NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Political Science Chapter 1 The Cold War Era

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Class 12th Political Science NCERT Solutions Part A Contemporary World Politics

Q1. Which among the following statements about the Cold War is wrong?

a) It was a competition between the US and Soviet Union and their respective allies.
b) It was an ideological war between the superpowers.
c) It triggered off an arms race.
d) the US and USSR were engaged in direct wars.

Answer:- (d) The US and USSR were engaged in direct wars.


Q2. Which among the following statements does not reflect the objectives of NAM

a) Enabling newly decolonised countries to pursue independent policies
b) No to joining any military alliances
c) Following a policy of ‘neutrality’ on global issues
d) Focus on elimination of global economic inequalities

Answer:- (c) Following a policy of neutrality on global issues.


Q3. Mark correct or wrong against each of the following statements that describe the features of the military alliances formed by the superpowers.

a) Member countries of the alliance are to provide bases in their respective lands for the superpowers.
b) Member countries to support the superpower both in terms of ideology and military strategy.
c) When a nation attacks any member country, it is considered as an attack on all the member countries.
d) Superpowers assist all the member countries to develop their own nuclear weapons.

Answer:- (a) True, (b) True, (c) True (d) False


Q4. Here is a list of countries. Write against each of these the bloc they
belonged to during the Cold War.

a) Poland
b) France
c) Japan
d) Nigeria
e) North Korea
f) Sri Lanka


Answer:-
(a) Poland –> Eastern Alliance (Warsaw Pact)
(b) France–> Western Alliance (NATO)
(c) Japan–> Western Alliance (NATO)
(d) Nigeria–> NAM
(e) North Korea–> Eastern Alliance (Warsaw Pact)
(f) Sri Lanka–>NAM


Q5. The Cold War produced an arms race as well as arms control. What
were the reasons for both these developments?

Answer:- The Cold War produced an arms race as well as arms control:
1 . Cuban Missile Crisis engaged both of them (superpowers) in the development of nuclear weapons to influence the world

  1. US dropped nuclear bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the intention to stop Soviet Union from making military and political gains in Asia.
  2. Both the powers were not ready to initiate a war because they knew that destruction from these will not justify any gain for them.
  3. Both the powers were to be rational and responsible being restraint and avoiding risk of another World War to ensure human survival.
  4. Hence, both the superpowers decided to limiting certain kinds of nuclear and non-nuclear weapons by signing various significant agreements within a decade i.e. Limited Test Ban Treaty, Nuclear Non- proliferation Treaty, Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty etc.

Q6. Why did the superpowers have military alliances with smaller countries? Give three reasons.

Answer:- The superpowers have military alliances with smaller countries reasons given below:

(a) The smaller countries were helpful for the superpowers in gaining access to natural resources such as oil and minerals.
(b) The smaller states were helpful for the super-powers in gaining access to territory, from where the superpowers could launch their weapons and troops.
(c) The superpowers could gain access to locations from where they could spy in each other.
(d) The smaller states together could help pay for military expenses.


Q7. Sometimes it is said that the Cold War was a simple struggle for power and that ideology had nothing to do with it. Do you agree with this? Give one example to support your position.

Answer:- Yes, the Cold War was a simple struggle for power and that ideology had nothing to do with it because: 1. The Cold War led to several shooting wars but this did not lead to another World War. 2. Despite direct confrontations in Korea (1950-53), Berlin (1958-62), the Congo (early 1960s), neither alliance system crossed certain limits. 3. Many lives have been lost in some of the arenas like Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan but World War spread a nuclear war or global hostilities.


Q8. What was India’s foreign policy towards the US and USSR during the Cold War era? Do you think that this policy helped India’s interests?

Answer:- During Cold War era India’s foreign policy was based on the principle of non-alignment. It was long before India became free that Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, when he was incharge of External Affairs in the Interim government, had declared that independent India would keep away from power blocs. In 1946, he declared again that India would follow an independent foreign policy.

He said, “We propose as for as possible, to keep away from the power politics of groups, aligned against one another, which have led in the past to world wars and which may again lead to disaster on an even wider scale.” It was, however, after the attainment of independence by India with unique historical experience, geographical situation, and two perceptions of its national interest by enlightened leadership that non-alignment as a policy came to occupy an important position in international relations.

Policy of non-alignment protected India’s interests. By adopting the policy of non-alignment India has been able to maintain her individuality. The policy of non-alignment has helped India to play an active part in world politics. The policy of non-alignment has been a source of friendship for India. By this policy India got the economic assistance from the super powers. This policy has been helpful to India for securing her national interests and maintaining its security.


Q9. NAM was considered a ‘third option’ by Third World countries. How did this option benefit their growth during the peak of the Cold War?

