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American Foreign Policy 1930 2000 for examination 2015
Transcript of American Foreign Policy 1930 2000 for examination 2015
America and the Wider World
1930 - 2000
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE USA
Presidents of the USA
Leaders of the USSR
After World War One America adopted a policy of Isolationism
A policy of non-participation in international economic and political relations. It is based on the view that the United States should withdraw from world affairs, limit foreign aid, and avoid involvement in foreign wars
How does this cartoon demonstrate the policy of Isolationism?
Why did America adopt a policy of Isolationism?
Fordney McCumber Tarriff Act
After World War One President Warren Harding (1921-23) promised a "return to normality". He reduced taxes to give businesses more money to grow and to put more money in the pockets of ordinary Americans. In 1922, he introduced the Fordney-McCumber Tariff Act which imposed a tax on goods from foreign countries. This made foreign goods more expensive than domestic goods, and so this encouraged Americans to buy American goods only. The name for this policy was protectionism.
After World War One Germany had great difficulty paying war reparations (part of the Treaty of Versailles that said Germany had to pay for war damages). When the German government failed to keep up the payments in 1923 French and Belgian troops occupied the Ruhr which created huge inflation in Germany.
Charles G. Dawes, an American banker proposed a plan for instituting annual payments of reparations on a fixed scale. He also recommended the reorganisation of the German State Bank and increased foreign loans.
The Dawes Plan was initially a great success. The currency was stabilised and inflation was brought under control. Large loans were raised in America and this investment resulted in a fall in unemployment. Germany was also able to meet her obligations under the Treaty of Versailles for the next five years.
The Dawes Plan
1. No more secret agreements ("Open covenants openly arrived at").
2. Free navigation of all seas.
3. An end to all economic barriers between countries.
4. Countries to reduce weapon numbers.
5. All decisions regarding the colonies should be impartial
6. The German Army is to be removed from Russia. Russia should be left to develop her own political set-up.
7. Belgium should be independent.
8. France should be fully liberated and allowed to recover Alsace-Lorraine
9. All Italians are to be allowed to live in Italy. Italy's borders are to "alone clearly recognisable lines of nationality."
10. Self-determination should be allowed for all those living in Austria-Hungary.
11. Self-determination and guarantees of independence should be allowed for the Balkan states.
12. The Turkish people should be governed by the Turkish government. Non-Turks in the old Turkish Empire should govern themselves.
13. An independent Poland should be created which should have access to the sea.
14. A League of Nations should be set up to guarantee the political and territorial independence of all states.
WOODROW WILSON'S 14 POINTS
In January 1918 President Woodrow Wilson issued his peace proposals in 14 points which he intended as the basis for a long lasting peace. The key point was a
which would settle disputes peacefully and avoid war. His idea was . . If one country acted aggressively other members of the League would apply sanctions against the aggressor. Lastly aggression could be used by the League.
Wilson did not want to punish Germany harshly.
At the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 Wilson was forced to sacrifice some of his 14 points but made sure the League of Nations was included within the Treaty of Versailles.
Wilson however faced a humiliating defeat from his own country as Congress rejected Versailles and the League (19th March 1919). Many Republicans were strongly isolationist and didn't want America to be involved with the rest of the world
League of Nations
what might Wilson's 14 points
A British Cartoon from 1919
Does this source suggest that the League of Nations was a success or a failure and why?
In September 1939 World War Two began after Hitler invaded Poland.
In line with the policy of Isolationism America did not join the war.
1935 - The President had the power to stop USA ships from transporting arms to warring countries.
1936 - America refused to lend money to countries that were at war.
1937 - The Cash and Carry scheme - countries at war could purchase USA goods, but had to pay for them first and then 'carry' them in their own ships. The USA would not provide ships for this purpose.
is America truly Isolationist by this point?
The USA began to lead disarmament meetings
In 1928 the USA signed the Kellogg-Briand Agreement with over 60 other countries to agree that war was not the best way of solving problems
The USA loaned money to European countries.
On 11th March 1941, Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act. The legislation gave President Franklin D. Roosevelt the powers to sell, transfer, exchange, lend equipment to any country to help it defend itself against the Axis powers.
A sum of $50 billion was set aside by the American Government for Lend-Lease. The money went to 38 different countries including Britain.
