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University Degree: 1950-1999

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  1. The New Rationality.

    War was inadmissible." Though both sides tried to reduce arms budget, there was still an increasing amount of arms, as well as tension. As confrontations grew, West Germany, Korea and Yugoslavia each side rearmed worrying that the other would start war. Yet with the change of leaders, policies changed and greater measures were taken to limit spending and the dependence on nuclear weapons, as both worried about the strain on their economies. Having made such weapons a constant question was just what good it actually was.

    • Word count: 760
  2. To what extent could Khrushchev's actions precipitating the Cuban Missile Crisis be described as "reckless adventurism", & how true is it to say that "Kennedy's statesmanship won the conflict"?

    Summary of Evidence 1. The Cold War After World War II, a struggle for ideological, economic & military global supremacy between the USA and her allies, & the U.S.S.R and her allies emerged. The struggle, known as the Cold War, was never a direct confrontation between the super powers but rather a difference in ideology and clash of expansionist ambitions. Through the years, it became apparent that the Americanization of Western Europe opposed the Sovietization of Eastern Europe in which both used spheres of interest in order to maintain their supremacy.

    • Word count: 2325
  3. Was the Cold War inevitable once the war against Germany ended?

    My view would be that of the neo-revisionists showing both sides to be at fault in some way and the Cold War arising from an unfortunate but understandable series of mistakes and misunderstandings. The first seeds of mistrust between the powers were sown as far back as 1917, with the Russian revolution occurring and the new government pulling Russia out of the First World War and concluding a separate peace with Germany (Treaty of Brest Litovsk in 1918). This not only angered the Allies but the system of communism itself was said to "represent a direct threat to US commitment to liberalism, capitalism and democracy"5 and was viewed with such hostility that the US never recognised the USSR until 1933.

    • Word count: 2597
  4. The Soviet response to the Hungarian revolution of 1956.

    The Hungarians, discontented with the confusion and ineptitude of their state, attempted to separate themselves from the Soviet Union, but their rash acts brought about a brutal & tragic repression by the Red Army. As part of the "thaw" that occurred in Soviet policies post-Stalin's death, the Kremlin summoned Matyas Rakosi, the Hungarian Communist Party leader, to Moscow, where they criticized his use terror policies to maintain stability and the great lack of progress in Hungary's economy. Most importantly, Rakosi was ordered to cede the position of prime minister to Imre Nagy, a liberal communist who enjoyed great popular support.

    • Word count: 2077
  5. How can we best explain the failure of Kennedy administration in the Bay of pigs fiasco but its successes in the Cuban missile Crisis?

    Meanwhile, John F Kennedy, because of his assassination thirty years ago, has gone down in history. However, in the early months of his administration, Kennedy found it necessary take total responsibility for an embarrassing failure in United States foreign policy. Kennedy's reaction to the disaster at the Bay of Pigs was to ask "How could I have been so stupid to let them go ahead?" (1). 1. Welch,R.E, (1985) Response to Revolution: United States and the Cuban Revolution, University of North Carolina: Paperback.

    • Word count: 3296
  6. Why were those who believed in genuinely democratic market socialism unable to prevent the collapse of the Soviet state and the Soviet system?

    However, in the context of the first four years of Gorbachev's leadership of the USSR it was necessary that such a task should be neither contradictory nor impossible. By the mid-eighties the need for reform in some measure was plain to all involved in Soviet politics, including those who had appointed Gorbachev in March 1985. Soviet economist Abel Aganbegyan argued that effectively been 'a zero growth rate' since 1981, and even official figures showed small and slowing growth. Initially Gorbachev saw a return to steady economic growth as the holy grail of reform; the "key to all our problems, immediate and long term"3 as he told the 27th Party Congress.

    • Word count: 3459
  7. Why did the USSR collapse in 1991?

    Thus meaning when the subsequent arms race began with the United States occurred, money that was needed to help maintain the fragile economy was spent on military expenditure, something of which the Soviet citizens benefited little from. The economy also relied a great deal on tax and revenue from goods bought, so when the USSR began an anti-alcohol campaign a great deal of money was lost putting more strain on the economy.

    • Word count: 1118
  8. The purpose of this paper is to expose the life and presidency of John F. Kennedy and to reveal the contributions which he made to society.

    Furthermore, included is an interesting photograph of Kennedy from his college days, which is very striking when one realizes that this young college boy would one day go on to be president of the United States. In this way, this picture reveals an often-overlooked side of Kennedy which was that of the "ordinary" person. Despite his famous family and political goals, often Kennedy longed for anonymity, which is something that eluded him his entire life. Along with that anonymity, he sacrificed personal freedom.

    • Word count: 2419
  9. What do you understand by the term "dtente", & how successful was its application during the Cold War period?

