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The Space Race, Arms Race, Vietnam War, And Korean War Bethlehem Catholic High School / History 30 Essay

2301 words - 10 pages

Cold War (1945 – 1990’s)
The end of the Second World War brought two opposing superpowers in the form of United States of America and the USSR. After the fall off Nazi Germany, these two superpowers sought to spread their ideologies throughout the world. Thus, beginning the cold war. Unlike a hot war, a cold war is not a direct combat rather a war of ideologies through propagandas, threats, and proxy wars to avoid direct war with one another. The cold war was a battle between capitalism of United States and communism of the USSR. The United States of America could not tolerate the communist ideology of the USSR. On the other hand, the USSR could not accept the dominance of the USA upon Europe. This battle of ideologies resulted in the space race, arms race and a series of proxy wars like the Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Both countries believed that they must outdo each other through the arms race and the space race. The arms race was a competition for superiority in the development and accumulation of weapons. After WWII, USA was the only country who possessed a weapon for mass destruction, the Atomic Bomb. Russia, fearing world domination of the USA, created their own atomic bomb. They were determined not to be left with weaker weapons. The possession of nuclear weapons by the world’s superpowers left the world in a difficult situation. Both countries were so paranoid that one would launch a missile attack on one another. As a result, the ICBM or Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles were created. ICBMs were capable of reaching any target in each other’s territory. Fortunately, the world did not witness a nuclear war between the superpowers. Both came to a realization that they could not launch a nuclear missile at each other without putting their own countries in danger. Winston Churchill referred to this as the ‘balance of terror’ which meant that both countries would be so terrified of destruction that they would avoid war.
In 1957, the world watched in awe and fear as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man made satellite to orbit the earth, starting the Space Race between the USSR and the USA. After Sputnik, US prepared to launch its own satellite. The Soviet Union surprised the US once again with the launch of Sputnik 2 along with the first dog in space. In 1958, the USA successfully launched a satellite into the orbit after its failed attempt with Vanguard TV3 which was a satellite that launched and fell seconds after. However, the Soviet Union still dominated the space race with Yuri Gagarin, the first human in outer space. USA caught up by sending Alan Shepard, the first American in space and in less than a year later, they sent John Glenn, the first to orbit the earth. The space race started with Sputnik and ended with the first man on the moon. On 1961, JFK announced an ambitious goal of putting a man on the moon by the end the decade. The Apollo 11 Program marked the successful lunar attempt by the...

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