An end to Isolationism
The forward magazines of USS Arizona explode after she was hit by a Japanese bomb on December 7, 1941. Frame clipped from a color motion picture taken from on board USS Solace. (U.S. Navy Photograph, National Archives
America was left no option but to become involved in World Affairs after Japan declared war on America through a surprise attack on the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor.
The Nazi-Japanese Pact
Germany, at this time allied to Japan, also declared war on America. This forced America into a war not only against the Japanese in the Pacific but also against the Germans in Europe and perhaps changed the course of the Second World War.
At dawn on Sunday 7th September 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the US fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. 5 battleships, 5 other vessels and 177 planes were lost. 8 further ships were badly damaged. 2343 people were killed and 1272 wounded.
Roosevelt declares war against Japan, December 1941
Japan was rapidly becoming a powerful industrialised nation. Japan fought on the allied side during World War One but were excluded from the League of Nations and were ordered to keep their Navy at only 60% of that of Britain and America. Relations between Japan and America were very tense. At this time the Japanese army was becoming very powerful and started to expand into Manchuria (Northeast China). Because of this America cut trade with Japan and in 1941 stopped supplying them oil. As a warning America ordered its fleet to stay at Pearl Harbor, a major base in the Pacific Ocean.
Can you sort the following events into Chronological order?
US air force defeated the Japanese Navy.
The victory at stopped a major Japanese attempt to capture the Midway islands as a possible prelude to an invasion of Hawaii. The success of the operation effectively tipped the balance of sea power in the Pacific Ocean in favour of the United States.
War in the
At the beginning of 1945 America decided to try and capture the small volcanic island of that at the time was being defended by the Japanese Special Naval Landing Force. On 19th February, American soldiers began landing on the island. Over 250,000 men and 900 ships were involved.
The important airfield at Mount Suribachi was captured in three days but strong resistance from the Japanese meant that all defensive positions were not taken until the end of March.
Of 23,000 Japanese soldiers defending Iwo Jima, only 216 were taken alive. The American forces also suffered during the bitter fighting on the island with 5,391 killed and 17,400 wounded.
America was now able to use the island to launch bombing attacks on Japanese cities such as Tokyo. The large number of Japanese buildings made of wood made it easy for the bombers to create firestorms.
Africa and Europe
From 1942 -3 the US forces helped the British defeat the Nazis in North Africa and helped invade Italy, causing Fascist Leader Mussolini to flee.
In November, 1943, Joseph Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt met to discuss military strategy. Stalin had been demanding that the Allies open-up a second front in Europe. Churchill and Roosevelt argued that any attempt to land troops in Western Europe would result in heavy casualties. After lengthy discussions it was agreed that the Allies would mount a major offensive in the spring of 1944. The plan involved assaults on five beaches west of the Orne River by British Canadian and American armies.
On 6th June, 1944, 2,727 ships sailed to the Normandy coast and on the first day landed 156,215 men on a front of thirty miles. It was the largest and most powerful military force that has ever sailed. The Allies also sent in three airborne divisions, two American and one British, to prepare for the main assault by taking certain strategic points and by disrupting German communications. Of 23,000 airborne troops, 15,500 were Americans.
In December 1944 the last major German counter offensive was defeated at the Battle of the Bulge. In May 1945 Germany surrendered.
By the summer of 1945 almost all of the Japanese conquests had been taken back by US forces. Japan was retreating. However the allies faced the proposition of invading Japan itself which would have cost many lives. US President Truman decided to use the atomic bomb to end the war as quickly as possible. On the 6th and 9th August 1945 atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A week later the Japanese government surrendered.
The end of the War on the Pacific
A moral dilemma
Was the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki justified. Sort through the reasoning and give a judgement
Pearl Harbor is a 2001 American epic war film directed by Michael Bay, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and written by Randall Wallace
Section A part A technique
Section A part B technique
click on the links for exam technique guidance
Section A part C technique
Why was the attack on Pearl Harbor a turning point in American Foreign policy? 
The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was an impressive demonstration of never seen before destructive force. Other countries were naturally fearful of falling behind technologically. This was especially so for Russia. The differences between American and Russian ideologies meant that tensions were constantly high. This tension fluctuated over time. The constant fear, intimidation and development of new, more powerful weapons led to the development of the
The Cold War
Click here to find out about the differences between Capitalist America and Communist Russia.
