Cold War Exam Question plans

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June 2013 `The policy of containment was pursued by the USA with the sole purpose
of protecting democracy.' Assess the validly of this view with reference to
the years 1945 to 1949
The primary aim · From 1945 the Soviet Union had been developing the creation of
of containment Communist regimes in Eastern Europe. The USA saw Communism as a
was to protect form of political dictatorship which threatened democratic freedom.
democracy Containment was a way of ensuring that the spread of Communism was
· Germany was seen by the USA as the focal point confrontation
between itself and the Soviet Union. The USSR's actions in Germany for
between 1945 and 1949 may be explored in order to establish a link
between the introduction of containment and the preservation of
democracy within and beyond Germany. References may be made to
reparations, the promotion of pro-Communist political groups in
Germany and the Berlin Blockade. The latter confirms the relevancy of
containment as a strategy to defend democracy
· The expansion of Communism beyond Europe is seen through the
conflict in Korea. Students may suggest that the primary reason for US
intervention in Korea between 1950 and 1953 was to protect democracy
from what was becoming the fulfilment of Marxist ideology towards the
globalisation of Communism.
Other factors · Containment was founded on an economic strategy, the Marshall Plan.
The USA wanted to establish itself as an unassailable global economic
power. It was this so called economic imperialism that suggested that
the primary aim behind containment was to create US global economic
power through the preservation of pro-American democracies
· Containment may be viewed in the context of the USA's nuclear
monopoly up to 1949. As such containment may be seen as the means
through which the USA could apply this strategic power. By appearing to
protect democracy through containment, the USA could use nuclear
diplomacy to ensure the USSR remained a second rate superpower
· Truman wanted influence in Western Europe. Europe was the
springboard for US global power. Not only did the USA wish to be a global
power in economic terms but also in strategic terms.
Furthermore · Examine the view that a power vacuum existed from 1945. Had the USA
not intervened through containment there may well have followed a
period of gross instability. In this sense containment went beyond
protecting democracy as a strategy to enhance US power. It was primarily
an essential component of effective post-war recovery. Failure to
develop such a strategy may have led to long-term conflict and political
and economic instability which would have impacted on millions of
· The influence of European states is significant. Britain was determined
to ensure the USA became part of its security strategy in the face of
Soviet expansionism. To this extent students may suggest that

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European states
June 2013 `The soviet Union's policies toward the USA were aimed at relaxing the
tensions between them.' Assess the validly of this view with reference to
the years 1956 to 1991
The Soviet Union · Khrushchev's attempts to develop peaceful co-existence as the basis
sought to relax for international relations from 1956
international · The Soviet Union had a much more positive approach towards détente
tension in the than did the USA.…read more

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June 2013 To what extent was the USA's response to international aggression based
solely on protecting its own national interests in the years 1991 to 2004?
The US response · The Cold War had come to an end by 1991 and the USA needed to
was focused preserve its position as a global superpower. This was essential to
upon protecting guaranteeing US national interests were secure.…read more

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June 2012 `In the years 1955 to 1962, Khrushchev was genuinely committed to
peaceful co-existence.' Assess the validly of this view
The primary · the Austrian State Treaty, 1955, was a clear indicator of the Soviet
motive Union's willingness to embark on wider co-operation
underlying · The Soviet Union needed to develop its own economy. This was being
peaceful damaged by the ever rising financial cost of the Cold War.…read more

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June 2012 To what extent was the collapse of detente by 1980 due to changing
attitudes in the United States'
Changing · There was a rise in the number and influence of neo-conservatives in
attitudes in the the USA administration. Increasingly the view was being expressed that
United States détente was helping the USSR more than it was helping the USA. These
neo-conservatives came to have an increasing influence over Carter.…read more

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June 2012 `The Cold War lasted for so long because of the United States' fears for
Western European security'. Assess the validly of this view with reference
to the years 1945 to 1991
The USA's · Western Europe was the focal point of the US policy of containment.
determination to This had been a major factor in the development of the Cold War. This
protect Western policy was further developed through the Marshall Aid programme.…read more

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Containment was not merely a Western European strategy. It was a
long-term global strategy.
June 2011 To what extent was the United States responsible for the collapse of the
Grand Alliance at the end of the Second World War?
It was the · The USA was convinced that the primary aim of the Soviet Union was
result of the to spread communist ideology into Europe at a time when Europe was at
United States' its most vulnerable.…read more

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June 2011 `The United Nations was an affective international peacekeeping
organisation in the years 1991 to 2004.…read more

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June 2011 `In the years 1949 to 1991, the Cold War continued only because of the
ideological divisions between the United States and the Soviet Union.'
Assess the validly of this view
Role of · Neither the Soviets nor the USA ever lost sight of their ideological
ideological divisions. There are numerous examples of ideological conflict, e.g. the
differences Berlin Wall
· The early pre-1949 conflicts focused on containment.…read more


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