Chapter 1 The Cold War Era Political Science Class 12

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1 CHAPTER 1 THE COLD WAR ERA 1. The Background 10x10 Learning TM Page 1

2 2. Significant Features of the Cold War. Questions at the end of the Chapter: 1. Which among the following statements about the Cold War is wrong? a) It was a competition between the US and Soviet Union and their respective allies. b) It was an ideological war between the superpowers. c) It triggered off an arms race. d) The US and USSR were engaged in direct wars. 10x10 Learning TM Page 2

3 2. Which among the following statements does not reflect the objectives of NAM a) Enabling newly decolonized countries to pursue independent policies b) No to joining any military alliances c) Following a policy of neutrality on global issues d) Focus on elimination of global economic inequalities 3. Mark correct or wrong against each of the following statements that describe the features of the military alliances formed by the superpowers. a) Member countries of the alliance are to provide bases in their respective lands for the superpowers. Correct. b) Member countries to support the superpower both in terms of ideology and military strategy. Correct. c) When a nation attacks any member country, it is considered as an attack on all the member countries. Correct. d) Superpowers assist all the member countries to develop their own nuclear weapons. Wrong. 4. Here is a list of countries. Write against each of these the bloc they belonged to during the Cold War. a) Poland : Warsaw Pact or Eastern Alliance. b) France : North Atlantic Treaty Organisation c) Japan : South East Asian Treaty Organisation d) Nigeria: Non Aligned Movement e) North Korea: USSR and China Alliance f) Sri Lanka: Non Aligned Movement 10x10 Learning TM Page 3

4 Q. 5. The Cold War produced an arms race as well as arms control. What were the reasons for both these developments? Answer. The developments during the Cold War period were dictated by the requirements of the two superpowers and the calculations of the smaller states. Each promised military action if any one country was attacked. It also encouraged the member countries to produce nuclear arms subject to control by the super power. Europe was the arena of conflicts and all its countries were members either of NATO or the Warsaw Pact. It was critical for each alliance to be one step ahead in armament technology and spy the opponents for information about military plans and movements. The development of space and air surveillance technology was a part of this arms race. The sending of first rocket and satellite into space and the first unmanned and manned space crafts to the moon, were part of the arms race because the same technology was needed for long range nuclear missile systems. (153 words) 10x10 Learning TM Page 4

5 6. Why did the superpowers have military alliances with smaller countries? Give three reasons. Answer. The three reasons for superpowers to have military alliances with smaller countries were that: a) Smaller countries, such as the island countries in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and South East Asia, were strategically located. The superpowers aimed to develop military bases there to get strategic advantage. b) Many were developing economies that could not afford to divert resources for defence. The superpowers used their economic influence by providing them military protection as well as priority in trade and commerce. c) Many of the smaller countries were erstwhile colonies and needed funds and investments by superpowers. The superpowers needed new markets and areas for their own multinational companies to grow. In sum, both strategic and economic reasons led the super powers to have military alliances with smaller countries. 7. Sometimes it is said that the Cold War was a simple struggle for power and that ideology had nothing to do with it. Do you agree with this? Give one example to support your position. Answer. No, I do not agree that ideology had nothing to do with the Cold War. Ideology was a major factor because USA represented the pure form of Capitalism. Capitalist ideology had developed from the colonial view of use of slavery for the benefit of the colonial masters. Its primary principle was increasing profits from minimal investment. The NATO alliance led by the USA, had all the erstwhile colonial powers as its members. The USSR represented the labourer classes and its objective was to end the exploitation of the poor by the rich. Therefore, during the Cold War the two opposing ideologies of the capitalism and communism were very much in the forefront. For example, after the NATO forces were created in 1949, the USSR 10x10 Learning TM Page 5

