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Evaluation Of Key Sources Of Cold War To Address The Question Of Increased Tension

3998 words - 16 pages

Evaluation of Key Sources of Cold War to Address the Question of Increased Tension

The cold war was a period in time where there was a feeling of mutual
mistrust between America and the Soviet Union. This was especially so
during the 1950s and early 1960s. This mutual mistrust led to an arms
race between the two superpowers, America being the dominant country
at the time. This heightened competition also occurred in the form of
a space race.

Source A1 is a British cartoon published during the Olympic games of
1960. The source is a primary source and displays the 4 powers of the
world in a race together. The race metaphorically depicts an arms race
and displays America in first place closely followed by the soviet
leader Nikita Khrushchev, with Britain and France following behind in
3rd and 4th place respectively.

The source could be labelled biased as it is published by a British
newspaper that is therefore likely to display America as being ahead
in the arms race; The UK has a special relationship with the US. The
cartoon will display to the British public their need to 'catch-up' in
the arms race; the British are shown as being a considerable distance
behind in the metaphorical 'race'.

The race is set in the Olympic Games that give it a great sense of
irony. The Olympic Games are usually a symbol of fair play. The
cartoon displays a flag with the words 'The important thing is not
winning - but taking part' Reinforcing the irony. The imagery and
mockery of the arms race is continued as the Olympic flames carried by
each runner are replaced with the classic mushroom cloud of a nuclear
explosion. It is important to note that the clouds are considerably
larger on the torches of the USA and USSR, visually displaying the
fact that they have more nuclear power. This could be another
representation to the British public that they need to catch up in the
arms race.

At this point in time both America and Russia were desperate to be
ahead in the arms race. The cartoon features a contrasting expression
on Khrushchev's face, he looks very angry and vicious and this differs
greatly from the other runners. This display is informing us that
Khrushchev is showing ruthless determination. Considering that it is a
British cartoon it is likely that this interpretation of Khrushchev is
a biased and therefore inaccurate one.

Source A1 is definitely a useful source; it shows the UK's
interpretation of the situation and visually displays each superpowers
position in the arms race. It also helps us to analyze the aspect of
increased tension. The source suggests a definite increase, most
notably between the US and the Soviets. The picture shows their fierce
competition in Khrushchev's face.

Text Box:

Another source of the period is source A2; this is a primary source
photograph...

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