Get summary, textual answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF to NBSE Class 12 (Arts) Political Science Chapter 9 “The Cold War Era”. However, the educational materials should only be used for reference and students are encouraged to make necessary changes.
The chapter titled “The Cold War Era” offers an in-depth analysis of the geopolitical tensions and conflicts that marked the period following World War II, commonly referred to as the Cold War. It delves into the causes of the Cold War, such as the power rivalry between the USA and Soviet Russia, ideological differences, and the Truman Doctrine. Significant events like the Korean Crisis and the Cuban Crisis, which heightened the Cold War, are also highlighted.
The Korean Crisis arose from North Korea’s invasion of South Korea and escalated into a struggle between the two Power Blocs. The UN forces, particularly those of America, backed South Korea, while China supported North Korea. The Cuban Crisis brought the two Super Powers, America and Soviet Russia, to the brink of a nuclear war. The crisis was defused when the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its missiles from Cuba, leading to an improvement in relations between America and Russia.
It also explores the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which emphasized the need for a New International Economic Order to end the economic exploitation of developing countries. Leaders of NAM advocated for a reform of international economic institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to benefit the developing nations. Additionally, the formation of NATO under the leadership of the United States to curb the spread of Communism in Europe, and the Warsaw Pact signed by Soviet Russia in response to NATO, are discussed. The South-East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO) was another military alliance formed under American leadership.
It concludes with a reflection on the impact of the Cold War, emphasizing that both sides realized that there are no winners in a Nuclear war; it would wipe out the entire human civilization. This realization led to the signing of the ‘Limited Test Ban Treaty’ (LTBT) by Britain, Soviet Russia, and the United States in 1963.
Textual questions and answers
A. Long answer questions
1. Examine the causes of the Cold War.
Answer: The causes of the Cold War were:
Struggle for Power: Both the super powers were enlarging the area of their influence. Soviet Russia wanted to establish its hegemony over Eastern Europe. At Yalta Conference Russia’s Dictator Stalin had agreed that after the War was over, efforts would be made to set up democratic regimes in the countries of Eastern Europe. But he failed to keep his words. On the contrary, Communist governments were installed in each of these countries (i.e. Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia). Russia also took possession of most of the Greek territory and set up a Communist regime there.
Truman Doctrine: The USA and other European nations, especially Britain and France, Could not remain indifferent to what Russia was doing. Therefore, in March 1947 the US President Truman intervened in the Greek Civil War. Justifying American intervention the President on 12 March, 1947 made an important announcement in the American Congress (Parliament). He said the United States should give military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey which were involved in a Civil War against the Communists. This statement which later came to be known as Truman Doctrine had serious political implications. The United States now took upon itself the responsibility to prevent Communism from spreading to newer regions. That made the Cold War more acute.
Ideological Differences: There were also serious ideological differences between the two Super Powers. Their economic and political systems, their values of life and attitudes and behaviour of their people were directly opposed to each other. The Western powers stood for democracy, free enterprise, religious and social freedom, whereas Russia was committed to abolition of Capitalism and spread of Communism all over the world. These ideological differences made the two super powers highly hostile to each other. Each Power Bloc was seeking to popularise its own ideology at all costs.
Winston Churchill’s Fulton Speech: Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister, addressed the Westminster College in Fulton (USA) in March 1946. He said: “An iron curtain has descended across the continent.” The countries of the Soviet Bloc were called “iron curtain countries” by him. In other words, he was referring to “the barrier or the border that separated the Communist countries from the Western nations. He emphasised the need of Anglo-American alliance to resist the growing influence of Soviet Russia. In a way, the Cold War was officially declared by the British statesman Churchill about a year earlier, Truman had done so.
The Marshall Plan: Under Marshall Plan (initiated in June 1947) America undertook the European Recovery Programme. It came to be known as the Marshall Plan, because it was formulated by George C. Marshall, the US Secretary of State. American leaders realised that economic aid would be more effective than military aid (under the Truman Doctrine) in protecting Europe from Communist conquest. The main purpose of the Marshall Plan was to fight out poverty, so that Europe could be saved from Communism. Naturally Russia was opposed to it.
Advantages of Military Alliances with Smaller Countries: There were many advantages of establishing hold over smaller countries and forging military alliances with them. The super powers could establish in these countries their military bases from where they could launch troops to nations which were hostile to them. In 1949 the Western powers, under the leadership of the United States formed North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). It was created to check the spread of Communism in Europe. In reply to NATO the Soviet Russia, together with the communist countries of Eastern Europe, signed Warsaw Pact in 1955. In South-East Asia under the American leadership another military Alliance came up. It was called South-East Asia Treaty Organisation (SEATO). These military alliances were bound to intensify the Cold War.
2. The Non-Aligned Movement helped easing tension in the world when Cold War had reached its peak. In this context answer the following questions:
(a) What were supposed to be the three main features of Non-alignment?
Answer: The three main features of Non-alignment are:
Non-alignment does not mean ‘isolationism’ or “passivity of mind or action”. Non-aligned Nations were interested in international politics and laid stress on strengthening ties of peace and friendship with all nations.
Non-alignment neither means Neutrality. In the event of a war ‘neutral Nations’ keep away from war. However, the non-aligned nations help in resolving the crisis. For instance, the non-aligned nations played an active and constructive role during the Congo and Cuban crises. Non-alignment is a positive and dynamic approach to such problems that confront us.
