How Far Did Peaceful Coexistence Ease Cold War Tensions Between The Soviet Union And The Usa In The Years 1953

1015 words - 5 pages

How far did peaceful coexistence ease cold war tensions between the Soviet Union and the USA in the years 1953-61?
In the years 1953-61 some might say that the cold war tensions were eased by peaceful coexistence, with super power negotiations and key agreements paving the way for better relations. Despite this, the stronger argument suggests that ultimately, cold war tensions were not eased, the cold war continued for another 30 years. This was due to failure to negotiate anything of substance at conferences such as Geneva 1955 and the lack of change in superpower attitude with Eisenhower’s new look policy and the USSR’s approach to Hungary.
One argument suggests that peaceful ...view middle of the document...

The most significant agreement of them all was Austria in 1955, initiated by USSR, it agreed that the allies along with the USSR would remove all troops from Austria. This was the only time during the cold war that the USSR withdrew troops from territory they formally occupied. Other key agreements was that made was Yugoslavia in 1955 and with Poland and Finland in 1956. However these were all token gestures and had no real substance. Another reform made by Khrushchev was the cuts to the red army, despite this act of apparent peaceful coexistence, the USSR did not make any cuts with their nuclear programme. Whilst there was no fighting between the two superpowers in 1953-61, peaceful coexistence appeared to have eased tensions, to an extent it did ease tensions. However the stronger argument suggests that whilst there were many key agreements and reforms, there was nothing of substance that was negotiated. Therefore peaceful coexistence rapidly declined during 1960.
The stronger argument suggests that it was the failure to negotiate anything of substance which meant peaceful coexistence did not ease cold war tensions between the two superpowers. The first meeting in 10 years after the end of the second world war was at Geneva in 1955, although it was a symbolic meet, nothing important was agreed, such as Germany, European security agreements and the open skies initiative. Another symbolic meeting was that of Camp David in 1959, once again although they met up, nothing was achieved, failing to agree on the situation of Germany and disarmament. From 1960 peaceful coexistence rapidly burnt out, the U2 spy plane incident lead to the collapse of the Paris summit in 1960, and the meeting between the two superpowers in 1961 at Vienna also failed to produce anything of substance. Whilst it all appeared to be good that the two superpowers were meeting, nothing was ever achieved. There was no end to the arms race, nor any agreement over Germany, therefore peaceful coexistence failed to ease tensions in the cold war between the two superpowers between 1953-61 as the arms race and the...

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