    It gave way to peaceful coexistence in the 1950's between U.S.S.R and the U.S, Ostpolitik in the late 1960's between the Federal Republic of Germany and the East Bloc, 70's D�tente and Arms Control Agreement between East and West powers and the Sino-American Rapprochement in the 1970's. Although, nations still had nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, d�tente allowed the two superpowers coexist regardless of their differences. "Peaceful Coexistence" was initiated by the U.S.S.R in the 1950's and was first mentioned Khrushev secret speech in 1956.

    • Word count: 1811
  10. Why did the communist regimes in eastern Europe break down so quickly after 1989?

    Her thoughts were that 'no real internal changes' would take place and that; the history of this century provides no grounds for expecting that radical totalitarian regimes will transform themselves.1 It was Kirkpatrick's belief that these countries were so embedded in communism that they would never change their political stance. In her argument she cited that even dictatorships such as those in Chile, Argentina and Brazil were open to internal change, but that communist countries were not. It was ironic, therefore, that at her time of writing we viewed a change in leadership in the Soviet Union.

    • Word count: 2239
  11. Discuss the various ways in which the development of nuclear weapons had an influence on the course of the cold war.

    The Japanese government subsequently had no choice but to surrender to the might of the west. The world had now witnessed the devastating affect of nuclear weapons and their awesome and destructive power. According to Lundestad (1999) the use of nuclear weapons against the Japanese in 1945 was not solely to quickly end the war, but also to 'underscore the power of the United States and thus, get the Soviet leaders to show greater consideration for US interests in International politics.'

    • Word count: 2347
  12. How relevant is the orthodox theory in understanding the origins of the Cold War?

    The Communist Regime in Russia under the strong hand of Stalin saw American policy after the war as a threat to Russian national security. American policy had a long history of being anti-communism. Russia believed that the US wanted to encircle their country with capitalism thus weakening the Russian Communist state. A multitude of decisions, events and attitudes led to the cold war; there is not an exact starting point or one particular cause. There are three major theories on the origins of the Cold War; each presents a different view on why and what caused the Cold War.

    • Word count: 1992
  13. Nuclear Deterrence: Have nuclear weapons deterred India and Pakistan from going to war?

    States want to know the international cost of developing such weapons. Most countries, however, will decide whether to pursue nuclear capability based on their perceptions of their own interests, which depends on their region. 1.4 It is important issue because if India and Pakistan demonstrate that nuclear weapons provide prestige and power to a country, other countries might want to do the same. 1.5 "India, Pakistan and Israel, countries which outside the traditional nonproliferation regime that are generally known to own nuclear weapons are in their own category, and their actions would have little if any affect on other countries".(1)

    • Word count: 1821
  14. The Aims of the Marshall Plan.

    Debate in the U.S. Congress over Marshall Plan legislation took place with opponents arguing that the costs of such a massive program would severely damage the United State's domestic economy (Kindleberger 1987). However, it became apparent that any delay in providing aid to the war-impoverished countries of Europe would put them in danger of Soviet domination (Hogan 1987). On February 25, 1948, a Soviet-backed, communist coup took place in Czechoslovakia. American shock at the coup reduced opposition to the Marshall Plan, and Congress finally approved the bill granting 12.4 billion in aid on April 3 1948, ten months after it was first proposed by Marshall (Ibid).

    • Word count: 1646
  15. 'To what extent was there a systemic crisis in Eastern Europe during the 1980's?'

    guaranteed employment, subsidised prices for both food and shelter, free education including university and universal health care. Few in the East wanted to give up such safeguards, although in some countries (Yugoslavia and Hungary) experiments in market socialism had already undermined job security, while budgetary deficits threatened the social benefits. Declining rates of growth and technological stagnation led to a loss of confidence in central planning and eventually to massive protests against communist rule. Policy-makers debated whether economic decentralisation and western-style markets might solve the problems of Eastern Europe. Although the debate was not entirely new (it echoed discussions of the market socialism in the 60's)

    • Word count: 2838
  16. Why and how did Kennedy get increasingly involved in Vietnam.

    Kennedy was under pressure from not only his own beliefs but also the promises made to the American people, and so in sense had to make a name for himself that he was up to the job. This eagerness to impress at the start of his presidency was clearly evident with him displaying signs of impatience, which were criticised by his own brother on the way the President sough to seek advice on foreign affairs with him preferring to seek advice from in his close circle of friends within the Defence Department such as Robert McNamara, rather than the State Department.

    • Word count: 1687
  17. The Cold War was at its most dangerous in the years between 1947 and 1963. In 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis took place, and became the 'high' point of the Cold War.

