Previous Year: Long Questions with Answers (Part - 1) - The Cold War Era Notes | EduRev

Political Science Class 12

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Q.1. Read the passage given below carefully and answer the following questions: The ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’ was a high point of what came to be known as the Cold War. The Cold War referred to the competitions, the tensions and a series of confrontations between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, backed by their respective allies. Fortunately, however, it never escalated into a ‘hot war’.
(a) Explain the meaning of ‘hot war’.
(b) Why was the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis’ considered as the high point of the Cold War?
(c) “Ideological conflict was also a cause of the Cold War.” How far do you agree with the statement?
Ans. 

(a) A full scale war actually being fought between two or more countries.
(b) (i) Both the superpowers were directly poised against each other for the first time due to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
(ii) A war seemed imminent due to tension between the superpowers.
(c) The ideological conflict was the difference over the best and the most appropriate way of organising political, economic and social life all over the world. The US represented the ideology of Liberal democracy and Capitalism, while the USSR was committed to the ideology of socialism and communism. This divided the world into two blocs- ‘eastern alliance and western alliance’, preparing against one another, leading to arms race and creating an atmosphere of Cold War.

Q.2. Read the passage given below carefully and answer the following questions: The Cold War was not simply a matter of power rivalries, military alliances and of the balance of power. These were accompanied by real ideological conflict as well, a difference over the best and most appropriate way of organising political, economic and social life all over the world.
(i) Why is a war-like situation called Cold War?
(ii) Identify one military pact each signed by each of the two superpowers to balance the power rivalries.
(iii) Differentiate between the ideologies represented by the rival blocs.
Ans. 

(i) As the actual weapons are not being used and there is a constant fear of war, it is not a war but the competition, the tensions and a series of confrontations, hence called ‘Cold War’.
(ii) USA led NATO, USSR led Warsaw Pact.
(iii) US led alliance had adopted capitalism and liberal democracy whereas USSR led bloc was propagating socialism communism and mainly the one party system.

Q.3. Read the passage given below carefully and answer the questions that follow: In April 1961, the leaders of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) were worried that the United States of America (USA) would invade communist-ruled Cuba and overthrow Fidel Castro, the President of the small island nation off the coast of the United States. Cuba was an ally of the Soviet Union and received both diplomatic and financial aid from it. Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, decided to convert Cuba into a Russian base. In 1962, he placed nuclear missiles in Cuba. 
The installation of these weapons put the US, for the first time, under fire from close range and nearly doubled the number of bases or cities in the American mainland which could be threatened by the USSR. Three weeks after the Soviet Union had placed the nuclear weapons in Cuba, the Americans became aware of it. The US President, John F. Kennedy, and his advisers were reluctant to do anything that might lead to full-scale nuclear war between the two countries, but they were determined to get Khrushchev to remove the missiles and nuclear weapons from Cuba. 
Kennedy ordered American warships to intercept any Soviet ships heading to Cuba as a way of warning the USSR of his seriousness. A clash seemed imminent in what came to be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis. The prospects of this clash made the whole world nervous.
(i) Why was the Soviet Union worried about America invading Cuba?
(ii) In response to the action taken by America, what did Nikita Khrushchev do?
(iii) Why were the two superpowers reluctant to the start of nuclear war?
Ans. 

(i) Cuba was a communist-ruled state. The Soviet Union was worried that the United States of America would invade Cuba and overthrow Fidel Castro, the President of the small island nation off the coast of the United States.
(ii) The US President John F. Kennedy ordered American warships to intercept any Soviet ships heading Cuba as a way of warning the USSR of his seriousness. A clash seemed imminent. The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev decided to slow down the Soviet ships and turned back.
(iii) Both the superpowers were aware of the destruction if a nuclear war was started. It would have caused immense loss to life and property. So, both the superpowers were reluctant to the start of a nuclear war.

Q.4. What was meant by Cuban Missile Crisis? Explain the course of events till it got resolved.

OR

What was Cuban Missile Crisis? Describe its main events.
Ans. 
The Cuban Missile Crisis, known as the October Crisis Scare in Cuba, was a 13-day confrontation in October 1962 between the Soviet Union and Cuba on one side and the United States on the other side. The crisis is generally regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came close to turning into a nuclear conflict. 1 Since, Cuba was an ally of Soviet Union and received both diplomatic and financial aid from it, Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of Soviet Union, decided to convert Cuba into Russian base. In 1962, he placed nuclear missiles in Cuba. The installation of these weapons put the US, for the first time, under fire from close range. 1 Three weeks later, the Soviet Union had placed the nuclear weapons in Cuba. The America became aware of it.
The US President John F. Kennedy and his advisors were reluctant to do anything that would lead to a full-fledged war but he soon determined to get Khrushchev to remove the missiles from Cuba. Kennedy ordered American warships to intercept any Soviet ships heading to Cuba as a way of warning the USSR of his seriousness. A clash seemed imminent in what came to be known as Cuban Missile Crisis. 2 In April 1961, the Soviet Union was worried that the United States of America would invade Cuba and overthrow the Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, decided to convert Cuba into a Russian base. He placed nuclear missiles in Cuba. Three weeks after the Soviet Union had placed 68 Nuclear weapons in Cuba, the Americans became aware of it. They became reluctant to do anything that might lead to full scale war between the two countries. A clash seemed imminent in what came to be known as ‘Cuban Missile Crisis.’ The prospects of this clash made the whole world nervous.