The world's first Hydrogen bomb
The nuclear arms race was central to the Cold War. With the belief that the more nuclear weapons you had, the more powerful you were, America and Russia massively built up their stockpiles of nuclear weapons.
The world greatly changed when USA exploded the H-bomb (Hydrogen) in 1952. This one bomb was smaller in size than the Hiroshima A-bomb (Atomic) but 2500 times more powerful. The Russians produced an H-bomb in 1953 and the world became a much more dangerous place.
The Nuclear Arms Race
A chronology of the Arms Race
America produced a bomber - the B52 - that could fly 6,000 miles and deliver a nuclear pay-load. Such a development required massive financial backing from the government - something which America could afford to do and which Russia could not. Russia concentrated on producing bigger bombs.
In October 1957, America was introduced to the fear of a missile attack when Sputnik was launched. This was to lead to ICBM’s: Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles. As a result, America built the DEW line around the Artic - Defence and Early Warning system to detect the firing of enemy missiles.
During the 1960’s, the Russians put their money into producing more missiles regardless of quality while America built fewer but better quality missiles. By 1961, there were enough bombs to destroy the world. In 1967, communist China developed and successfully tested an H-bomb. In the west, (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) felt out-numbered in terms of available troops, tanks and artillery and so had to place her faith in nuclear missiles.
During the 1960’s the theory of developed - Mutually Assured Destruction. This meant that if Russia attacked the west, the west would make sure that they would suitably retaliate i.e. there would be no winners
Truman had been horrified at the pre-war Allied policy of appeasement and was determined to stand up to any Soviet intimidation.The Truman Doctrine in March 1947 promised that the USA “would support free peoples who are resisting subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”. Triggered by British inability to hold the line in Greece, it was followed by aid to Greece and Turkey, and also money to secure upcoming elections in Italy and the advance of Communist trade unions in France.It signaled the end of “isolationist” policies.
The Truman Doctrine
In February 1946, Stalin made a speech which claimed that capitalism made war inevitable. US state officials were alarmed and asked a Soviet expert called George Kennan to report on Stalin’s foreign policy. Kennan telegrammed back an 8,000 word response (the “Long Telegram”), which predicted a lengthy, life and death struggle between democracy and communism. Copies of the Long Telegram were distributed all over the government.
By March 1946, the USSR had taken over much of Eastern Europe. Winston Churchill, the ex-PM of the UK, was worried about this. In a famous speech in Missouri he said “…an iron curtain has descended across the continent.”
Yalta was the penultimate (next to last) of the wartime allied conferences. It dealt mainly with the settlement of post-war Europe. Allegedly Roosevelt was too ill to withstand Stalin’s demands, and his successor, Harry S Truman, took a tougher line. By the time of the Potsdam Conference in July 1945, America had the Atomic bomb and were anxious to restrict Russia.
The Potsdam conference was held in Potsdam, Germany (near Berlin) from July 17 to August 2, 1945 where the allied forces were to decide how to control Germany, which had unconditionally surrendered several months earlier. The Potsdam Agreement called for the division of Germany and Austria in four zones (agreed earlier at the Yalta Conference) and the division of Berlin into four zones.
The western allies, and especially Churchill, were suspicious of Stalin's motives, who had already installed communist governments in Eastern Europe. During the conference, Truman told Stalin about his "powerful new weapon"; Stalin of course knew already about the atomic bomb through his spies.
Yalta and Potsdam Conferences
The Policy of Containment
Containment was a United States policy uniting military, economic, and diplomatic strategies to limit the spread of Communism
what does this suggest about America's involvement in the wider world?
An America B52 Bomber
The Marshall Plan reflected the strength of the US economy and offered huge sums to enable the war shattered economies of Europe to rebuild and, by generating prosperity, to reject the appeal of Communism, Czechoslovakia showed interest in receiving Marshall Aid but was blocked by Russia.The Soviet system was as much dependent upon creating a self-contained economic bloc as it was in maintaining a repressive political system.
The Marshall Plan
“At the present moment in world history nearly every nation must choose between alternative ways of life. The choice is often not a free one. One way of life is based upon the will of the majority, and is distinguished by fair government, free elections, freedom of speech and religion, and freedom from oppression.”
“The second way of life is based upon the will of a minority forced upon the majority. It relies upon terror and oppression, a controlled press and radio, fixed elections, and no personal freedom. I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free countries who are resisting control by armed minorities or by outside pressures.”
