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The Nuclear Arms Race Essay

1656 words - 7 pages

James WilkersonHistory 112 Daryl Sequeira 07/19/2014

James Wilkerson
History-112 Daryl Sequeira 7/19/2014

iii

The Arms Race During the Cold War era1.Nuclear Arms RaceThe nuclear arms race as a separate notion appeared at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. It refers to the rivalry and competition in the most science-driven and technologically complicated field of economy in the military industry. Superiority in this field had always been the key goal of the countries and armies, which were aspiring geo-political goals. Arms race includes development of new systems and the implementation of innovations. It appeared to be the race of battleships, weapon systems, airplanes, nuclear weapons and space flight.20th century arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States seems to have played one of the dominant roles in the eventual fall of the Soviet Union. The beginning of the arms race was directly connected with nuclear weapons. As it is known, at the end of World War II the United States appeared to be the only nuclear power in the world. The United States quickly obtained a strategic dominance over the world during WWII with the United States striking two devastating blows to the Empire of Japan. One at Nagasaki and the other at Hiroshima, which were the only two tactical uses of the atomic bomb in history, which will ultimately lead to the United States military planning for preemptive strikes on the Soviet Union. But this nuclear dominance the United States obtained in 1945 would only last four years. In 1949, the Soviet Union developed and successfully tested its first atomic bomb. It was the beginning of a startling reality that global stability could soon be coming to a catastrophic end as well as marking an important milestone in the history that is the Cold War.There were several distinctive facts about the arms race that are necessary to mention. First, the arms race involved and required an extravagant amount of financial resources. Secondly, apart from the creation of different types of weapons, the build up of military forces on all sides. The presumption can be made that with this came the creation of particular economic, production and technological changes. This demanded an elevated economy and much more stringent governmental management of funds. Development would call for a highly educated staff, which in turn requires higher levels of education needed with focuses being on sciences, and finally production being yet again reoriented to a military type of production. So, when the country does not correspond to any of the mentioned demands or lacks essential resources, it simply cannot compete, causing inevitable and as history has shown, inconceivable changes in it's state system. This is exactly what happened to the Soviet Union during the nuclear arms race with the United States.2. Fall of the Soviet UnionThe nuclear tension between the Soviet Union and the United States became so hostel...

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