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JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - What caused the economic miracle in Vietnam - JC History Essay Notes

What caused the economic miracle in Vietnam?

The post-unification Vietnam
After the prolonged military confrontation between the Vietnam and the French/Americans (Indochina Wars), the unified Vietnamese economy was relatively unstable. Due to strong government intervention, swift resource consolidation was achieved. Fast forward to the 21st century, Vietnam is recognised as one of the leading emerging economies.

IMF examines the changing economic development of Vietnam from 1986 onward.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

1976-1985: Post-unification Vietnam
The Second Five-Year Plan (1976-1980) focused on two major areas – agricultural development and industrialization. For the agriculture sector, the New Management System was established to facilitate large-scale collectivisation. For industry, the government held strong control over many private sectors.

Although there were setbacks to the Second Five-Year Plan, the government persisted, as observed by the Third Five-Year Plan (1981-1985). The latter focused on the policy of decentralisation, in which there was greater private economic participation. For example, peasants in the agriculture sector were allowed to sell their produce in the open market, thereby facilitating the development of a ‘family economy’.

1986-1996: ‘Doi Moi
In 1986, the Doi Moi (renovation) was introduced. In short, it focused economic liberalisation. One of the most significant policies involved the Foreign Investment Law (1987). This law allowed greater foreign ownership and provided greater incentives for export production. In 1990, the Vietnamese government set up four commercial banks.

In the agriculture sector, the government introduced Resolution 10, which involved the de-collectivisation of agriculture. The Land Law and Agricultural Land Use Law were introduced.

As a result, economic liberalisation contributed to the rapid economic growth in Vietnam. From 1992 to 1997, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rate was 8% per annum. By 1996, Vietnam received foreign direct investment (FDI) that was estimated at US$8.5 billion per year. Furthermore, Vietnam became the third largest exporter in the world.  

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following question to understand this country-specific case study:
– How far do you agree that resource consolidation is the most important government strategy in developing the economy of Vietnam after 1975? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have studied the government strategies that shaped the Vietnamese economy, it is imperative to review your knowledge application by writing essays. You can also sign up for our JC History Tuition. We provide condensed learning materials and essay outlines for references and revision.

Additionally we offer other related JC tuition classes, like GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuitionclasses, we offer Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to join now!

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - How did Philippines grow its economy - JC History Essay Notes

How did Philippines grow its economy?

About the Philippine economy
After the attainment of independence, the Philippines became one of the leading Southeast Asian economies that was comparable to neighbouring countries, like Malaysia and Singapore. The 1970s became the turning point due to internal economic mismanagement, thus contributing to political turmoil that ended with a switch to the new administration by the early 1990s.

Find out more about the modern economic development of the Philippines after independence.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

1946 to 1965: Post-independent Philippines
During the early stages of independence, Philippines was heavily reliant on primary exports, due to its trade links with USA. This can be explained by the pre-indpendence policies, like the Payne Aldrich Tariff Act (1909) that granted US access to some Philippine goods.

One significant approach involved economic indigenization via the establishment of the National Development Company, which facilitated the formation of state agencies to control key sectors of the economy. For example, the Philippine Sugar Institute was formed in 1951.

The second strategy involved agricultural development. Given the heavy reliance on primary exports for growth, the government engaged in major land reforms, as seen by the Rice Share Tenancy Act (1946). The purpose was for resource consolidation and re-distribution.

1965 to 1986: The ‘era of Marcos’
Under the leadership of Ferdinand Marcos, the government continued its extensive state intervention to guide the development of the Philippine economy.

The government undergone transition for import-substitution industrialization (ISI) to export-oriented industrialization (EOI), as exemplified by policies that encouraged the inflow of foreign investment. For example, the Board of Investment was formed. This public entity then implemented the Investment Incentives Act (1967) to facilitate the influx of foreign investment. Additionally, the Export Incentives Act (1970) was introduced to provide incentives for the production of manufactured exports.

Following the imposition of martial law in 1972, the government raised its level of intervention in the economy. There was greater state ownership in various sectors, as seen by organizations like the Philippine Sugar Commission and the Asia Brewery.

Around the 1960s to 1970s, Marcos also capitalized on the Green Revolution to enhance the productivity of agriculture. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) was set up to allow the development of high-yielding and disease-resistant rice varieties. In addition, the ‘Masagana 99’ (Rice Production Programme) was introduced to grant rice farmers access to fertilizer subsidies and credit. Hence, the farmers benefited from state support, as seen by the achievement of self-sufficiency in rice production by 1972.

