Chapter 1 – The Cold War Era Questions and Answers: NCERT Solutions for Class 12 Political Science (Contemporary World Politics)

Class 12 Political Science (Contemporary World Politics) NCERT book solutions for Chapter 1 - The Cold War Era Questions and Answers.


1. Which among the following statements about the Cold War is wrong?
(а) 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.

2. 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.

3. Mark correct or wrong against each of
the following statements that describe the features ol Tliitary alliances formed by the superpowers.
(a) Member countries of the alliance are to provide bases in their respective lands for 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 (6) True (c) True (d) False

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

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

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

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.
2. 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.
3. Both the powers were not ready to initiate a war because they knew that destruction from these will not justify any gain for them.
4. Both the powers were to be rational and responsible being restraint and avoiding risk of another World War to ensure human survival.
5. 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.

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

Answer: Superpowers had military alliances with smaller states who were helpful for them in gaining access to:
1. Vital resources as oil and minerals.
2. Territory from where the superpowers could launch their weapons and troops.
3. Locations from where they could spy on each other.
4. Economic support to pay their military expenses.

7. 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.

8. What was India’s foreign policy towards the USandUSSR during the Cold War era? Do you think that this policy helped India’s interests?

Answer: India’s foreign policy towards the US and USSR was two fold:
1. Took particular care in staging away from the two alliances.
2. Raised voice against the newly decolonised countries becoming part of these alliances.
3. Moreover, India tried to reduce the differences and rivalries between these alliances from escalating into a full scale war.
Yes, this policy served India’s interests also:
1. Non-alignment allowed India to take international decisions that served India’s interests rather than interests of superpowers and its allies.
2. India maintained a balance between two superpowers as if India felt ignored by one superpower it could tilt towards other superpowers.
3. Neither the alliance could take India for granted.

9. 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.

10. What do you th nk about the statement that NAM has bdcoPie irrelevant today? Give reasons to support your opinion.
What is the relevance of non-aligned movement after the end of Cold War?

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 persue 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.
Very Short Answer Type Questions

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

Answer: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was an association of twelve states. All these states belonged to western Europe. Therefore, this association was also called Western Alliance.

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

Answer: The US and USSR were responsible for Cold War. The world became unipolar in 1991 after disintegration of USSR.

3. What does USSR stand for?

Answer: Union of Soviet Socialist Republic.

4. When did NATO and WARSAW PACT come into existence?

Answer: NATO—April 1949

5. Mention the period of first and second World Wars.

Answer: First World War: 1914-1918
Second World 1939-1945

6. What is meant b; .old War?

Answer: Cold War is a state of extreme unfriendliness existing between two superpowers especially with opposing political system which expresses itself not through fighting but through political pressures and threats.

7. “ Non-alignment does not imply neutrality or equidistance.” What does this statement mean?

Answer: Neutrality refers to a policy of staying out of war and not to help end a war. Non-aligned states including India worked to prevent wars and rivalries between others.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Why did India not join either of the two camps during the Cold War?

Answer: India did not join either of the two camps during the Cold War because India played an active role in mediating between the two rival alliances for the sake of peace and stability. Their strength was based on unity of NAM members and their resolve to remain non-aligned despite the attempts and made by two superpowers to bring them into their alliances.

14. How were the military alliances beneficial to smaller nations during the Cold War?

Answer: Smaller nations got the promise of protection, weapons and economic aid against their local and regional rivals. A state was supposed to remain tied to its protective superpowers to unite influence of other superpower and its allies.

15. Name any two foreign leaders alongwith the countries they belonged to, who are recognised as the founders of NAM.

Answer: Yugoslavia’s Josip Broz Tito; Egypt’s leader Gamal Abdel Nasser.

16. What was Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT)?

Answer: It was arms control treaty between superpowers. It banned nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water. It was signed by the US, UK and USSR in Moscow on 5 August, 1963. It entered into force on 10 October, 1963.

17. When and where the first NAM Summit was held?

Answer: The first NAM Summit was held in Belgrade in 1961 and it was attended by 25 member states.

Very Short Answer Type Questions [2 Marks]

1. What is meant by the Cuba Missile Crisis?

Answer: Cuba was an ally of the Soviet Union and received both diplomatic and financial aid from it. In 1962, Soviet Union placed nuclear missiles in Cuba to convert it into a Russian base. This move fired the US. It ordered American warships to intercept any Soviet ships heading to Cuba as a way of warning the USSR of its seriousness. A clash seemed imminent in what came to be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

2. What was the main objective of New International Economic Order?

Answer: The main objective of NSEO was to develop more to Least (Economic)
Developed countries of NAM and to lift them out of poverty by their sustainable development.

3. Mention two military features of the Cold War.

Answer: 1. Cold War divided the world into two divisions namely Western and Eastern alliances as well as SEATO and CENTO.
2. Mad arms race had taken to manu-facture atom-bomb and nuclear weapons by Super Powers of the world.

4. Explain Eastern and Western alliance during Cold war.

Answer: 1. Cold War gave birth to Eastern Alliance known as Warsaw Pact headed by Soviet Union in 1955 with the principal function to counter NATO’s forces.
2. Cold War created Western Alliance known as NATO in April 1949 by association of twelve states. Its policy was that an armed attack on any one of them would be regarded as an attack on all of them and everybody would be obliged to help each other.

5. When did NATO come into existence? How many states joined it?

Answer: NATO came into existence in April 1949 and twelve sca+ joined it.

6. Name any two t,rms control treaties signed between two superpowers in 1960s.

Answer: 1. Limited Test Ban Treaty (5 August, 1963)
2. Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (1 July, 1960)

7. Name two leaders who played crucial role in Cuban Missile Crisis.

Answer: 1. Nikita Khrushchev—Leader of Soviet Union
2. John F. Kennedy—US President

8. Explain any four objectives on Non- aligned Movement.

Answer: 1. NAM aimed at an end of colonisation and freedom to all nations.
2. NAM promoted and maintained international peace and security.
3. NAM aimed at removal of disparity among developed, poor and very small countries.
4. NAM aimed at promotion of New International Economic Order to encourage cooperation among nations.

9. Mention any four important events which took place during Cuban Missile Crisis.

Answer: 1. In 1962, USSR installed Missiles in Cuba with intention to convert it into Russian base.
2. America became aware of it and as a warning ordered American warship to intercept Soviet ships moving to Cuba.
3. The US was feared of developing nuclear weapons on part of the USSR to challenge supremacy of the US.
4. The Cuban Crisis divided the world into two power blocs to expand their own spheres of influence in the world.

10. Who was the key leader of NAM who tried to reduce the Cold War conflicts?

Answer: Pt. Jawahar Lai Nehru was the key leader of NAM who played a crucial role in mediating between two Koreas. Nehru appealed for reduction of Cold War conflicts and the establishment of world peace and security through co-operative disarmament.

11. Why were most of the countries categorised as Least Developed Countries?

Answer:1. The economic development of these countries was very low.
2. They were dependent on richer countries for their sustainable development.
3. Their natural resources were being exploited by developed countries.
4. They could not participate in international economic institutions and they had a little say, if participated.