The cold war era class 12 notes, Class 12 political science chapter 1 notes

The Cold War Era class 12 Notes: Class 12 political science chapter 1 notes

ClassClass 12
SubjectPolitical Science
ChapterChapter 1
Chapter NameThe Cold War Era
CategoryPolitical Science

The cold war era class 12 notes, Class 12 political science chapter 1 notes here we will be learn about Emergence of two power blocs / Bipolarity Non – Aligned Movement ( NAM ) etc.

What is cold war ?

🔹 Cold War is a situation in which rivalries , confrontations and struggle continue to stay between nations but that do not lead to any kind of a war. Soviet Union and America emerged as two superpowers after the end of Second World War. 

🔹 Both the nations were competitive enough in possession of nuclear weapons and power. Both the nations were poised with confrontations and competition but none of them initiated any direct war. The situation of confrontation and struggle came to be known as ‘ Cold War ‘.

Beginning of Cold War : –

🔹 With the end of World War II , the Cold War began. The Cold War lasted from 1945-1991.

End of Cold War : –

🔹 The Cuban Missile Crisis was the end of the Cold War. But the main reason for this is considered to be the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 for a number of reasons marked the end of the Cold War as one of the two superpowers had now weakened.

‘ Arena of Cold War ‘ : –

🔹 ‘ Arena of Cold War ‘ refers to the areas where crises and war occurred or threatened to occur between the alliance systems but did not cross certain limits.

🔹 The two superpowers were poised for direct confrontations in Korea ( 1950-53 ) , Berlin ( 1958- 62 ) , the Congo ( the early 1960s ) , and in several other places but world was saved from atomic war. The role played by non – aligned countries was appreciable in this context.

Nature of Cold War : –

🔹 The Cold War was a war of ideologies ; the USA followed the ideology of liberal democoracy and capitalism while the USSR backed the ideology of socialism and communism.

🔹 The two superpowers never clashed directely in battle.

🔹 The Cold War was as intense form of rivalry but it did not lead to an actual war of bloodshed and face to face ‘ armed war. There was no large scale fighting directly between the two Superpowers. Although , they each supported major regional conflicts in Asia and Europe. 

🔹 Each superpower wanted to extend its area of influence and achieve world domination.

Causes of Cold War : –

  • Strained relationship between the United States and Soviet Union.
  • Difference in ideology , different political systems.
  • Deep seated feelings of mistrust between USSR and USA.
  • Soviet Union refused to live up to its war time promises of elections in Eastern Europe. ( Stalin breaking his promise to allow free elections at the Yalta conference – 1945 ) .
  • Similarly , the USA and the Allies did not give in to the demand of the Soviet Union to start a second front during World War II.
  • The United States made efforts to resist Soviet expansions through the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan.
  • At the end of World War II , both the superpowers wanted their system of Government and belief to spread in the world.

Two ideologies were involved in a conflict during the Cold War era : –

🔹 Capitalism and communism were the two ideologies in conflict during the Cold War. United States followed the policy of capitalism and Soviet Union followed communism and wanted to increase their influence throughout the world and thereby came in conflict.

Communism : –

🔹 Common ownership of the means of production , based upon Marxist school of thought , conflict between two classes namely : capitalist class and the working class , planned development , total control of land and means of production by the state.

Capitalism : –

🔹 Private ownership of the means of production , free market based upon supply and demand , economic activities controlled and owned by private individuals for profit , private property.

Factors responsible Second World War considered to be the beginning of Cold War : –

  • Emergence of USSR as the most powerful country. 
  • Use of Atom Bombs by USA against Japan. 
  • Ideological rivalry between the two super powers.
  • The two superpowers were keen on expanding their spheres.
  • Use of Nuclear power raised many questions and comments like why did USA drop bombs ? 
  • Bombing the two cities of Japan.

Second World War : –

  • First world war – 1914 to 1918 
  • second World War – 1939 to 1945

🔹 The Second World War came to an end with the defeat of the Axis Powers which were led by Germany , Italy and Japan. The Allied forces led by the USA . Soviet Union , Britain and France defeated them. 

End of Second World War : –

🔹 The United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 causing Japan to surrender. The cold war began immediately after the end of the Second World War ( 1945 ).