1986 to 1997: Post-Marcos Era
Following the economic instability and political unrest that caused the transition to a new administration, the Philippine government sought to resolve these past setbacks urgently.

One such obstacle was the large external debt due to Marco’s extensive borrowing. Austerity measures were introduced to reduce deficits. Also, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law was passed in 1988 to facilitate land reforms, thereby transferring ownership to farmers.

Besides, there was greater privatization to reduce excessive state ownership, which was recognized as an inefficient approach for economic development. For example, monopolies in industries like telecommunications and power generation were dismantled.

Over time, the post-Marco period was met with greater success due to the restoration of economic stability. Privatization was effective in providing the country with its much-needed revenue for recovery. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate in the 1990s averaged at 3.3%.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following question to understand this country-specific case study:
– To what extent was state involvement beneficial to the economic development of the Philippines after independence? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have examined the strategies and outcomes of the Philippine economy, we encourage you to attempt essay questions to review your knowledge thoroughly. An alternative approach is to join our JC History Tuition. We provide useful summary notes and essay outlines to enhance your knowledge application skills.

Furthermore, we conduct other related JC tuition classes, like GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuitionclasses, we offer Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to sign up now and get discounts!

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - How did Indonesia build its economy - JC History Essay Notes

How did Indonesia build its economy?

Overall economic trend of Indonesia
From independence to 1970s, the Indonesian government was pre-occupied with its political development. Also, there was much emphasis on agriculture, given its substantial natural endowments. Although the country encountered several setbacks, astute government intervention resulted in the rapid economic growth from 1970s to 1980s due to the continued emphasis on industrialization. Nevertheless, given its large geographical size, the Indonesian economy has a massive potential for economic growth.

Find out more about the critical factors that explain the economic successes of modern Indonesia.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

1957 to 1965: ‘Guided Democracy’ [Soekarno]
Following the harsh and disruptive colonial rule and World War Two, the Indonesian government, under Soekarno’s leadership, pursuit economic nationalism to restore state control of key economic sectors. In 1957, the seizure of foreign-owned assets was carried out for state consolidation and re-allocation. For instance, the ‘Peraturan Presiden Nomor 10 tahun 1959‘ (Government Regulation 10) disallowed foreigners from conducting businesses in specific areas. At the same time, the regulation forced the transfer of business ownership to local citizens.

In addition, under the guidance of the Bappenas [Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional] (National Planning Council), the Indonesian government focused on national development. The plan involved an estimated spending of $30 billion rupiah on an annual basis. Land reform was also conducted to nurture the development of the agricultural sector, as observed by the Basic Agrarian Law (Peraturan Dasar Pokok-Pokok Agraria).

1965 to 1997: ‘New Order’ [Suharto]
After the sudden political transition, Suharto led a major economic transformation that resulted in the rapid modernisation of Indonesia. Together with his team of Western-educated technocrats, also known as the ‘Berkeley Mafia‘, Suharto introduced liberal economic policies.

The BULOG [Badan Urusan Logistik] (National Logistics Body) was established in 1966 for price stabilization in the agriculture sector. To protect the interests of the locals, the government introduce price control measures to reduce inflationary pressures for crops, such as rice.

At the same time, the BIMAS (Mass Guidance Programme) was implemented in 1969 to nurture the rice industry through the provision of access to foreign technology. Also, Suharto capitalized on the Green Revolution by providing disease-resistant and high-yielding varieties.

As a result, Indonesia flourished tremendously from its successful efforts in raising rice production. In fact, agriculture contributed to nearly one-third of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Another critical aspect of Indonesia’s rapid economic growth can be traced to its emphasis on export-oriented industrialization (EOI). It began with the provision of incentives to attract foreign investment, such as the New Investment Law of 1967, which guaranteed no corporate tax for specific projects.

Additionally, financial liberalization was pursued in the 1980s. For example, the government allowed the deregulation of money markets, as evidenced by the increase in number of private local banks from 63 in 1988 to 165 in 1995. By 1990, the privatization of the Jakarta Stock Exchange promoted investment activities. These changes can be explained by the easing of licensing regulations for foreign banks.