    The problems between Cuba and the United States furthered when John F kennedy became president of the United States in 1961. John F Kennedy had inherited president Eisenhower's scheme to invade Cuba, he authorized the attack in April of 1961. Shortly after nearly fifteen hundred Cuban's who were trained by the CIA as well as supported by the US bombers came ashore at the Bay of Pigs. However, only three days later, Cuban jets shot down the US planes, and the US was forced into complete surrender.

    • Word count: 1019
  18. Discuss the role of the United States in European integration initiatives following the Second World War. In what ways did European integration further US self interest?

    The Marshall Plan took effect from 3 April 1948 (The Marshall Plan, 2002, Spartacus [online]) and granted $20,000 million in total, 20% in loans and 80% in grants, to Europe. It was for "free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressure" (see Neill Nugent, 1999, pg 14) and was offered to all Europe, even the Soviet Union. The US could envisage the potential for a federation of European states especially as its own structure was federalist.

    • Word count: 2060
  19. The Cold War

    Upon taking power, Arbenz began to make major reforms, many of which threatened the United Fruit Company of Boston, MA. CIA documents from this period refer to Arbenz's reforms during his early presidency as "an intensely nationalistic program of progress colored by the touchy, anti-foreign inferiority complex of the 'Banana Republic ( Guatemala 1954 http://history.acusd.edu/gen/20th/guatemala.html)." Land distribution was the major focus of Arbenz's reforms. These land reforms consisted of nationalizing 178,000 acres of land used by the UFC in their business operations, with the government offering compensation in twenty-five year bonds.

    • Word count: 3090
  20. Collapse of communism.

    Free press and civil freedoms were suppressed, likewise censorship and propaganda were widely used. Apart from that, there was state ownership of the economy, so no private enterprise was allowed. The Communist Party interfered and controlled every aspect of political, social, cultural and economic life. This situation was not different in other eastern countries, because this communist trend on these countries stemmed from Soviet Union, and also it had a position of leader country on these countries for communism. However, this strict political system brought about serious economic, political, and social problems in the Eastern Europe and USSR, so it had begun to collapse after the 1980s.

    • Word count: 1150
  21. President Reagan on a Mission: How the Aggressive Nature of the Reagan Administration aided the Cease of Soviet Communism.

    With all the change in policy and military capacity, Ronald Reagan's foreign policy and feelings concerning the Soviets soon began to take shape and were beginning to be recognized as the "Reagan Doctrine." While the United States used an increase in budget and aggressive stance to push the Soviets back, it also provided psychological support to one or more rebel causes that were experiencing political pressure from the communist government without incurring serious risk to the United States or and its well being.

    • Word count: 1671
  22. The Cold War and the relations of Superpowers with Europe1945-1990

    Given the experience of World War Two itself, this division of Europe was perhaps inevitable. Both sides wanted their values and economic and political systems to prevail in areas which their soldiers had helped to liberate. If both sides had accepted these new spheres of influence, a cold war might never have occurred. But I believe that the nations of Western Europe and the United States still had Hitler on their minds and they soon began to see Stalin as a similar threat.

    • Word count: 2880
  23. "Nuclear weapons cause more problems than they offer solutions." Discuss.

    Deterrence, as already stated, can concern itself with any form of threatened counter-attack, however, for this essay, I shall be concentrating on Nuclear deterrence, using examples from the cold war, therefore, when the word 'deterrence' is used, it should be taken as 'nuclear deterrence'. Hedley Bull describes deterrence as follows: "To say that country A deters country B from doing something is to imply the following: (i) That Country A conveys to Country B a threat to inflict punishment or deprivation of values if it embarks on a certain course of action; (ii)

    • Word count: 3252
  24. Tsarist rule in the years 1857-1917 and communist rule from the death of Lenin to the death of Stalin both depended on high degrees of central power and control by the state.

    arose, their central control was passed to other bodies' and therefore although both systems were reliant on central control, the Tsarist regime could not maintain it, whilst Stalin built the USSR on the basis of centralisation. The central structure within the two regimes is possibly one of the main similarities between them. The structure of Government throughout both regimes was not fixed; the style of rule varied and was dependant within the tsarist system on the particular Tsar in power.

    • Word count: 2100
  25. How important was Germany in the development of the Cold War?

    Both of the superpowers sought to impose their own political and economic sets of beliefs on the subdued Germany, in order to both make sure that Germany would be weakened and reprimanded sufficiently to punish it for it's crimes during the Second World War, and also so that a resurgent Germany might align itself with the other power in alliance. Although both of the sides who would later contest the Cold War obviously had a great deal of concern over the path that Germany would take after the Nazi regime had been overthrown, the Cold War was not an issue focused solely on a dispute over how Germany would be after the Second World War.

    • Word count: 2116

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