President Truman, Speech to congress 12th March 1947
Andrei Vyshinsky, Soviet spokesman at the UN 18th Sept
“The so-called Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan are particularly glaring examples of the manner in which the principles of the United Nations are violated, of the way in which the organisation is ignored…
This policy conflicts sharply with the principles expressed by the UN, which declares that relief supplies to other countries “should at no time be used as a political weapon.” It is becoming more and more evident to everyone that the implementation of the Marshall Plan will mean placing European countries under the economic and political control of the United States.
Andrei Vyshinsky, Soviet Spokesman at the UN 18th Sept
What caused the Cold War?
Key events in the policy of containment
The Tet offensive
In September, 1967, the NLF launched a series of attacks on American garrisons. At the end of 1967 the NLF had lost 90,000 men. America believed the NLF would be unable to replace such numbers and that the end of the war was in sight.
Every year on the last day of January, the Vietnamese paid tribute to dead ancestors. In 1968, unknown to the Americans, the NLF celebrated the Tet New Year festival two days early. On the evening of 31st January, 1968, 70,000 members of the NLF launched a surprise attack on more than a hundred cities and towns in Vietnam.
It was now clear that the purpose of the attacks on the US garrisons in September had been to draw out troops from the cities.
The NLF even attacked the US Embassy in Saigon. Although they managed to enter the Embassy grounds and kill five US marines, the NLF was unable to take the building. However, they had more success with Saigon's main radio station. They captured the building and although they only held it for a few hours, the event shocked the self-confidence of the American people. In recent months they had been told that the NLF was close to defeat and now they were strong enough to take important buildings in the capital of South Vietnam.
The Tet Offensive proved to be a turning point in the war – military victory for the US forces. An estimated 37,000 NLF soldiers were killed compared to 2,500 Americans. However, it illustrated that the NLF appeared to have inexhaustible supplies of men and women willing to fight for the overthrow of the South Vietnamese government.
In March, 1968, President Johnson was told by his Secretary of Defence that in his opinion the US could not win the Vietnam War and recommended a negotiated withdrawal. Later that month, President Johnson told the American people on national television that he was reducing the air-raids on North Vietnam and intended to seek a negotiated peace.
Nixon’s 1968 Presidential Campaign promised an end to the war. 'Peace with Honour' became a presidential campaign slogan. Soon after taking office. President Nixon introduced his policy of
" ". The plan was to encourage the South Vietnamese to take more responsibility for fighting the war. It was hoped that this policy would eventually enable the United States to withdraw gradually all their soldiers from Vietnam.
1973 a Ceasefire was signed between U.S., South Vietnam, & North Vietnam after they spend 5 months arguing over the size of the conference table.
U.S. to remove all troops
North Vietnam could leave troops already in S.V.
North Vietnam would resume war
No provision for POW's or MIA's
The last American troops left South Vietnam on March 29, 1973
April 30 1975: North Vietnam defeats South Vietnam
Saigon renamed Ho Chi Minh City Many U.S.-loyal South Vietnamese attempt to flee for fear of execution by the North.
Communist governments were also set-up in Laos and Cambodia.
How successful had the Vietnam war been for America?
How successful was the policy of containment?
click on the links for exam technique guidance
Section A Part A technique
Section A Part B technique
Section A Part C technique
The Cuban Missile Crisis marked a turning point in relations between America and the USSR. this was the closest the world had come to MAD. This event in turn led to a process called
Changing Relations 1975 – 2000
Detente is a French term meaning ‘relaxation’. It is used to describe the reduction in tension between two rival state and applied in particular to the periods of improved tension between the USA and USSR between 1971 and 1979, and 1985 and 1991.
America and Russia couldn't sustain the cost of war ($150 million a day). Russia spend 20% of it's entire budget on war
The world got too close to nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis
War was not a popular choice in America especially after the televised Vietnam war showed the true horrors of warfare
"Hey Hey L.B.J, how many kids have you killed today?"
Nixon wanted peace. Breznev needed to concentrate on Russia. The establishment of the Brezhnev Doctrine in Russia meant that any country trying to break from the Warsaw Pact would be forced to stay. This alarmed America
A CHANGING WORLD
Middle Eastern countries wanted more say in world affairs.
By 1970s, the world no longer divided neatly into democracies and Russian communist states. Russia and China disagreed on Communist policies. China joined the UN in 1971, the USSR was fearful of a Chinese-American alliance (Ping Pong Diplomacy after table tennis matches proved successful). Japan was also now a great industrial power.