Hence, we can observe that the 1980s and 1990s were a notable period in which the government played a secondary role, thus allowing the private sectors to guide the economic development of Indonesia.

Furthermore, the government tapped on the economic expertise and domestic capital of its Chinese-dominated private businesses to flourish the economy. By 1996, a group of domestic conglomerates became the key pillar of the economy, such as the Salim Group (e.g. Indomie!) and Astra Group.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand this country-specific case study:
– How important was the government in shaping the economic development on Indonesia after independence? [to be discussed in class]

After analyzing this case study, review your knowledge comprehension by answering JC History essay questions. Alternatively, you can sign up for our JC History Tuition and find out how you can organise your answers effectively.

On a similar note, we encourage you to join other JC tuition programmes, such as GP TuitionEconomics TuitionJC Chemistry TuitionJC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuitionclasses, we offer Secondary English TuitionSecondary Math tuitionSecondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to find out more!

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - How did Thailand advance its economy - JC History Essay Notes

How did Thailand advance its economy?

Understanding the ‘Land of Smiles’
To comprehend the vast landscape of Thailand’s economic development, it is important to organise the assessment by time periods, lasting from 1938 to 1997. In general, the economic development was largely guided by strong government intervention. Under the guidance of the government, different sectors were being developed, starting with agriculture, followed by industry and tertiary aspects (like tourism).

Find out how Thailand’s economy has developed over the years, as observed by the World Bank

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

1938 to 1957: Development of domestic capabilities
One of the central government policies, while under Phibun’s rule, was nationalization. Before the Siamese revolution of 1932, the economy was heavily guided by foreign investments from Western colonial powers, like the British. For instance, the government nationalized the British-American Tobacco Company. The Tobacco Act also restricted foreign participation in critical sectors. Over time, such policies allowed the locals to restore economic control in these areas.

In addition, the government formed the National Economic Development Corporation (NEDCOL) in 1954 to promote state-led industrialization. The Industrial Promotion Act provided tax exemption to encourage the participation of local manufacturers. As such, the protection of domestic firms from foreign competition gave them time to grow, thus contributing to economic growth.

1957 to 1980: Outward Expansion and Industrialization
Although Phibun was successful in achieving economic nationalism to undergo resource consolidation, the strong reliance on primary exports limited the extent of growth. Hence, the subsequent political leaders in this time period explored other options, particularly export-led industrialization.

The NEDCOL was reformed into the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) in 1950. The government formulated several plans to enhance the growth of Thailand. One notable target was the promotion of foreign investment. As such, the government established the Board of Investment (BOI) in 1959. Then, the Promotion of Investment Act was passed to provide various incentives for foreign investors to finance the industrialization process. For example, tax exemptions were granted to firms that imported raw materials for production.

Additionally, the government tapped on the favourable international climate, seen in terms of the Green Revolution (mid-1960s), to enhance the growth of the agriculture sector. The government introduced high-yielding and disease-resistant varieties (IR-8) to raise the output effectively. More importantly, diversification of crops helped to expand the sources of growth. For example, the farmers grew not only rice, but also rubber and maize.

Therefore, these policies have benefited the economy. The inflow of foreign investment was critical in financing the local projects, thus contributing to the development of infrastructure. Also, diversification proved to be an astute decision as the country grew as a result of multiple sectors.

1980 to 1997: Financial Liberalization and Tourism
Following the Crisis Decades, which saw a slight dip in the growth by the mid-1980s, the Thai government pursued export-led growth to sustain the economic development. To achieve this, there was strong emphasis on financial liberalization to attract the essential foreign investment and propel growth.

One of the most significant policies involved the establishment of the Bangkok International Banking Facility (BIBF), which provided tax incentives to numerous banks. As such, this enhanced credit access for exporters.

Besides, from the late 1980s to 1997, the Thai government nurtured the growth of the tourism sector through the support from private entities. The private firms were given more control in the provision of tourist-related services. As a result, the economy benefited from a surge in inflow of foreign currencies.

Nevertheless, it is important to consider the drawbacks of financial liberalization as it left Thailand vulnerable to speculative attacks in the 1990s, which culminated in the disastrous Asian Financial Crisis of 1997.

