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GCSE: International relations 1945-1991
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Many believe the American President Truman was trying to dictate his power to Stalin and the Soviet Union to try and persuade them to relax their grip on Eastern Europe. However, Stalin took a different approach and instructed his diplomats to take a tougher position against the west, increasing the friction. Another way in which America contributed was the Truman Doctrine. Truman made it clear in 1947 that he had the aim of stopping the spread of communism, a policy of containment.
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Kennedy handled the Cuban Missile Crisis better than Khrushchev did. How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer (10 marks)
On 28th October 1962, the missile sites then began to be dismantled. America had felt vulnerable with the Soviets having missiles based on a country within striking distance of many major cities, and thus the removal made the country feel safer. Part of the agreement also included the removal of American missiles from Turkey, however this was a secret to the public, and therefore can be seen as a success.
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This was strength in numbers. Describe one effect of the Soviet occupation on the people of Hungary in the late 1940?s (2 marks) The Hungarian people opposed the communist government within their country. This hatred fuelled their determination to overthrow the government in the Hungarian Uprising of 1956. Describe one cause of the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956 (2 marks) Khrushchev made his ?secret speech? which criticised Stalin?s rule over the satellite states. This idea of de-Stalinisation encouraged Hungary to take the opportunity to overthrow the communist government, as they thought that Khrushchev was weaker than Stalin and thus easier to overthrow.
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Tension also built up between the Israelis and the Egyptians, when Nasser moved 100,000 troops into the Sinai in May 1967 whilst demanding the removal of UN peacekeeping troops and following that, Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. This built up of tension ultimately led to the second key feature- war. On the 5th June 1967 Israel launched a devastating air assault on Egypt, Syria and Jordan destroying almost the entire Egyptian air force on the ground.
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The British public no longer wanted to be associated with the Middle East, but rather to focus on issues ?at home?. As a result Britain eventually handed the Palestine issue over to the UN who came up with the Partition plan. One key feature of the partition plan was the plan itself.
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The USA had failed to keep Kai Shek, a nationalist, in power. Their fears were increased when in 1949 the USSR developed an atomic b**b and in 1950 signed a treaty of friendship with China. The Cold War tensions shifted in their location from Europe to Asia. Between 1948 and 1950 thousands were killed in clashes between North and South Korea. In June 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea and within three months the South Korean army was pushed into a small area in the south called the Pusan Pocket.
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Explain why relations between the USA and Cuba changed after 1959 and how the actions of the USA and the USSR led to the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962.
This greatly alarmed the Americans: communism was now at their back door. In January 1961 JF Kennedy took over U.S. presidency. Shortly after he took over the CIA informed Kennedy that they were planning an invasion of Cuba. In January 1961 the CIA and 1400 Cuban exiles organised a plan to overthrow Castro. The USA and provided transport, weapons and military advisers. Due to poor information and conduct the Bay of Pigs invasion was a failure. Most of the rebels were captured and killed. This failure operation embarrassed Kennedy and the USA and made Castro a national hero.
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After the UK and the US refused to aid Nasser in his Aswan d*m project, the Soviet Union made large monetary donations to the Egyptian government, as well as making donations of armaments, leading to the Soviet Union becoming one of the major allies to Egypt, as well as other Arab states. This shows how the superpowers played an increasing role in that the Middle East became more involved in Cold war tensions between the US and the USSR. This links to another way in which the superpowers were increasingly involved in the conflict in the Middle East, which is through the support of the Arabs and the Israelis during the conflict in the 1960s.
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This links to how conflict further worsened, as can be seen through the events of the Yom Kippur War in October 1973, showing how Arab-Israeli relations worsened further. This was a sort of last effort by the Arabs to defeat Israel, and was much more closely fought, showing how relations changed in that the strength of the Arab forces was now much more comparable to the Israelis.
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This links to a way in which the military dominance of Israel increased, and the conflict between the Arabs and the Israelis changed, in the way that the involvement of the Superpowers became more prominent during the Suez Canal crisis. Nasser received economic funding from the USSR for his Aswan d*m project, and it was his nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company that triggered the British and French to team up with the Israelis to fight against what the British saw as a threat.
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The partition plan passed in the UN, although all Arab states voted against it. On the 14th of May 1948, David Ben-Gurion, leader of the Jewish Agency, announced the formation of the state of Israel, and on the 15th of May, the Arab countries attacked, refusing to recognise the state?s existence. This links to what happened in the war itself, after the immediate attack by the Arabs. Initially, the war was very close, but after 2 weeks, Bernadotte from the UN called a truce.
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The USSR also supported the creation of a Jewish state because sympathy for Jews following the Holocaust was also high with the Soviet Union. And when the state of Israel was finally declared in May 1948, the USA was the first country to recognise Israel. Israeli survival was also dependent upon American support, as during the First Arab Israeli conflict to have received around 15,000 rifles from the USA which were crucial in defeating the Arabs. The voice of the super powers, in particular the USA was therefore very important the creation of Israel, and without such a powerful ally, it is likely that Israel would have ceased to exist.
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Hence one can argue the First Arab Israeli war was significant as it served to provoke the Arabs into doing everything they could to harm/destroy Israel. Indeed, this was the case as evidenced by the Suez Crisis of 1956. Although the initial attack was launched by Israelis, the British and the French, the actions of Nasser were a key cause. Firstly, Egypt closed of the Straits of Tiran to Israel in an attempt to damage Israeli trade, and this marked a further fall in relations.
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However, despite the tensions, at the beginning of the period relations were still reasonably high between the Arabs and Jews, evidenced by the fact violence and clashes were uncommon in 1919 (although there were some notable incidents in in Jaffa 1921 for example) but it was still clear that the immigration was eventually leading towards violence which provides a compelling argument that Jewish immigration was the most important factor in the fall of relations. Indeed, this was the case as in 1936 relations deteriorated during the Arab revolt, which was as a direct result of the increased Jewish immigration.
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