THE DOMINO THEORY
proved incorrect. Laos and Cambodia became communist but no other countries did
Détente led to new trade links between USA and USSR.
: 35 countries (including most of Europe, Canada, USA, USSR) accepted existing borders of Europe. Western leaders therefore accepted USSR’s continued rule over communist Eastern Europe.
: freedom of speech, religion, movement, from unfair arrest. Seen by USA as essential to ensuring further friendly relations; Brezhnev had no intention of keeping them.
America and the USSR
Declaration of Human Rights
SALT froze the number of strategic ballistic missile launchers (SBMLs) a country could have. It also meant that any new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launchers could only be made after the same number of older ones had been dismantled. Both countries also had to limit the number of sites protected by an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) system to two each. It was signed by President Ford and Leonid Brezhnev in Vladivostok, November 23, 1974.
This helped improve relations between the USA and the Soviet Union.
The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty SALT 1
Nov 1969 to May 1971
Despite SALT 1 issue of reducing the amount of weapons the old stockpile remained. President Carter (1977-81) wanted both sides to get rid of nuclear weapons altogether. SALT 2 was proposed to limit long range missiles with multiple warheads.
BUT, relations became strained as Russia had targeted missiles with triple warheads on Europe and invaded Afghanistan in Dec 1979. Talks abruptly stopped. America refused to ratify agree SALT II.
Détente over – for the time being at least.
Afghanistan is very unsettled. Muslim opposition groups attacked the new, non-Muslim, pro-Soviet government. This worried Soviet leaders as they feared effects of extreme Muslim ideas of the Muslim population of the Soviet Union.
28 Dec. 1979 – Brezhnev telephoned President Carter to say Soviet troops had been invited in to protect Afghanistan from outside attacks. In reality, Soviet troops were there already.
1st Jan 1980 a new government was set up led by an Afghan who had been living in exile in Soviet Union. This brought worldwide condemnation from West and Muslim countries. In 1981 UN General Assembly made request for USSR to leave Afghanistan. Afghan opposition called Mujaheddin saw it as a holy war and were equipped by USA and China for guerrilla warfare to combat the pro-Russian government.
Moscow Olympics 1980
These were boycotted by about 60 countries, the largest number to join a boycott in the history of the games. It was organized and led by President Carter in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. It resulted in an easy victory by Soviet athletes.
The Republican Ronald Reagan is elected in 1980. He adopts a Hard-Line policy against Communism and is determined to stand up against the ‘evil empire’. America deployed intermediate range missiles in Europe in Cruise and Pershing and spent over a trillion dollars on its military budget.
1982, despite the re-intensification of the Arms Race, talks between super powers restarted.
1983, Russia walked out in protest at American deployment of intermediate range missiles and in response to America’s Star Wars Programme.
New President, new foreign policy
America planned to build a laser shield to make it impossible for Soviet missiles to hit American targets. Satellites in space would destroy incoming Soviet missiles. Soviet technology and economy could not compete with American technological advances.
The End of Tension in the East
The Fall of Communism
The 1980s saw unrest and pay demands ion Russia due to high prices, food and fuel shortages. Workers demanded a free trade union to negotiate working conditions.
The Polish Solidarity Movement formed, led by Lech Walesa , to combat poor conditions. Russia dared not use Russian troops so Polish armed forces led the crackdown. The Movement was banned and it’s leaders arrested. President Reagan accused Russia of being behind the repression and sent aid to keep Solidarity alive and spread it through the Eastern Bloc (Communist countries in East Europe).
The 1989 elections in Poland where anti-communist candidates won a striking victory sparked off a succession of peaceful anti-communist revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe.
Solidarity's example was repeated by opposition groups throughout the Eastern Bloc, eventually leading to the Eastern Bloc's dismantling, and contributing to the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
Poland & the Gdansk Solidarity Movement
President Reagan and Mr. Gorbachev
1984 – Reagan was re-elected after campaigning vigorously against Russia one of the biggest victories in American history. But the defense strategy was expensive. Arms spending had run up huge debts – he had to cut costs. He was also worried about nuclear war.
1985 – Gorbachev came to power with a renewed impetus to détente. He realised Soviet economy was in a state of collapse and proposed radical new policies to meet the crisis.
Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (renewal).
These new Russian policies helped destroy the Iron Curtain. They improved relations with America, vital for success. Russia needed western technology to improve economy and had to spend less on arms and more on economic reform.
This result in new summits (talks at the highest level) between Gorbachev and Reagan at:
Geneva – 1985
Reykjavik – 1986
Washington – 1987
Moscow – 1988
1988 - Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). America and Russia agreed to get rid of medium and short-range nuclear weapons.
1991 – START II (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) signed by Gorbachev and G. Bush senior committing the USA and USSR to a 30% reduction in nuclear weapon stockpiles. Agreements signed with pens made from scrapped missiles.
The End of Communism
Glasnost had permitted the criticism of communism – ‘iron curtain’ countries eventually rejected Communism.
1989 – one Soviet satellite after another collapsed removing Soviet influence from central and eastern Europe.
Nov 1989 – Berlin Wall opened up – eventually pulled down the people. This is many ways marked the psychological end of the Cold war. Germany was reunified in 1990.
Gorbachev resigned in 1991 as President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Gorbechev introduced the policies of glasnost in an attempt to modernise the country and make it more democratic. But this led to its fall.
Boris Yeltsin became the first President of Russian Federation from 1991 to 1999. The old USSR was dissolved in December 1991 and Yeltsin was democratically elected as president.
The collapse of communism finally brought the Cold War to an end. When George Bush (Senior) met Mikhail Gorbachev on December 3 1989, they made an historic announcement: the Cold War was over.The formal end was declared at the Conference on Security and Co-operation in 1990.
In 1992, Gorbachev addressed a 22,000 strong crowd at Filton, Missouri. He proclaimed an end to the Cold War and the beginning of a new era holding the promise of peace.
AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY CHANGES
FROM COLD WAR TO MIDDLE EAST 'PEACE' KEEPERS
In the mid-1970s the term “peace process” was used to describe the American-led efforts to bring about a negotiated peace between Israel and its neighbours.
Arab people are peoples of various origins, religious backgrounds and historic identities. Those referred as Arab rarely identify themselves as such. Most hold multiple identities, with a more localised importance such as Egyptian, Lebanese, or Palestinian as well as further tribal and village identities.
Israel is the world's only Jewish state. In November 1947, the United Nations voted in favor of the partition of Palestine, creating a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a UN-administered Jerusalem. Partition was accepted by Jewish leaders but rejected by Arab leaders which led to civil war. Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948 and neighboring Arab states attacked the next day. Since then, Israel has fought a series of wars with neighboring Arab states and as a consequence occupies territories, including the West Bank and Gaza Strip, beyond those agreed.
The Arab and Israeli World
America’s closest ally in the Persian Gulf region was the Shah (king) of Iran. For 25 years he had tried to modernise Iran by rapid industrialisation and the emancipation of women. However, this modernisation and his increasingly tyrannical government led to his forced abdication in January 1979. This unsettled the whole region.
• The USA had vital oil interests in the Gulf area and especially Iran.
• The period saw the growth of religious fundamentalism in the region which demanded an end to Western (American) imperialism and threatened US Middle Eastern oil interests.
• Iran was now controlled by the fundamentalist religious leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who denounced the USA as the ‘Great Satan’ and announced an Islamic republic determined to destroy all western influences.
why did America get involved?
On 4th Nov 1979, the US Embassy in Tehran was taken over by militant Iranian students. Sixty-six Americans, including diplomats and their guards, were taken hostage. In return for the release of the hostages, the Ayatollah demanded that the US agree to the extradition (handing over) of the former Shah who was undergoing medical treatment in New York.
The US Government refused to hand over the Shah and suspended Iranian oil imports. Carter threatened Iran with military action if the hostages were not released. The Ayatollah refused to budge and threatened to try some of the hostages on a charge of spying on Iran for the USA.
In April 1980, a rescue mission by US forces went horribly wrong in the Iranian desert. A helicopter and a refuelling aircraft collided in a staging area. Eight servicemen were killed and the operation was called off. Carter lost popularity because of his failure to secure the release of the hostages as well as the botched rescue attempt.
Negotiations for the release of the hostages resumed after the death of the Shah in July 1980. On 20th January 1981, twenty minutes after Reagan was sworn in as President, 52 American hostages were released by Iran into US custody, having spent 444 days in captivity.