Concluding remarks
In retrospect, the Thai government played a crucial role in contributing to the growth of various sectors, starting with agriculture. Over time, the government also provided opportunities for the private businesses to play a larger role by the 1980s and 1990s.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand this country-specific case study:
– ‘Industrialization was the most crucial feature that explained the growth of the Thai economy.’ Discuss. [to be discussed in class]

After examining this country-specific case study, it is important for you to apply this knowledge to essay questions. Join our JC History Tuition as we teach you to form logical and well-analyzed arguments effectively. Also, we provide useful summary notes and outlines to raise the productivity of revision sessions.

Furthermore, you can join other JC tuition classes, like GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition to get ready for the A Level examinations. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Contact us at 9689 0510 to learn more!

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - How did Singapore achieve rapid economic growth - JC History Essay Notes

How did Singapore achieve rapid economic growth?

Singapore: An Asian Tiger
Ever since Singapore achieved independence in August 1965, the government embarked on an ambitious goal of transforming the young nation into a bustling, modern country that has become the role model for others. From independence to 1997, Singapore has been recognised as one of the front runners in Southeast Asia. Today, Singapore is known for many things, including financial and tourism activities.

Examine the reasons for Singapore’s economic success.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

1959 to 1965: Merger & Separation – Singapore’s path to independence
Before Singapore began its rapid economic transformation, the British colonial rule played a crucial role in providing the infrastructure and systems to commence this phenomenal change. In particular, the British capitalized in the strategic location of Singapore in the Southeast Asia to develop it for entrepôt trade.

Additionally, migrants from other parts of Asia began to set foot in the ‘Little Red Dot’, thereby providing labour for manufacturing and services. However, the devastation of the World War Two can be observed, such as the destruction of public infrastructure.

On 5 October 1960, Albert Winsemius was invited by the United Nations Development Programme team to review the country’s ability to carry out industrialisation. Winsemius concluded in the report that high-tech industrialiastion was indeed important, as well as the promotion of foreign investment. As such, the government developed the Jurong Industrial Estate, marking the first step towards industrialization.

1965 to 1985: An outward-oriented approach
Following the sudden declaration of Separation, Singapore had to contend with its own small market, which lacked natural resources that other neighbouring countries possessed. Furthermore, the British declared its intent to withdraw by 1971, which meant that Singapore would have lost a major source of employment and economic growth.

In contrast to other Southeast Asian economies, Singapore began its export-oriented industrialisation (EOI) strategies much earlier. The purpose of EOI was to address the above-mentioned challenges, such as the reliance on trade and foreign investment to propel growth. For example, policy incentives were introduced, like the Economic Expansion Incentives Act (1967) that lowered taxation for specific industries.

Additionally, the government tapped on its only available resource – labour – to enhance its international competitiveness. Vocational training institutes were established to equip its citizens with the skills and knowledge to support the multinational corporations (MNCs). On 1 April 1979, the Vocational and Industrial Training Board (VITB) was formed to facilitate the training of workers in the ‘commercial, industrial and service sectors’.

The government’s efforts had paid off, as seen by the rapid economic growth and falling unemployment rates. EOI and the attraction of foreign investment have led to the influx of foreign companies, which contributed to job creation and higher industrial output.

1985 to 1997: Adaptation to changing economic conditions
However, there were setbacks that limited the extent of Singapore’s economic success. Notably, the Crisis Decades in the 1970s, led to an economic recession in 1985. By opening up the nation to trade, it became vulnerable to external shocks.

Nevertheless, effective adaptation has ensured that the Singapore economy remained resilient in the face of such challenges. For example, Singapore focused on a productivity-driven growth through the’wage shock therapy‘ from 1979 to 1981. The 1985 recession prompted the government to reduce Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution rates to keep cost of production low. This response was critical as it helped to maintain employment at low and stable levels.

Finally, economic restructuring was carried out, in response to the Strategic Economy Plan (1991) by the Economic Planning Committee. Its purpose was to maintain the country’s international competitiveness through economic diversification. Therefore, heavy investment was made to develop the financial and tourism sectors.

Concluding remarks
In summary, the Singapore government’s consistent policymaking and responses to economic challenges have played a major role in realising the aims set by the ‘founding fathers’ of the young nation. As of 2017, Singapore’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated at US$329.91 billion, demonstrating their successful efforts.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand this country-specific case study:
– How far do you agree that the promotion of foreign investment was the most important factor in explaining the economic transformation of Singapore after independence? [to be discussed in class]

In view of the Singapore case study, it is imperative that you apply your knowledge to practice questions. Sign up for the JC History Tuition and learn how to organise your answers and provide well-analysed arguments to ace the GCE A Level History examinations.

