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AS and A Level: International History, 1945-1991

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  1. Superpower Relations and the Thaw in the Cold War

    1958 ? Khrushchev emerges as head of Soviet State September 1959 ? Hopes for the possibility of peaceful coexistence raised by the success of a second summit held at Camp David. May 1960 ? U2 Spy Plane Incident. Soviet walkout at the third summit in Paris ended both the summit and hopes for ?peaceful coexistence? 1961 ? Berlin Crisis. Marked the return of the Cold War What changes took place in superpower relations between 1948-1955 Prior to 1950 the Cold War had developed due to the circumstances arising from the post-war world and had been focused on Europe.

    • Word count: 4673
  2. In the years 195360, President Eisenhowers cold war diplomacy was based on confrontation rather than coexistence. How far do you agree with this view?

    Eisenhower selected the stringently anti-communist John Foster Dulles as his secretary of state who saw confrontation between east and west as a struggle between good and evil. Dulles had a strong influence on Eisenhower?s foreign policy, advocating the policies of ?roll back? and ?massive retaliation?. In conjunction with Eisenhower?s ?Domino Theory? articulated in 1954 and the Eisenhower doctrine of 1957 this would see the US deter any perceived Soviet aggression with the potentially catastrophic use of nuclear ?brinkmanship? whilst simultaneously attempting to push back the ?spread? of communism to Russia.

    • Word count: 1021
  3. How far do you agree that the developmemt of the Cold War between the USA and the Soviet Union was primarly due to traditional great power rivalries?

    Following the conclusion of World War Two, the Soviet Union had 60 army divisions stationed in Eastern Europe, these divisions played an important role in imposing Soviet controlled Communist regimes in the region: Romania in 1946, Poland and Bulgaria in 1947 and Czechoslovakia in 1948. These takeovers had the joint purpose of spreading Russian influence in to the region, and creating a ?buffer-zone? to defend against invasion on her Western border. In addition, the USSR threatened Allied access to the world?s sea routes in the Turkish Dardanelles and possibly co-ordinated Communist insurgency in the British supported Greece.

    • Word count: 1220
  4. Did the TET offensive (1968) impact the conflict in Vietnam

    The US embassy in Saigon came under attack and the enemy had captured it for 6 hours, this made the people of America question their involvement, safety and prospects of winning. Despite being told by General Westmoreland that the NFL had taken ?such heavy losses in open combat that they would be incapable of maintaining any military momentum? in 1968, the TET offensive provided evidence that America was not just dealing with any ramshackle of an army. Secondly, the media played a large part in the conflict in Vietnam.

    • Word count: 1792
  5. (Sources) - How far do you agree with the view that Reagans actions to roll back the Soviet empire led to the ending of the Cold war?

    One explanation on its own isn?t enough because, although pressure from the West did allow the tensions to rise to the surface; the ?process of liberalisation inside the Soviet Union? was already undermining the communist system from within, causing the collapse of communism later on. The Triumphalist views mentioned by Frances Fitzgerald in source J suggest that the rise of neoconservatives i.e. ?Reagan?s advisers? caused the attitudes to change of the American public as they were ?going back to the roots? to ?create a ?revolution? in government?.

    • Word count: 1608
  6. How accurate is it to say that the economic achievements of the GDR were limited?

    A second period of collectivisation occurred in the GDR which led to food shortages and the East Germany bishops protested against the GDR government due to the disregard for human rights. However, the GDR pursued the state ownership of agriculture and industry which were modelled on plans from the USSR in the 1930s. In 1955 the GDR reached the end of its five-year economic plan and even though they faced a series of difficult challenges the GDR did succeed in the fact that they were able to double the industrial production in this time which is a huge bonus and success to the GDR?s economy as I clearly outweighs the limitations.

    • Word count: 878
  7. How far was the Sino-Soviet split of the late 1960s the result of ideological differences between the two Communist powers?

    America was their ?natural enemy? due to its capitalistic ideology. This would have caused conflict between the two as they were going against what they sought out to believe in. Mao at this point in time did not see himself working with the "oppressors?. This was the basis of the split and later on Khrushchev criticised Mao?s policy of the Great Leap Forward as breaking from traditional communism. He viewed the policy as Stalinist, he had denounced Stalin in 1956, and criticised them heavily.

    • Word count: 701
  8. Factors in the collapse of the USSR.

    Soviet oil production falls steeply from 1987 onward. 1986: Gorbachev ends economic aid to Soviet satellites After Gorbachev became the leader of the USSR he presented 2 new schemes to help with this crumbling economy and the bitter people of the USSR. These schemes were called Perestroika and Glasnost. Perestroika was the idea to bring about economic reforms which was enacted by Gorbachev in 1987, in an attempt to counter act the Soviet Union's disappearing economy. Some free market elements were added in a hope to help but not enough elements were instilled to bring about reform.