Q.5. Study the passage given below carefully and answer the questions that follow:
The Cold War was not simply a matter of power rivalries of military alliances and of the balance of power. These were accompanied by a real ideological conflict as well, a difference over the best and the most appropriate way of organising political, economic and social life all over the world. The Western Alliance, headed by the US, represented the ideology of ______ while the Eastern Alliance, headed by the Soviet Union was committed to the ideology of ______
(i) Which two factors were mainly responsible for the Cold War?
(ii) What type of ideology did the Western Alliance represent?
(iii) The Eastern Alliance was committed to which ideology?
(iv) What was the main advantage of the Cold War to the contemporary world?
Ans. 

(i) (a) Power rivalries of military alliances
(b) Ideological conflict
(ii) The Western Alliance represented the ideology of liberal democracy and capitalism.
(iii) The Eastern Alliance was committed to the ideology of socialism and communism.
(iv) The alliances came into existence due to the Cold War. The smaller states in the alliances used the link to the superpowers for their own benefits. They got the promise of protection, weapons and economic aid against their local rivals.

Q.6. Study the below passage carefully and answer the following questions: The end of the Second World War was also the beginning of the Cold War. The World War ended when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of causing Japan to surrender. Critics of the US decision to drop the bombs have argued that the US knew that Japan was about to surrender and that it was unnecessary to drop the bombs. They suggest that the US action was intended to stop the Soviet Union from making military and political gains in Asia and elsewhere and to show Moscow that the United States was supreme. US supporters have argued that the dropping of the atomic bombs was necessary to end the war quickly and to stop further loss of American and Allied lives. Whatever the motives, the war was the rise of two new powers on the global stage.
(i) When and where were the two atom bombs dropped by the United States?
(ii) Why was the US decision to drop atomic bombs criticised?
(iii) How did the US supporters justify the dropping of the atomic bombs?
(iv) Which two new powers emerged as a result of the end of the Second World War?
Ans. 

(i) Two atom bombs were dropped by the USA on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the year 1945.
(ii) It was criticised that the USA knew that the Japan was about to surrender and that it was unnecessary to drop the atom bombs.
(iii) The US supporters have argued that dropping of the atomic bombs was necessary to end the war quickly and to stop further loss of American and Allied lives.
(iv) The USA and the USSR emerged as two new powers after the Second World War.

Q.7. Read the given passage carefully and answer the following questions: The United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The supporters of US have argued that the dropping of the atomic bombs was necessary to end the war quickly and to stop further loss of American and Allied lives.... the consequence of the end of the Second World War was the rise of two new powers on the global stage with the ability to influence events anywhere on the earth.
(i) Identify the two new powers that rose on the global stage after the Second World War.

(ii) Explain the outcome of the emergence of these two new powers.
(iii) How could these powers influence events anywhere on earth? Explain.
Ans. 

(i) The two new powers were the United States of America and the USSR.
(ii) The outcomes were that the world was divided into two camps, the capitalist world led by USA and the communist countries were led by the USSR. This also led to the ‘Cold War’ situation.
(iii) The new superpowers could influence events anywhere on earth through the countries that were under their sphere of influence. The military alliances of their NATO and Warsaw Pact had countries that were under the protection of their respective superpowers. Besides, these countries could use the smaller countries as bases to launch an attack or to fulfill their interests.

Q.8. Study the passage given below carefully and answer the questions that follow: The two superpowers were keen on expanding their spheres of influence in different parts of the world. In a world sharply divided between the two alliance systems, a state was supposed to remain tied to its protective superpower to limit the influence of the other superpower and its allies. Most countries of Western Europe sided with the US and those of Eastern Europe joined the Soviet camp.
(i) Name the two superpowers.
(ii) Why did the allies want to remain tied with one of the superpowers?
(iii) Why did the superpowers want to bring other countries into their camps?
Ans. 

(i) USA and USSR.
(ii) To stand in world economy as the superpowers provide them with both military assistance and financial aid.
(iii) They want other countries to be in their camp because they were vital resources of oil and minerals. It gave the superpowers their territory to launch their weapons and troops and location from where superpowers could spy on each other.