On 2 August 1990 Saddam Hussein, the leader of Iraq, ordered the invasion of Kuwait, one of the leading oil producing countries in the Middle East. In less than 24 hours the country was under Iraqi control.
The Gulf War
Saddam invaded because:
•Burdened with debts from Iraq’s war with Iran, Saddam saw Kuwait as a rich prize.
•Saddam claimed that Kuwait was historically part of Iraq, although Kuwait had existed as a separate territory since 1899.
•Saddam did not expect the USA to use its military power in support of Kuwait. After all, the USA had been supporting him all the way through the war with the Iranian regime. He believed that the USA valued him as a stabilising influence within the region and in Iraq itself. They had taken no action against him when, in 1988, he brutally crushed a rebellion of the Kurds in the north of Iraq.
President Bush Snr took the lead in pressing for action to remove the Iraqis from Kuwait. He used the argument that it was an act of blatant aggression against a smaller neighbouring country. In reality, Bush wanted to protect US economic interests, especially oil interests, in the area.
The UN imposed tough sanctions on Iraq and then the USA, Britain and other states sent forces to Saudi Arabia. This was called Operation Desert Shield, designed to defend Saudi Arabia and its vast oil resources from possible Iraqi attack as well as push Iraq out of Kuwait.
In November 1990, the USA and its allies vastly increased their forces in the area. With almost 2,000 aircraft, General Norman Schwartkopf, US commander of the coalition forces in the Gulf, opened the campaign with an air assault.
This air offensive against Iraq, was launched on 16 January 1991. In the first ten hours a combination of stealth aircraft, cruise missiles, electronic warfare and precision-guided munitions took apart Iraq’s military infrastructure and wrecked its ground forces.
After more than a month of ‘softening up’, Operation Desert Saber, the ground offensive to liberate Kuwait, was launched on 23 Feb 1991. By 27 Feb, Kuwait City had been taken by coalition troops and the following day the US ordered a ceasefire.
Operation Desert Storm
Saddam was allowed to withdraw with much of his army intact. The retreating Iraqis were at the mercy of the Allies, but Bush called a ceasefire because:
He was afraid that if the slaughter continued, the allies would lose the support of the other Arab nations.
It was widely expressed outside Iraq that after his humiliating defeat, Saddam Hussein would soon be overthrown.
When the Gulf war ended in Saddam’s defeat, Bush’s reputation stood high. However, as time passed, he was increasingly criticised for not having pressed home the advantage and for allowing the brutal Saddam to remain in power. Saddam not only survived but had enough troops, tanks and aircraft to brutally suppress rebellions by Shia Muslims in the south and the Kurds in the north.
How and why did US foreign policy change between 1930 and 1945?
How and why was the USA involved in the Cold War?
Link to past papers on the WJEC
What does the source show you about changing relationships in World Affairs?
Artists impression of the Star Wars program using a ground/ space laser weapon
SECTION A PART A TECHNIQUE
Describe the main events of the Iranian Hostage Crisis 
check on the links for exam technique guidance
Section A Part B technique
Look at the two sources about American foreign policy in the 1970's and answer the question that follows
Few people would deny that the Soviet Union and the West are launched into a new cold war. It... is generally agreed that there was a period - now finished - in East-West relations between 1970 and 1976 which could be called an era of detente.
Jonathan Steele, The Soviet Union: What Happened to Detente? (1982)
Explain why relations between America and Russia changed between the 1970's and early 1980's
[In your answer, you should use the information in the sources and your own knowledge to show the extent of change and the reasons for this.]
Summary of Operation Desert Storm's ground offensive 24th - 28th Feb 1991
Gerald Ford and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT Treaty at Vladivostok in November 1974
Section A Part D Technique
How far did relations between the USA and USSR change during the 1970s and 1980s? 