Criticised of America : –

🔹 Arguments given by the critics on the decision of America to drop bombs : America’s objective in this step was to stop Soviet Union from taking military and political benefit from Asia and other places. America wanted Soviet Union to realise that America is the leading country in terms of possessions of nuclear weapons.

Supported of America : –

🔹 Arguments given by the supporters on the action of America to drop bombs : It was important to drop atomic bombs in order to end the war as soon as possible and to save America and its supporting countries from further destruction and loss of life and property.

Changing in Global politics after the Second World War : –

🔹 After the Second World War , two new power rose on the global stage. With the defeat of Germany and Japan , the devastation of Europe and in many other parts of the world , the United States and USSR became the greatest powers in the world with the ability to influence events anywhere on earth.

🔹 The two superpowers were keen on expanding their sphere of influence in different parts of the world. The world was visibly divided between the two alliance systems.

Marshal Plan : –

🔹 Marshal plan was named after US foreign Minister. Under this plan , European countries were helped by America and consequently , their economic conditions came at the same level as it was before war in a very less period of time. This helped in improvement of economic conditions of western European countries.

Cuba’s missile crisis : –

🔹 Cuba was a small island nation off the Coast of USA and was an ally of the Soviet Union in 1962. Nikita Khrushchev , the leader of Soviet Union placed nuclear missiles in Cuba. The installation or these weapons put the US leader under pressure. The US president J.F. Kennedy was reluctant for war.

🔹 He was determined to get Khrushchev to remove the missiles and nuclear weapons from Cuba. Kennedy ordered American warships to intercept any Soviet ship heading to Cuba as a way of warning to USSR of seriousness.

🔹 A clash seemed imminent in what came to be known as Cuban Missile Crisis However , both the super powers decided to avoid war. Thus the world was saved from Third World War.

Key leaders during the Cuban Missile Crisis : –

  • 1 ) Cuba – Fidel Castro
  • 2 ) Soviet Union – Nikita Khuschev
  • 3 ) America – john f kennedy

The Emergence of Two Power Blocs : –

🔹 After end of Second World War two new powers emerged as US and USSR. The alliance systems led by the two superpowers , threatened to divide the entire world into two camps. This division happened first in Europe.

🔹 Most countries of Western Europe sided with the US and those of Eastern Europe joined the Soviet camp. That is why these were also called the Western and the Eastern alliances.

USA led Military Alliances : –

  • the North Atlantic Treaty Organization ( NATO ) 
  • the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization ( SEATO ) 
  • the Central Treaty Organization ( CENTO )

What is NATO ?

🔹 The bipolarity system gave birth to military alliance. In April 1949 , under the leadership of America , alliance was formalised into an organisation , the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ( NATO )

🔹 It was an association of twelve states which declared that armed attack on any one of them in Europe or North America would be regarded as an attack on all of them.

🔹 Each of these states would be obliged to help the others. Belgium , Canada , Denmark , France , Iceland , Italy , Luxemburg , Netherland or Holland , Norway , Portugal , Britain and America were involved in this. Later on , Greece , West Germany and Turkistan were also included in this treaty.

( SEATO ) and  ( CENTO ) : –

🔹 In East and South – East Asia and in West Asia ( Middle East ) , the United States built an alliance system called the South – East Asian Treaty Organisation ( SEATO ) and the Central Treaty Organisation ( CENTO ).

Warsaw Pact : –

🔹 The eastern alliance ‘ also formed an organisation named ‘ Warsaw Pact ‘ which was led by the Soviet Union. It was created in 1955. Its principal function was to counter NATO’s forces in Europe

Reason why The superpowers had military alliance with smaller states : –

🔹 The super powers needed military alliances with smaller countries to gain access to vital resources such as oil and minerals. 

🔹 To gain access to territory from where the super powers could launch their weapons and troops against their rivals. 

🔹 They wanted to enhance their spheres of influence and power blocs.

🔹 Smaller countries used to pay for the soldiers that were a part of military alliance. Due to this , economic pressure on the superpowers decreased.

Arenas of the Cold War : –

🔹 The arenas of the Cold War refer to areas where crises and war occurred or threatened to occur between the alliance system but did not cross certain limits.

🔹 The two superpowers , US and USSR were poised for direct confrontations in Korea ( 1950-53 ) , Berlin ( 1958-62 ) , the Congo ( the early 1960s ) and in several other places.

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