The Cold War Era: Political Science NCERT Textbook PDF

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NCERT Class 12 Political Science Textbook Chapter 1 With Answer PDF Free Download

The Cold War Era

Chapter 1: The Cold War Era

This chapter provides a backdrop to the entire book. The end of the Cold War is usually seen as the beginning of the contemporary era in world politics which is the subject matter of this book. It is, therefore, appropriate that we begin the story with a discussion of the Cold War.

The chapter shows how the dominance of two superpowers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, was central to the Cold War. It tracks the various arenas of the Cold War in different parts of the world.

The chapter views the NonAligned Movement (NAM) as a challenge to the dominance of the two superpowers and describes the attempts by the non-aligned countries to establish a New International Economic Order (NIEO) as a means of attaining economic development and political independence.

It concludes with an assessment of India’s role in NAM and asks how successful the policy of nonalignment has been in protecting India’s interests.

In April 1961, the leaders of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) were worried that the United States of America (USA) would invade communist-ruled Cuba and overthrow Fidel Castro, the president of the small island nation off the coast of the United States.

Cuba was an ally of the Soviet Union and received both diplomatic and financial aid from
it. Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union, decided to convert Cuba into a Russian base. In 1962, he placed nuclear missiles in Cuba.

The installation of these weapons put the US, for the first time, under fire from close range
and nearly doubled the number of bases or cities on the American mainland which could be
threatened by the USSR.

Three weeks after the Soviet Union had placed the nuclear weapons in Cuba, the Americans
became aware of it.

The US President, John F. Kennedy, and his advisers were reluctant to do anything that might lead to full-scale nuclear war between the two countries, but they were determined to get Khrushchev to remove the missiles and nuclear weapons from Cuba.

Kennedy ordered American warships to intercept any Soviet ships heading to Cuba as a way of
warning the USSR of his seriousness. A clash seemed imminent in what came to be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Language English
No. of Pages16
PDF Size3.4 MB
CategoryPolitical Science

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

1. Why did India distance itself from the two camps led by the U.S. and the Soviet Union? Explain.
Answer: The end of the Second World War was the beginning of the Cold War between the two superpowers of the world, namely the US and the USSR.

These two superpowers were keen on expanding their spheres of influence in different parts of the world. Most countries of western Europe sided with the US and those of eastern Europe joined the USSR. But India kept a distance from these superpowers.

It means, it became a member of the non-alignment movement by not joining either alliance. Non-alignment was not a noble international cause that had little to do with India’s real interests.

A non-aligned posture also served India’s interests very directly, in at least two ways.
(t) Non-alignment allowed India to take international decisions and stances that served its interests rather than the interests of the superpowers and their allies.
(ii) India was often able to balance one superpower against the other. If India felt ignored or unduly pressurized by one superpower, it could tilt towards the other. Neither alliance system could take India for granted or bully it.

2. “The drop of bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the US was a political game.” Justify the statement.
Answer: The Second World War ended when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 causing Japan to surrender.

Moreover, this action was criticized on the ground that the US knew that Japan was about to surrender and that dropping bombs was not necessary. US action was intended to stop the Soviet Union from making military and political gains in Asia and elsewhere and to show that the US was supreme.

3. Explain the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Answer: In 1962, the Soviet Union decided to convert Cuba into a Russian base as it provided USSR diplomatic and financial aid both.

Hence, the Soviet Union placed nuclear missiles in Cuba. The US became aware of it and ordered American warships to intercept the Soviet Union to remove missiles to avoid full-scale nuclear war. A clash seemed imminent in what came to be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

4. Name any two founders of the Non-aligned Movement. The first NAM summit was the culmination of which three factors?
Answer: Two founders of the Non-aligned Movement were:
1. Indonesia’s Sukarno and
2. Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah
The first NAM was held in Belgrade in 1961. This was the culmination of the following three factors:
1. Cooperation among member countries.
2. Growing cold war tensions and their widening arenas.
3. The dramatic entry of many new decolonized African countries into the international arena.

5. What is the rationale for the Non-aligned movement after the end of the Cold War?
What core values keep non-alignment relevant even after Cold War has ended?

Answer: Non-aligned Movement was based on a recognition that decolonized states shared a historical affiliation and can become a powerful force if they come together.

It meant that very small and poor countries need not become followers of any big power, instead, they could pursue an independent foreign policy also. It was based on a resolve to democratize the international system to redress existing inequities also.

The Cold War Era NCERT Textbook With Solutions PDF Free Download

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