Factors increasing tension between powers

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  • Created on: 19-03-15 09:39
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What factors caused tension between the superpowers?
Soviet actions in limiting destalinization
The west was appalled at the lack of freedom and brutality and condemned
the communist regimes' actions
The West did not intervene directly but the level of tension was raised
The arms race
After the outbreak of the Korean war there was a conventional as well as
nuclear arms race
1952 the US successfully tested the H-Bomb. 1953 the SU did too
By 1959 B-52 bombers were capable of striking Soviet targets from US bases
Eisenhower ordered the development of ICBMs in 1955
Sputnik
Fear in the USA that they were being overtaken by the Russians
Also Khrushchev boasted that they were producing missiles `like sausages.'
In reality, the Americans had a far superior nuclear arsenal and had more
advanced technology
What factors prompted a Thaw in superpower relations?
Consolidation of positions
2 camps that were established gave relations a degree of stability
The Iron Curtain now gave a defined line that bordered the different spheres
of influence
March 1953 ­ Stalin dies
Liberal historians, who have emphasised the role of personality in the origins
of the Cold War, have seen Stalin's death as a determining factor in the
development of the `thaw'
Malenkov's `New Course'
As part of the collective leadership with Khrushchev and Bulganin, he
embarked on the `New Course'
He believed war was not inevitable between capitalism and communism and
therefore resources could be directed towards raising living standards
Instead you should wait for the inevitable collapse of capitalism
Khrushchev and Peaceful Coexistence
With nuclear war too dangerous to contemplate, Khrushchev believed the two
systems would have to accept the existence of the other in the short term
Eisenhower
The foreign policy adopted by Eisenhower was known as the `New Look' ­ it
was a hard line approach to communism
He believed in developing nuclear power rather than conventional weapons.
But he actually wanted to avoid conflict as nobody could win in a nuclear war

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