Non-aligned nations do not lose their identity. They judge each issue on its merits and do not toe the line of one or the other Super Power.
(b) What were the six main objectives of the Non-Aligned Movement?
Answer: The six main objectives of the Non-Aligned Movement are as follows:
- Abolition of imperialism and colonialism.
- Maintaining international peace and security.
- An end to racial discrimination and apartheid.
- Disarmament and in particular no use of nuclear weapons.
- Effective cooperation with the United Nations in its peace efforts.
- Establishment of a New International Economic Order, protection of Environment and Enforcement of Human Rights.
3. How did the Non-Aligned nation’s stress on New International Economic Order (NIEO) act as a challenge to Bipolarity?
Answer: The Non-Aligned Movement’s emphasis on a New International Economic Order (NIEO) challenged the bipolarity of the Cold War era. The economic exploitation of the developing countries could end only when they acquired control over their natural resources (raw materials). Improved technology should be transferred to the developing countries. The developing countries should be empowered to influence the decisions of World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The NAM leaders, especially Smt. Indira Gandhi, cautioned all nations against two big dangers: First, the unjust economic order, and Second, the danger of a nuclear war. At the Summits held at Kuala Lumpur (2003), Havana (2006), Tehran (2012) and Margarita Island in Venezuela (2016) the NAM leaders called for a reform of these three institutions: (1) International Monetary Fund (IMF), (ii) the World Bank, and (iii) World Trade Organisation (WTO). These institutions should be geared to the advantage of the developing nations.
4. How the Cuban crisis brought the two Super Powers America and Soviet-Russia – on the verge of a nuclear war. What was its impact?
Answer: The Cuban crisis in 1962 brought the two Super Powers, America and Soviet Russia, on the verge of a nuclear war. Cuba, under Fidel Castro, established a Communist regime and sought military and economic assistance from Soviet Russia, which included nuclear missiles. This posed a serious threat to the security of the United States, as Cuba is located at a distance of mere 140 km from the mainland of USA. The American President John Kennedy declared that the United States would stop all Russian ships or aircrafts moving towards Cuba. However, Khruschev, the supreme Russian leader showed utmost wisdom. On 23 October, 1962 he announced that the Soviet Union was ready to withdraw its missiles from Cuba and dismantle all its military bases there. This successful resolution of the Cuban crisis led to an improvement of relations between America and Russia. The impact was that both sides realised that there are no winners in a Nuclear war; it would wipe out the entire human civilization. On 5 August 1963 Britain, Soviet Russia and the United States signed ‘Limited Test Ban Treaty’ (LTBT). They agreed that they would not test nuclear weapons in the outer space (atmosphere) and under water.
B. Short answer questions
5. What is meant by Cold War?
Answer: The term ‘Cold War’ refers to the state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO allies and others) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact). It was a war of nerves, involving no direct military confrontation between the superpowers.
6. What was the Truman Doctrine?
Answer: The Truman Doctrine was a policy set forth by U.S. President Harry S. Truman in March 1947 stating that the U.S. would support Greece and Turkey with economic and military aid to prevent their falling into the Soviet sphere. This statement, which later came to be known as Truman Doctrine, had serious political implications. The United States now took upon itself the responsibility to prevent Communism from spreading to newer regions. That made the Cold War more acute.
7. What was the substance of Churchill’s Fulton Speech?
Answer: Winston Churchill, the former British Prime Minister, addressed the Westminster College in Fulton (USA) in March 1946. He said: “An iron curtain has descended across the continent.” The countries of the Soviet Bloc were called “iron curtain countries” by him. In other words, he was referring to “the barrier or the border that separated the Communist countries from the Western nations. He emphasised the need of Anglo-American alliance to resist the growing influence of Soviet Russia. In a way, the Cold War was officially declared by the British statesman Churchill about a year earlier, Truman had done so.
8. How did the Korean crisis intensify Cold War?
Answer: After the Japanese defeat in 1945, Korea got divided into two Zones. In June 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea. The War turned into a struggle between the two Power Blocs. The UN forces, specially those of America, supported South Korea. China jumped into the fray in support of North Korea. This event intensified the Cold War.
C. Very short answer questions
9. What was the purpose of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation)?
Answer: The purpose of NATO was to check the spread of Communism in Europe. The super powers could establish in these countries their military bases from where they could launch troops to nations which were hostile to them.
10. Name the Organisation created by Soviet Russia in reply to NATO.
Answer: In reply to NATO, Soviet Russia, together with the communist countries of Eastern Europe, signed the Warsaw Pact in 1955.
11. What is the full form of SEATO?
Answer: The full form of SEATO is South-East Asia Treaty Organisation.
12. Which countries fall into the category LDC’s?
Answer: The NAM countries and other small states of Asia and Africa fall into the category of ‘Least Developed Countries’ (LDCs).
13. Name any two pioneers or founding fathers of Non-Aligned Movement.
Answer: Two pioneers or founding fathers of the Non-Aligned Movement are India’s Jawaharlal Nehru and Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt.
D. Multiple Choice Questions: Tick (✔) the correct Answer
14. NATO was formed in 1949 under the leadership of
Answer: (c) United States
15. The First Summit of Non-Aligned nations in 1961 was held at:
Answer: (a) Belgrade
16. Korean Crisis was the result of:
Answer: (b) North Korea’s invasion on South Korea
17. At the time of Cuban crisis the US President was:
Answer: (b) John Kennedy
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