Section B Essay Question
1. Woodrow Wilson (1913-21)
2. Warren Harding (1921-23)
3. Calvin Coolidge (1923-29)
4. Herbert Hoover (1929-33)
5. Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-45)
6. Harry S Truman (1945-53)
7. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-61)
8. John F. Kennedy (1961-63)
9. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-69)
10. Richard Nixon (1969-74)
11. Gerald Ford (1974-77)
12. James Carter (1977-81)
13. Ronald Reagan (1981-89)
14. George H.W. Bush (1989-93)
15. William J. Clinton (1993-2001)
16. George W. Bush (2001-09)
17. Barack Obama (2009- )
Premiers of Soviet Russia
1. Joseph Stalin (1922-1953)
2. Georgy Malenkov (1953-1953)
3. Nikita Khrushchev (1953-1964)
4. Leonid Brezhnev (1964-1982)
5. Yuri Andropov (1982-1984)
6. Konstantin Chernenko (1984-1985)
7. Mikhail Gorbachev (1985-1991)
Presidents of Russia
1. Boris Yeltsin (1991-1996)
2. Viktor Chernomyrdin (1996-1996)
3. Boris Yeltsin (1996-1999)
4. Vladimir Putin (1999-2008)
Need to know:
Out of isolation
(the policy of isolationism and examples of increasing involvement in world affairs in the 1930s)
America and World War II
(Japan, Pearl Harbor and entry into war; America's role in Europe and in the Pacific, the dropping of the Atomic Bomb)
Need to know:
The origins of the Cold War
(containment, Truman Doctrine, Marshall Aid, domino theory)
The USA and the Cold War in Europe
(the Berlin blockade and airlift, entering NATO)
The USA and the Cold War in the wider world
(the causes and importance of the Cuban crisis and the war in Vietnam)
Need to know:
Early attempts to improve relations
(reasons for détente, SALT 1, Helsinki agreements, Nixon and China, Afghanistan)
Later efforts to establish stability
(Reagan and Gorbachev, reasons for the end of the Cold War, involvement in areas such as Iran, the Gulf
War and Iraq)
A. Describe the main developments in American Foreign Policy from 1930 to 1945 
There will be no opposition to any action which our government takes to bring about world peace as long as it does not commit 130 million American people to another world war. I fear we are again being expected to police the world and sort out Europe's problems. We do not want to get involved in Europe.
An American politician speaking in 1935
America’s policy of isolationism was over by the 1940s. In 1947 the USA issued the Truman Doctrine, a policy of “containment” to prevent countries from becoming communist.
From a school history textbook
Explain why American foreign policy had changed up to the late 1940s. 
[In your answer, you should use the information in the sources and your own knowledge to show the extent of change and the reasons for this.]
Describe the main developments during the Berlin Airlift 
Why was the Cuban Missile Crisis a turning point in American foreign policy? 
You may only answer one question from Section B
How far has the USA's role in world affairs changed since 1930? 
In your answer you may wish to discuss the following:
The policy of isolationism
The impact of World War II
The USA and the Cold War
and any other relevant factors.
Its (National Liberation Front) goal is to conquer the south, to defeat American power and to extend the Asiatic domination of Communism ... Our power, therefore, is a very vital shield. If we are driven from the field in Vietnam, then no nation can ever again have the same confidence in American promise or protection . . We did not choose to be the guardians at the gate, but there is no one else.
President Lyndon B. Johnson, speech (July 28,1965)
We have adopted a plan which we have worked out in cooperation with the South Vietnamese for the complete withdrawal of all U.S. combat ground forces, and their replacement by South Vietnamese forces on an orderly scheduled timetable. This withdrawal will be made from strength and not from weakness. As South Vietnamese forces become stronger, the rate of American withdrawal can become greater.
President Nixon outlines the policy of Vietnamisation in a speech Nov 3, 1969
Explain why American policy towards Vietnam had changed up to the late 1960's. 
[In your answer, you should use the information in the sources and your own knowledge to show the extent of change and the reasons for this.]
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation)
Formed in April 1949 with the signing of the Washington Treaty, NATO is a security alliance originally of 12 countries (28 members today) from North America and Europe. NATO's goal is to safeguard the Allies' freedom and security by political and military means. NATO remains the principal security instrument of the transatlantic community and expression of its common democratic values.
Article 5 of the Washington Treaty states “that an attack against one Ally is an attack against all” which is a promise of collective defence. Article 4 of the treaty ensures consultations among Allies on security matters of common interest beginning 60 years ago with the narrowly defined Soviet threat.
The first NATO Secretary General (Lord Ismay) famously stated the organisation's goal was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down".
Initial Consequences of NATO had a stabilising effect on Western Europe
The Warsaw Pact ‘The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance’
The Warsaw Pact was the Soviet Union’s response to West Germany joining NATO and came into being in May 1955. Each member of the Warsaw Pact had to pledge to defend other members if they were attacked.