6 created the Warsaw Pact in 1955, and implemented it through a very large military presence to counter the NATO forces. The Berlin Wall between West and East Germany was also created in 1961, to keep the influence of the capitalist West Germany away from the communist East Germany. NON ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM) 1961 onwards 1. Newly independent colonies of Asia and Africa 2. Five Founder members : Yugoslavia's Josip Broz Tito, India: J. L. Nehru, Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, Indonesia's Dukarno and Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah. 3. From 5 founding members, NAM membership has increased to 116 countries. It became an international movement as countries with various political systems joined it. 4. First NAM summit in Belgrade in 1961 due to 3 factors: a) cooperation among the 5 members led to new 20 members. total 25 members attended the first summit. b) growing Cold War tensions and widening of the area of their influcence due to NATO and Warsaw Pact. c) Membership of African countries in UN and NAM. In 1960, 16 new African countries became members of the United Nations. 5. The strength of NAM members has been their united refusal to join either of the two super powers. NAM members have been playing an active role as mediators for the cause of peace and stability, by helping to defuse crisis situations. 6.1 Benefits of NAM for India : a) India's position on international issues could be taken in India's strategic interest rather than the interest of any super power. b) India was able to create a balance between the two superpowers from time to time whenever too much pressure was exerted by either. 6.2 Criticism: a) Non aligned was an 'unprincipled' position taken by India. b) India was inconsistent and took contradictory postures. Example: India's 20 year Treaty of Friendship with USSR in August 1971, when India had needed military support during the Bangladesh war. Yet, India continued to have good relations with the USA even after this Treaty. c) After Cold War ended in 1991 with the disintegration of USSR, NAM is not needed any more in the globalised world. However, for small countries the usefulness of NAM continues and has increased. 10x10 Learning TM Page 6

7 8. What was India s foreign policy towards the US and USSR during the Cold War era? Do you think that this policy helped India s interests? Answer. During the Cold War era India s foreign policy towards US and USSR was of non-alignment. India did not join either of the military alliances and stayed neutral to both. As a nonaligned member country India played an active role in balancing the two super powers. Whenever there was undue pressure from one alliance, India would tilt toward the other and thereby maintain a balance. It took the initiative of defusing many international crises by mediating between the rival alliance members. Its role was one of maintaining peace and stability. This policy helped India s interest as it won the goodwill of all. India was friendly towards all countries and provided humanitarian help to Asian and African countries, whenever needed. India s policy of Non alignment also meant staying out of war and not gets involved diplomatically for or against any. This enabled India to avoid needless expenditure and to concentrate on its own development. (152 words) 9. NAM was considered a third option by Third World countries. How did this option benefit their growth during the peak of the Cold War? Answer. NAM or the Non Aligned Movement was the third option as the other two options were to either join the NATO alliance under USA or the Warsaw Pact Alliance under USSR. Both these military alliances expected its members to contribute by way of land for military bases and during any conflict in which any member may be involved. The third world countries were newly independent colonies that needed to control and concentrate all their resources. They had all suffered exploitation of their natural resources at the hands of their colonial masters who were from Europe and were members of NATO or Warsaw Pact. Therefore, after independence they did not want to get involved in the Cold War between the two super powers. 10x10 Learning TM Page 7

8 Therefore, the third option of NAM was beneficial to them as it allowed them to concentrate of their own development. (142 words) 10. What do you think about the statement that NAM has become irrelevant today? Give reasons to support your opinion. Answer. I think the statement that NAM has become irrelevant today is not correct. As the world economy has become more globalized and inter dependent the developing countries are facing a greater threat of exploitation of their markets and human resources due to free trade. The World Trade Organisation is the new forum for free and fair international trade. A clear grouping among the developed and the developing countries has emerged here. The developed countries are trying to negotiate terms that are more favourable to their Multi-National Companies. While they have made the developing countries to do away with trade barriers to allow free trade, they are refusing to meet their own commitments on tariffs on agricultural and other goods from developing countries. Most of the developing countries are members of NAM. In the WTO, the unity of the NAM members has become their strength for negotiating favourable terms for themselves. (150 words) 10x10 Learning TM Page 8

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