in the period 1945-85?

    As Greene highlights 'Marshall Aid intended to keep the economies of the Western European countries within the capitalist world'. This clearly meant that Marshall Aid could not be accepted by the Soviet Union, and went some way to explaining why tensions grew in Europe between the two superpowers. Whilst the USA was focused on securing markets in Europe, the Soviet Union was trying to secure a buffer zone on its Eastern European border, which source 4 describes as the 'Soviet sphere of influence'.

    • Word count: 1408
  17. Women and the war effort in Britain

    One possible reason for this choice is so that it can be used as propaganda, to promote a special cause; in this instance it would be to promote the hard work of the British population in supporting the war effort, on the front line, and back at home. Source A compares several aspects of women and men in various ways. The source can be said to have two parts to it, a foreground and a background. One aspect in the foreground of Source A is a woman is stood to the left and a male soldier is stood to the right.

    • Word count: 1254
  18. Is the Nuclear Family a universal social unit?

    One tribe in particular that she studied was called "the Nayar", it was based in south west India and there was no nuclear families in that tribe at all. The Nayar society had a different way of life. All girls were married off at puberty, the marriage was dissolved and all the girl had to do was turn up to her husband's funeral, so he had a good sending off to the after life. Then after marriage the men could have intercourse with any girl of their choice in the same cast as them.

    • Word count: 1654
  19. A Rwandan Story

    The few educated men had asked the United Nations to help us, but nothing has ever been done. The population around the country had started to decrease due to disease and famine. There were even talks about a rebellion in southern parts of the country. I couldn't understand why people would want to do this. I mean, te government are doing all that they can to help us out of this and I have faith in them that they will keep their promise. It may not be in my lifetime, but I am positive that one day we will be free to plenty of food and clean water supplies.

    • Word count: 1370
  20. Nuclear Arms Race - A cold war investigation.

    In turn the United States began to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon related devices to improve the efficiency of there nuclear weapons the amount that they had, which began the nuclear arms race. The main reason for the nuclear arms race was to have the most and best nuclear weapons in order to have unsure, superior first strike capability (the ability to disable the enemy's military force so that they would be unable to retaliate). After both sides had an adequate first strike capability they developed a second strike (a nuclear force that could be used

    • Word count: 1408
  21. Explain Why The USA Withdrem its Forces From Vietnam in 1973

    The average age of a US serviceman was nineteen and ground troops were only trained to fight pitched battles. The Vietcong took advantage of this inexperience and adopted guerrilla warfare employing intelligence, ambush, deception, sabotage, and espionage. This escalated US problems as they were fighting on unknown territory lacking experience of guerrilla warfare. Furthermore, the US came to Vietnam with poor tactics. For example 'Operation Rolling Thunder' where heavy bombing (worse than anything even in World War Two) was used to destroy military bases and equipment in North Vietnam and to destroy the Ho Chi Minh Trails.

    • Word count: 1588
  22. Cause of World War I

    Leading up to war, the international atmosphere was calmer then it had been for a long time. The Balkan problems were threatening but many statesmen were devoted to peace. When Europe entered war in July of 1914, few were psychologically prepared for the catastrophe soon to occur. The events leading to war start with the outcome of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870-1 causing the establishment of the German Empire including the French provinces Alsace and Lorraine, ending in the altered distribution of power across Europe. The expansion of the German economy and the growth of political ambitions from the new Kaiser alarmed the other European powers.

    • Word count: 1457
  23. Is There Sufficient Evidence In Sources A-F To Suggest Why There Was An Anti-War Movement?

    The author of the book 'Four Hours In My Lai' was Michael Bilton. The source would have been very effective in helping the anti-war movement had it been around in that time period. I think the audience was later generations of American people who were possible relatives to people involved in the Vietnam War. Source B pictures naked children running away from soldiers, they were some of the many victims of napalm, it was published during the war. The people who saw this source would almost definitely side with the anti-war movement but it wasn't very widely published so it wouldn't have contributed much.

    • Word count: 1107
  24. Taking into account the history of Yugoslavia that you have studied do you feel that lasting peace is possibly in the independent states of former Yugoslavia?

    You have to respect the law and human rights and protect minority groups, this is good because yet again it will help bring down ethnic tension, you also have to have a strong economy and if there is a conflict in Croatia then they are not going to have a strong economy. You also have to hand over war criminals, and Croatia has started to hand over some of there war criminals, this makes it more likely that they will get into the EU.

    • Word count: 1947
  25. War Photography

    generally, human beings are curious. They always want to know. The press takes advantage of this curiosity and publishes the images in newspapers and magazines. A photographer's duty is to describe his surroundings by using his camera; it is up to the viewer to judge the rights and wrongs. A photographer cannot be held responsible if an image is unsuitable. Because photographers are merely artists with a camera, they should be allowed their own artistic freedom. This statement, however, does not change the fact that altering the content of a photograph in any way is a deception to the public.

    • Word count: 1046

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