Answer:- Non-alignment offered newly decolonised countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, a third option—not to join either alliance. A majority of NAM members was categorised as the Least Development Countries (LDCs), to be developed more economically not to remain dependent on richer countries. A new International Economic Order (NIEO) originated with this realisation. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) brought out a report in 1972 entitled towards a New Trade Policy for Development which proposed a reform of global trading system:

  1. LDCs got control over their own natural resources which were being exploited by developed western countries.
  2. To make western market available for LDCs to make trade more beneficial.
  3. To reduce cost of-technology from western countries.
  4. To provide LDCs with a greater role in international economic institutions.

Q10. What do you think about the statement that NAM has become irrelevant today. Give reasons to support your opinion.

Answer:- By the mid 1970s, NAM had become an economic pressure group and by late 1980s, the NIEO initiative had faded due to stiff competition from developed countries who acted as a united group while non-aligned countries struggled to maintain their unity in face of this opposition. Non-alignment both as an international movement and as a core of India’s foreign policy lost some of Its earlier relevance. Though non-alignment contained some core values and enduring ideas. It was based on a recognition that decolonised states shared a historical affiliation and can become powerful force if they come together, as very small and poor countries need not to become follower of any big powers instead they could pursue an independent foreign policy also. In nutshell, it can be concluded that NAM has not lost its relevance. It has stood test of adverse circumstances. It has served an important purpose of protecting and preserving interests of third world countries.


Extra Questions of Chapter 1 The Cold War Era

Q1. Why was the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation also called Western Alliance?

Answer:- The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was also known as the Western Alliance because most countries of Western Europe sided with the US.


Q2. Why was the Warsaw Pact also called the ‘Eastern Alliance’?

Answer:- The Warsaw Pact was also called the ‘Eastern Alliance’ due to the alliance of Eastern European countries with the Soviet Union.


Q3. What is the full form of ‘SE/ TO’?

Answer:- The full form of ‘SEATO’ is the South East Asian Treaty Organisation.


Q4. What is meant by the Cold War

Answer:- The Cold War was the tense relationship between the US and the USSR and their allies which emerged after the Second World War. The outbreak of the Cold War was due to the different ways of thinking i.e. socialism and capitalism. This war was unlike other wars in which the two sides never clashed directly in battle.


Q5. Name the two superpowers responsible for the Cold War. When did the world become unipolar?

Answer:- The USA and the USSR were the two superpowers responsible for the Cold War. The world became unipolar with the disintegration of the USSR in 1991, thus, ending the bipolarity regime.


Q6. When and why did India sign the twenty-years ‘Treaty of Peace and Friendship’ with the Soviet Union?

Answer:- India signed the twenty years ‘Treaty of Peace and Friendship’ with the Soviet Union in 1971 in order to counter the US-Pakistan, China axis. This treaty assumed India of Soviet support if the country forced any attack.


Q7. Why has India refused to sign the CTBT?

Answer:- India has opposed the International treaties aimed at non-proliferation since they were selectively applicable to the non-nuclear powers and legitimized the monopoly of five nuclear powers. Thus, India has refused to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)


Q8. What was deterrence relationship between superpowers?

Answer:- Deterrence relationship refers that both sides have the capacity to retaliate against an attack and to cause so much destruction that neither can afford to initiate war.


Q9. How did superpowers maintain arms- control?

Answer:- Superpowers maintained arms control by signing significant agreements within a decade as Limited Test Ban Treaty, Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Anti- Ballistic Missile Treaty and hold several rounds of arms limitation talks.


Q10. What do you understand by Least Developed Countries?

Answer:- Majority of NAM members were categorised as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to be more developed economically and to lift their people out of poverty.


Q11. What was the difference in the ideology of Western Alliances and that of Eastern Alliances?

Answer:- The Western Alliance headed by the US represented ideology of liberal democracy and capitalism while the eastern alliance headed by Soviet Union committed to socialism and communism.


Q12. What was India’s policy of Non¬alignment?

Answer:- India’s policy of Non-alignment was not a policy of‘fleeing away’ instead India was in favour of actively intervening in world affairs to soften Cold War rivalries and prevented differences from escalating into a full scale war.


Q14. What is the balance of power?

Answer:- Balance of power means when both sides have the capacity to fight against the attack and to cause so much destruction that neither an effort to initiate war.


Q16. Mention the name of the Eastern alliance led by the Soviet Union.

Answer:- The Eastern alliance was also known as the Warsaw Pact. It was created in 1955 with principle function to counter NATO’s forces in Europe. It was led by the Soviet Union.

NCERT Lessons for Class 12 Political Science Part. 1

Contemporary World Politics

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