    • Word count: 709
  9. Assess the importance of the Economy in changing the nature of international relations between the years 1879 - 1939

    Hitler?s invasion of Poland further illustrates the growth of imperialism as significant in weakening the position of the League of Nations and promoting radical ideas. Japan?s invasion of Manchuria equally demonstrates a desire of expansion coming from protection. However amongst all this, the emergence of imperialism as a political ideology is very much down to the economic starvation countries faced. An economic crisis portrayed extreme ideas as reasonable and in the process made imperialism plausible and attractive. Mussolini recognised the economic potential of expanding his empire rather than staying compound within the League of Nations without economic stability.

    • Word count: 1440
  10. How far did peaceful coexistence ease Cold War tensions between the Soviet Union and the USA in the years 195361?

    In addition, there were the various summits attended by these leaders, which also lead to an improvement in relations between the superpowers. But the Soviet actions in Hungary and Berlin showed the West that despite the new foreign policy, the Soviets would allow their influence in the communist bloc to be undermined. The extent that Peaceful Coexistence had on easing superpower relations may be seen as follows. Firstly, the policy of ?Peaceful Coexistence? could not be ushered in were it not for the death of Stalin in 1953.

    • Word count: 2241
  11. The Cold War came to an end because the Soviet bloc was fatally undermined by popular protests in Eastern Europe. How far do you agree with this view?

    The role of popular protests in undermining the Soviet Union is underlined in Source 10. Jones argues that the changes in the USSR began due to ?opposition of the communist way.? Due to the fact that the state controlled blocs did not meet the needs of the people this can be a factor in order to initiate protests. Jones goes on to say that ?in Poland many people pushed for religious freedom,? and many Eastern European countries ?wanted a government that would act in the interests of its citizens.? As Gorbachev introduced Glasnost, or political freedom, this can be argued to cause popular protests, as it was now legal.

    • Word count: 748
  12. German opposition to the Nazis 1939-45

    Breaking free from Nazi Discipline, the Edelweiss Pirates went on long hikes, carrying rucksacks. They took camping excursions at a time where the N.R was placing higher strain on travel limitations. Sing Parodies of Hitler Youth / tell dirty jokes. 5. It was difficult for the Nazi authorities to distinguish their behaviour from less politically challenging forms of juvenile delinquency. 6. It was during the war years, 1939-45, with a reduction in parental supervision and the severe disruption to local leisure facilities caused by increased allied raids that the ?subversive? activities of the Edelweiss Pirates grew markedly.

    • Word count: 760
  13. How far was the Cuban missile crisis the most significant event in the years 1890-1980? If not what was?

    These are the Reinsurance Treaty (RT) of 1887 the Nazi Soviet Pact (NSP) in 1939 and the Helsinki Accords (HA) of 1975. The Reinsurance Treaty of 1887 was a secret alliance between Germany and Russia. The treaty resulted from the breakup of the second Dreikaiserbund in 1885. Within the period 1871-1890 Russia?s relations with Austria Hungary and Britain were deteriorating due to the unresolved conflict of the Balkans and Russia feared encirclement from these two enemies. The RT offered Russia an ally which had influence on both Britain and Austria-Hungary, reducing its fear of attack.

    • Word count: 2054
  14. How advantageous was the policy of detente to the management of the USA's Cold War diplomacy with the USSR in the 1970's

    This essay will argue that despite limited success in the policy of détente, it was an overall failure. Previously, agreements such as the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty had been signed and America wanted further arms control between the two nations. The SALT Treaty was signed in 1972. The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty limited the nuclear arsenals of each of the superpowers. SALT I involved the United States and the Soviet Union dismantling a number of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) launchers before they could build the more advantageous Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile launchers (SLBM). SALT I was quickly followed by the Biological Weapons Convention and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

    • Word count: 915
  15. To what extent can Stalins emergence as leader of Soviet Russia by the end of 1929 be explained by his political powerbases?

    Also, Stalin?s role gave him the power to manipulate the system which decided who attended the party congresses. Stalin soon gained a powerful influence on the composition of the party?s central committee. Finally, as general secretary, Stalin gained substantial patronage within the party because he was responsible for the recruitment of thousands of party workers across the USSR. As you can see, this position gave Stalin a huge influence over the party, and what was seen as a mundane and unimportant position was actually one of the corner stones to Stalin?s emergence as leader.

    • Word count: 1450
  16. Assess the reasons for the development of the Cold War

    It is argued that this was solely a defensive measure, but this is an example of why the Western Allies saw Stalin as untrustworthy. In addition to this, Stalin had refused to join the United Nations for a long time, which particularly angered USA. Conversely, USSR disliked Britain and USA, as they had delayed D-Day numerous times; Stalin believed this was a plot to allow Germany to weaken the Soviet Union. Stalin also believed that the Western Allies didn?t help the USSR enough in the Second World War, where they faced the highest number of casualties of all the countries involved.

    • Word count: 2022
  17. Compare Sources A B and C as evidence that Churchill instigated the cold war

    This shows how there was tensions going on between the two leaders and that Churchill may be eager to have much control over Europe, annoying Stalin which could fuel a cold war. The source was written down by V. Pavlov Stalin interpreter which could lead people to believe the source is one sided, however it says that the English version was also identical to this source making the source a bit more reliable and trustworthy. i think the source is useful because it shows really what?s going on and between the two leaders and I don?t think the source is one sided if the English version was exactly the same.