Q.9. How far is it correct to say that the international alliances during the Cold War era were determined by the requirements of the superpowers and the calculations of the smaller states? Explain.
Ans. 
(i) The statement is utmost correct about the superpower as well as their alliances as the superpowers used their military power to bring countries into their fold.
(ii) Soviet Union used its influence in Eastern Europe backed by the large armies of countries of its alliance.
(iii) The United States built alliance called SEATO and CENTO. On the question of North Vietnam, North Korea and Iraq, Russia and China came closer.
(iv) Alliances were made for the requirement of vital national resources.
(v) Superpowers needed territories to launch their weapons and troops. In return, they helped them in many ways.
(vi) Economic support was another factor.
Detailed Answer: International alliances during the Cold War era were determined by the requirements of the superpowers and the calculations of the smaller states. Europe was the main arena of conflict between the superpowers. In some cases, the superpowers used their military power to bring countries into their respective alliances. Soviet intervention in east Europe provides an example. Superpowers used their military power to bring countries into their fold.

Q.10. Why was the end of the Second World War considered to be the beginning of the Cold War? Explain.
Ans. 
Factors responsible for the beginning of Cold War:
(i) Emergence of the USSR as the most powerful country.
(ii) Use of atom bombs by the USA against Japan.
(iii) Ideological rivalry between the two superpowers.
(iv) The two superpowers were keen on expanding their spheres.
(v) Use of nuclear power raised many questions and comments like why did the US drop bombs.
(vi) Some viewed that the US action was intended to stop the Soviet Union from making political and military gains.
(vii) It was necessary to end the war quickly.
Detailed Answer: The Second World War was also the beginning of the Cold War. The World War ended when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. With the defeat of Germany and Japan, the devastation of Europe and in many other parts of the world, the United States and the Soviet Union became the greatest powers in the world with the ability to influence events anywhere on earth.
Factors responsible for the beginning of Cold War:
(i) The USSR emerged as the most powerful country after the Second World War. The Soviet economy at that time was more developed than the rest of the world except for the US.
(ii) The Second World War ended when the United States of America dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, causing Japan to surrender. The US action was intended to stop the Soviet Union from making military and political gains in Asia and elsewhere and to show Moscow that the United States was supreme. There was Ideological rivalry between the two superpowers.
The Western Alliance headed by the US represented the ideology of liberal democracy and capitalism while the Eastern Alliance headed by the Soviet Union, was committed to the ideology of socialism and communism.  The two superpowers were keen on expanding their spheres. This led to alliance systems in the world, especially in Europe. Most countries of Western Europe sided with the US and those of eastern Europe joined the Soviet camp.

Q.11. Describe any three reasons for the superpowers to have military alliances with smaller countries during the Cold War period.

OR

How were the smaller states of Asia, Africa and even Europe helpful for the superpowers as allies during the Cold War? Explain.

OR

What circumstances compelled the superpowers to have military alliances with smaller countries? Describe.

OR

Why did the superpowers have military alliances with smaller countries? Explain any three reasons.
Ans. 
Reasons for the superpowers to have military alliances with smaller countries during the Cold War period:
(i) For the procurement of vital resources such as oil and minerals.
(ii) Availability of territory from where the superpowers could launch their weapons and troops.
(iii) To use location from where they could spy on each other.
(iv) Economic support which many small allies together could help pay for military expenses.
(v) Ideological reasons, their loyalty suggested that the superpowers were winning the war of ideas also.
Detailed Answer: The two superpowers, the USA and the USSR needed military alliances for the following reasons:
(i) The smaller allies, like countries of newly independent states in Asia and Africa, possessed vital natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals. They were the basic source for their fast development.
(ii) The superpowers were willing to use the territories of the smaller allies. They could serve as military bases for them.
(iii) These countries could also be used for the purpose of spying which could help them in monitoring and checking the activities of others.
(iv) The economic support from these smaller nations would provide the basic support of food and other requirements to their military bases in their locality. They were also important for ideological reasons. The loyalty of allies suggested that the superpowers were winning the war of ideas as well, that liberal democracy and capitalism were better than socialism and communism or vice versa.

Q.12. Explain the Eastern and the Western Alliances during the Cold War period. Name any two European countries from amongst the following, which were not members of these alliances: France, Poland, Sweden, Spain, Austria, Romania.
Ans. 
The small countries in the alliances utilised the support from the superpowers to their advantage. They were promised protection, economic aid and weapons as aid against their rivals, mostly neighbours. The alliance system thus divided the world into two camps. The first division took place in Europe. West European countries joined the US and thus this bloc was also called ‘Western Alliance. East European countries joined the Soviet bloc and were often referred to as ‘Eastern Powers.’
The Western Alliance was called NATO while the Eastern Alliance was called Warsaw. Global alliances during the Cold War period were determined by the needs of superpowers and calculations of smaller states. Europe was the centre of conflict. Soviet intervention in East Europe was used by the USA to bring other countries under alliance. The USA also built the alliance system in West Asia called CENTO and in East Asia called SEATO. Soviet Union responded by having close relations with Communist China, North Vietnam, North Korea and Iraq. Romania and Spain are two European countries which were not members of these alliances.

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