Additionally, you can join other JC tuition classes, like GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition to be ready for the GCE A Level examinations. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to register now!

JC History Tuition Bishan Singapore - How did Malaysia develop its economy - JC History Essay Notes

How did Malaysia develop its economy?

About Malaysia’s economic development
The Malaysian economy underwent a stable transition from colonial rule to independence. It started out as an export economy that began to modernise via industrialization and agricultural reforms. The introduction of the New Economic Policy (NEP) in 1970 was a major turning point as the government took on an active role that led to successful economic development.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Economic Development after Independence
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 1: Paths to Economic Development

1957 to 1969: [Alliance] Minimal government intervention
At the early stages of independence, Malaya had an export economy that focused on tin mining and rubber. Also, given its large geographical size, agricultural development was featured as well.

As such, the Malaysian government established the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) in July 1956 to facilitate the resettlement of the rural poor into newly-developed areas. Under the Land Development Act, FELDA contributed to the re-distribution of land to the Malay settlers.

Besides, the government introduced indirect forms of intervention, as seen by the Pioneer Industries Ordinance in 1958, which nurtured the growth of import-substituting industries. As a result, the manufacturing sector grew in the 1960s.

1970 to 1980: [Barisan Nasional] New Economic Policy
Although there were attempts at economic development in the 1950s and 1960s, the progress were arguably inadequate. Therefore, the New Economic Policy (NEP) [Dasar Ekonomi Baru] was introduced by the government to pursue poverty alleviation and socio-economic restructuring.

The government invested substantially on rural development in the 1970s and 1980s, as evidenced by the intensification of the FELDA schemes. In fact, nearly RM15.1 billion was spent on the the development of human and physical capital to improve the well-being of the population.

Furthermore, the Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PNB) was formed in March 1978 to enhance economic equity. As part of the NEP, the PNB raised the share of ownership for the bumiputera (i.e. indigenous community). For example, the PNB acquired shares of major foreign-owned corporations, such as Sime Darby (1979).

Besides, the Free Trade Zone Act was passed in 1971 to facilitate export-oriented industrialization (EOI). The government aimed to create a conducive business environment to attract foreign investors.

1981 to 1997: National Development Policy
Under the guidance of Mahathir, the Malaysian government engaged in economic diversification to maintain international competitiveness.

In the industrial sector, there was a major transition towards heavy industrialization. In 1980, the Heavy Industries Corporation of Malaysia Berhad (HICOM). In 1990, the Diversified Resources Berhad (DRB) was established. The DRB-HICOM eventually became one of Malaysia’s top corporations that oversaw automotive manufacturing, assembly and distribution. The main purpose of this corporation is to undertake joint ventures with foreign companies, such as Volkswagen and Honda. In fact, the national car, ‘Proton‘, was developed in the process.

More importantly, the New Economic Policy (NEP) was concluded in 1990 and replaced by the National Development Policy (NDP). Mahathir envisioned a fully-industrialized Malaysia through the use of technology, as described by the Action Plan for Industrial Technology Development (1990). This could be traced back to the formation of the National Council for Scientific Research and Development in 1975. As such, the government invested heavily in Research and Development (R&D). For example, the budget for 7th Malaysia Plan (1996-2000) was at RM 3,049 million. Notably, the Multimedia Super Corridor was one of the foremost research projects to encourage the clustering of local and international firms that specialized in ICT (Information and communications technology).

Concluding remarks
In view of these three phases of economic development, it can be observed that there was a significant transformation that led to the attainment of economic growth. From the late 1980s to 1990s, the annual growth rate was estimated at 8.8%. Furthermore, there is a notable shift in focus from agriculture to heavy industrialization and even financial liberalization.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand this country-specific case study:
– How far do you agree that industrialization was the most important factor in explaining the economic transformation of Malayisa from independence to 2000? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have understood the basic considerations of Malaysia’s economic development, we encourage you to attempt essay questions to review your knowledge comprehension. You can consider joining our JC History Tuition as we guide you through a step-by-step process to form well-organized essay structures and generate arguments to support your answers effectively.

