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Standard Grade Modern Studies


Standard Grade Modern Studies Military Alliances - NATO - Member countries What is NATO? The Cold War Why was there so much rivalry? Why was there so much rivalry? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Standard Grade Modern Studies

Standard Grade Modern Studies
  • Military Alliances
  • - NATO -

Member countries
Member countries
What is NATO?
  • After World War Two, USSR had liberated most of
    Eastern Europe from the Nazis, but had replaced
    fascist ideas with communist ideas.
  • The countries of Eastern Europe effectively
    became puppet states of USSR.
  • Fear in the West of continued Soviet expansion.
  • So in 1949, a military alliance called NATO
    (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) was formed
    between the USA, Canada and the nations of
    liberated Europe (15 countries).
  • Idea was that if any member country of NATO was
    attacked, was seen as an attack on the whole
  • Was NATO a success?
  • After 1949, no further expansion of communism so
    can be argued that NATO was a success.

The Cold War
  • From 1945 - late 1980s, USA and its allies faced
    USSR and its allies across an Europe divided by
    the ideologies capitalism and communism.
  • Although the 2 Superpowers had immense
    military power in the shape of nuclear weaponry,
    did not go to war directly with one another.
  • Instead, supported by their allies, they spied
    on each other, threatened each other, took each
    other to the brink of war.
  • This period, which lasted over 40 years, was
    called the COLD WAR.
  • The threat of all-out nuclear war between the
    two sides was prevented by the fear that there
    would be no winners in a nuclear war.
  • This stalemate was often called the balance of

Why was there so much rivalry?
The answer to this lay in the differing
ideologies of the two sides.
  • Ideology based on CAPITALISM - linked to
  • Under capitalism, people have great individual
    freedom and choice to live and work as they want.
  • Many people could own their own businesses,
    become rich and enjoy a good lifestyle.
  • Ideology based on COMMUNISM.
  • Here the Government controlled every aspect of
    peoples lives - from farming to education etc.
  • There was no individual freedom, no free
    elections to change the government- only one
    political party - the Communist Party.

Why was there so much rivalry?
  • Both countries were convinced that their
    ideology was right and were frightened that the
    other would expand its influence over a wider
  • Both Superpowers built up alliances to
    strengthen their positions (The USSR started a
    similar alliance to NATO in 1955 - called the
    Warsaw Pact).
  • The threat of nuclear war was never far away
    through the 1950s - 1980s.

Why did the Cold War end?
  • From 1960s - 1980s, many attempts made by Us and
    USSR leaders to reduce development of nuclear
  • President Reagan elected in 1980 - took hard
    line with Soviets
  • Position changed in 1985 with election of
    charismatic Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.
  • He wanted change. In his own country, developed
    policies of Glasnost (freedom) and
    Perestroika (economic freedom and flexibility)
  • Wanted his own country to improve and have more
    freedom - not interested in fighting an expensive
    Cold War.

Change and the Fall of Communism
  • Agreements were reached to reduce nuclear and
    conventional weapons between the 2 Superpowers.
  • Countries under the influence of the USSR began
    to change (wanted more freedom). Gorbachev
    encouraged this.
  • Series of revolutions swept across E Europe as
    communists removed from power and democratic
    elections held (eg. in Poland, Romania,
    Czechoslovakia etc.)
  • Ideological division which had split Europe was
  • But people of USSR also wanted more freedom -
    various parts of USSR broke away and became
    independent countries (eg Ukraine)
  • USSR reverted to Russia - led to fall of
    Gorbachev and weakening of Russia as a Superpower.

NATOs Changing Role
The role of NATO has changed since the end of the
Cold War
  • The new approach includes
  • Less dependence on nuclear weapons.
  • More flexible forces which can take on a variety
    of tasks
  • Greater use of multinational forces.
  • Active involvement in international peacekeeping
  • More co-operation with organisations like the
    United Nations

Do We Still Need NATO?
  • Arguments FOR
  • NATO formed to stop communism which is no longer
    a powerful force
  • Cold War is over. United defence forces are based
    on out-of-date ideologies.
  • European countries should have their own
    alliances without relying on the USA.
  • Arguments AGAINST
  • Russia could still become unstable.
  • Former Yugoslavia still an area of possible
    future conflict - NATO might be needed to
  • NATO may be required to control actions of rogue
    states countries like Iran
  • NATO is an organisation with power to combat
    world terrorism

The Future of NATO
  • Some former members of the Eastern European
    communist block want to join NATO.
  • Partnership for Peace policy set up in 1994 to
    draw these countries closer to NATO
  • NATO forces of each member country have been
    reduced and reorganised - new tactics have made
    them more flexible to reponsive to crises.
  • USA, in the light of world terrorism, has
    realised that close ties are needed with Europe -
    particularly fast and flexible response.
  • Need for Europe to police its own security
    without relying on NATO.

The Future of NATO
  • Intention of EU to set up a rapid reaction
    force of 60,000 troops to deal with security
    threats in Europe - humanitarian/rescue tasks,
    peacekeeping tasks etc.
  • NATO regards Russia as vital to European
    security. NATO now consults regularly with
    Russia on political and security issues like
    peacekeeping, nuclear safety etc.
  • The new relationship with Russia is seen by many
    as proof that NATO is concentrating on combatting
    international threats like world terrorism.
  • USA has tried to expand the role of Europe in
    NATO - no longer USA the rest. The US is
    less involved in European events.
  • NATO has been enlarged from 18 to 26 members.