    • Word count: 1130
  18. The aim of this essay is to evaluate if the end of the Cold war is a useful concept in explaining international politics

    Finally, from assessment of the recent trends in international politics determine whether the Cold war is a useful concept in explaining international politics. The formal study of international politics is a comparably new event, starting in the beginning of the twentieth century; the focus was primarily on the role played by nation-states, with lesser attention on the importance of non-state actors. But as the twentieth century advanced, there was an increase in the prominence of the non-state actors which reflects the increasing interrelations of international politics.

    • Word count: 3177
  19. How far do you agree that the development of the Cold War between 1945 and 1953 was primarily due to ideological divisions? Explain your answer, using the evidence of Source 1, 2 and 3 and your own knowledge of the issues related to this controversy. (40 marks)

    It explains how ?the Soviet and American leaders were too confident that their own system would eventually win? and so implying that they were too stubborn to attempt something had to be done and to reach an agreement and compromise. I also mentions how each country felt nervous about the intentions of the other, thinking they might ?steal a march on them?. The major part of the source that implies that ideological differences played a big part in the development of the Cold War, talks about Stalin being influenced by Marxism which meant he believed that capitalist opponents would be ?useful until the next capitalist crisis broke out? when the Soviet Union could then take full advantage of it.

    • Word count: 1155
  20. How far was the defeat of Germany in 1945 the most important turning point on International relations in the period 1879 1980?

    The time after the defeat of Germany left a state of confusion and Germany was left with no economic or political power. The Superpowers did not know what to do with state , as they had separate ideologies and they did not want to see Germany under the reign of another dictator. The USSR and USA chose to divide Germany between them which eventually led to the Berlin Blockade. The tension between International relations was at its peak as Russia did not agree with Britain, USA and France?s ideologies.

    • Word count: 1454
  21. In the years 1953-60, President Eisenhowers cold war diplomacy was based on confrontation rather than coexistence; How far do you agree with this view?

    All effort put into peaceful coexistence over almost a decade suddenly became invalid. On the other side of the coin there were many frankly confrontational moments in the 50?s reaching the crisis point in the eventful year of 1956. From the beginning of his presidency Eisenhower adopted a ?New Look? ? policy headed towards getting tougher on the Soviets, expanding CIA, increasing military spending and not allowing communism to spread around the world, which is definitely confrontational (at least seen so by the Soviets). U2 incident shows that despite all agreements made in the previous years, really U.S.

    • Word count: 1488

    However whether this lead to the breakdown of wartime alliance is debatable as the tensions were already clear before WW2 due to ideology. During the Russian Civil War, the West provided aid and support to the Whites that were trying to bring the Bolshevik?s in to power. This sent a message to the USSR that the West would take up arms against Communists if given the opportunity. Similarly during the Second World War, Stalin became suspicious of the West?s motives when they delayed opening the second front, this combined with the actions during 1917 made Stalin believe the West wanted to see Communism fall.

    • Word count: 1376
  23. In the years 1953-1960 was president Eisenhowers cold war diplomacy based on confrontation rather than coexistence. How far do you agree?

    The new leader of the USSR, Khrushchev brought an immediate foreign policy with an agreement over Austria in 1955. There were other meetings such as the Geneva Summit in July 1955 where Khrushchev adopted a ?peaceful coexistence? foreign policy, which urged Eisenhower to do the same. Eisenhower had won the presidential election of 1952 on a platform that was highly critical of Truman?s foreign policy for failing to stand firm against communism. He had inherited a large military budget from Truman, of roughly $42 billion, as well as a NSC-141 drafted by Acheson, Harriman, and Lovett which called for an additional $7?9 billion in military spending and the go ahead to confront communism.

    • Word count: 1903
  24. How does the Cold War develop from 1944-1953?

    One way in which the Cold War develops between 1944 and 1953 is the clear divide between Soviet and American ideologies. They begin this period as Allies in World War 2 and continue to press on Japan, forcing their surrender September 2nd 1945. America was pro-capitalism and the Soviets were focussed on communism and the spread of a worldwide revolution - Marxism-Leninism against capitalism. These are two very different ideologies, with one inherently being more extreme than the other. We are aware that the United States was in favour of containing the threat of communism rather than destroying it, with a growing number, 70% of Americans in 1947, afraid of the threat of communism and the USSR.

    • Word count: 1273
  25. How far do you agree that the impact of the First World War was the main reason for the appointment of Mussolini in 1922?

    Like all his fellow interventionists, Mussolini saw participation in the war as the much needed catalyst to Italy's renewal. It was essentially a ?mutilated victory? outcome and Mussolini in-turn capitalised. In addition, the mobilization of the economy to equip and feed the armed forces placed an enormous strain on the country's limited economic resources. the domestic situation in the aftermath of the wardeteriorated further Public morale was further undermined by the fact that, though Italy had been on the winning side, the victory was ?mutilated': it had little to show for its sacrifices in terms of territorial gains or the respect afforded it by the triumphant `Great Powers', France, Britain, and the USA.

    • Word count: 1404

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