Besides, you can sign up for other JC tuition classes, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition to be ready for the GCE A Level examinations. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to register for the JC Tuition programmes.

What is the role of the United Nations Secretariat

What is the role of the United Nations Secretariat?

Role of the UN Secretariat
The Secretariat is one of the six main organs of the United Nations and is headed by the UN Secretary-General [UNSG].

The UNSG is described as the ‘de facto’ head’ of the international organization and acts as the ‘chief administrative officer’ as stated in Article 97 of the UN Charter.

Additionally, as outlined in Article 99, the UNSG has the responsibility of ‘[bringing] to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security’.

Topic of Study [For H1/H2 History Students]:
Paper 1: Safeguarding International Peace and Security 
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme III Chapter 2: Political Effectiveness of the UN in maintaining international peace and security

In the following part, we will examine the contributions of each UNSG during their respective terms in the period of 1945 to 2000.

1. [1946-1952] Trygve Lie
As the first official Secretary-General of the United Nations, he took the lead in managing various international issues, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1948 and the Korean War in 1950. However, Lie was impeded by Cold War politics during the latter conflict.

Lie condemned the North Korean invasion and supported the US-led UN coalition that repelled the attacks. As such, Soviet Union perceived Lie as a pro-West, biased UNSG and blocked Lie’s reappointment. Eventually, Lie resigned from the UN.

2. [1953-1961] Dag Hammarskjöld
In contrast to Lie, Dag Hammarskjöld was looked up to by many as the role model for United Nations, given his outstanding contributions during his term.

First, Hammarskjöld’s negotiations with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai had paid off as the latter agreed to release the American pilots, who were prisoners-of-war during the Korean War.

Second, Hammarskjöld oversaw the creation and deployment of the first-ever peacekeeping troops, known as the United Nations Emergency Forces [UNEF], that facilitated the withdrawal of foreign troops in Egypt during the Suez Canal Crisis of 1956.

Third, Hammarskjöld once again led the formation of the United Nations Operation in the Congo [ONUC] to deal with the Congo Crisis in 1960. He made sure that the ONUC comprised of ‘middle powers’ to circumvent great power politics that frequently caused political deadlock within the Security Council.

However, the UNSG died in a plane crash in 1961, causing the abrupt end to his illustrious career.

3. [1961-1966] U Thant
Following Hammarskjöld’s untimely death, U Thant was appointed to replace him. Although U Thant was recognised for his efforts in overseeing the management of Third World issues, given the growing membership in the 1960s [due to the decolonization of the Afro-Asian bloc], his achievements were marred by several failures.

After the Suez Canal Crisis, the UNEF I oversaw a ten-year transition period and was stationed in Egypt. Yet, U Thant quickly acceded to Egyptian president Nasser’s request to withdraw the UNEF I from Sinai, thus indirectly causing the start of the Six-Day War in 1967.

Furthermore, U Thant’s harsh criticisms towards American involvement in the Vietnam War proved detrimental to his role as the UNSG. In 1966, he put forward a three-stage proposal for conflict resolution. Yet, the US ignored and bypassed his efforts.

4. [1972-1981] Kurt Waldheim
The Austrian diplomat, Kurt Waldheim, played a significant administrative role during his term. Partially, his cautious approach to avoid being criticized or hindered by the Great Powers proved successful, as evidenced by his reappointment for the second term.

For example, Waldheim was successful in responding to the apartheid regime [institutionalized racial segregation] in South Africa and Namibia. His open statements towards the inhumane regime galvanized the General Assembly into action, as seen by the adoption of the Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.

However, Waldheim proved to be unsuccessful in managing conflicts that involved Great Powers directly, especially the superpowers. For instance, Waldheim was hindered by Soviet Union during the Soviet-Afghan War in 1979.

5. [1982-1991] Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
The Peruvian diplomat, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, was recognised for his successful efforts, partly due to the changing international climate. In the 1980s, the Cold War continued to be a hindrance as observed by the lack of progress during the 1980 Iran-Iraq War. Likewise, the US-backed proxy conflicts in Central America, such as Nicaragua, were problematic as US constantly relied on the use or threat of veto to block de Cuéllar’s diplomatic efforts.

Fortunately, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the end of the Cold War proved fortuitous for him as the superpowers became more supportive of UN efforts.

For example, the UNSG was now able to set up the United Nations Good Offices Mission in Afghanistan and Pakistan [UNGOMAP] to facilitate the withdrawal of Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Clearly, this was a stark contrast as compared to his predecessor’s time.

6. [1992-1996] Boutros Boutros-Ghali
In the post-Cold War period, Boutros-Ghali contributed to several noteworthy successes. During the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia [1978-1993], he oversaw the deployment of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia [UNTAC] to facilitate a smooth political transition, such as the monitoring of elections.

However, Boutros-Ghali also encountered failures, such as the Somali Civil War [1992] and Rwandan Genocide [1993]. For example, unfavourable local conditions led to the departure of UN forces in Somalia, resulting in the failed attempts to provide humanitarian assistance to the civilians.

7. [1997-2006] Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan explored other roles besides the monitoring of peacekeeping missions, as observed by his pursuit of structural changes within the United Nations.

For example, Annan engaged in UN reforms to overcome structural issues through the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ [R2P] framework. Also, he advocated the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, which covered objectives like the proliferation of education, gender equality and poverty reduction.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand the case study:
– How far do you agree that Cold War rivalry was the greatest obstacle in affecting the effectiveness of the UN Security Council? [to be discussed in class]

Apart from analyzing various case studies in this broad and vast theme on the United Nations, you can also join our JC History Tuition to assess your knowledge application skills. We teach students to think critically and write persuasively. Furthermore, we use different teaching approaches to engage students as they learn to grasp concepts effectively.

Also, we offer other JC tuition classes, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to sign up for the JC Tuition programmes to get discounts.

JC History Tuition Bishan Bedok Singapore - How did trade protectionism affect economies in the 1970s - JC History Essays - Global Economy Notes

How did trade protectionism affect economies in the 1970s?

Why did countries engage in trade protectionism?
In view of the Golden Age of Capitalism that took place from 1945 to 1973, the Bretton Woods System was established, in which the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) facilitated the liberalization of world trade. Over time, free trade seemingly proved beneficial to trading partners, as evidenced by benefits like access to larger markets and cheaper raw materials.

However, international trade also meant that firms were open to more intense forms of competition. Clearly, developing nations were disadvantaged due to obstacles like inadequate infrastructural support and financing. In contrast, developing nations possessed the capacity to support their multinational corporations (MNCs) in maintaining international competitiveness. Therefore, some member nations gradually imposed trade protectionism, thus reversing the liberalization effects caused by GATT.

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 2: Reasons for problems of the global economy 

In the subsequent sections, we will study the limitations of free trade and the methods of protectionism that eventually caused the slowdown in the growth of the global economy in the 1970s and 1980s. Students should pay attention to the significance of trade protectionism with respect to other contributing factors that affect the Crisis Decades, such as the Third World Debt Crisis and the Oil Shocks.

1. Limitations of Free Trade
Although free trade is arguably beneficial to most economies, critics of economic liberalization remained hesitant to embrace this policy approach.

One reason is that free trade leaves many economies vulnerable to the volatile international markets. Trade-oriented growth can be disastrous as the fluctuating business cycles determine the growth and decline of economies.

Furthermore, should firms remain incapable of coping with international competition, their closure results in the rise of unemployment, thereby jeopardizing the social and political stability of nations.

2. [Developed Nations] Trade Protectionism: Rise of Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs)
As such, governments in the industrial world introduced protectionism. In general, these measures can be grouped under a common type, known as ‘non-tariff barriers’ (NTBs).

NTBs comprised of different versions, like the provision of subsidies to local goods, strict standards and voluntary export restraints (VERs). For example, the US introduced the VERs in the 1980s, which affected the Japanese automakers. The US government perceived the increasingly popular Japanese automobile exports to be a significant threat to its trade position. In 1981, US introduced a VER in which Japan was pressured to reduce its export volume of cars. This created an artificial shortage of Japanese exports, thus raising their prices. As such, American automakers could profit from this effect.

Consequently, the share of imports restricted by NTBs increased extensively in the developed world, such as USA and Japan, thus causing a fall in the world output.

3. Consequences: A slowdown in the global economy
As a result of trade protectionism, the world economy experienced a major slowdown, which was further exacerbated by other problems like the Oil Shocks and the Third World Debt Crisis.

For example, the imposition of trade protectionism meant that MNCs were less mobile. Therefore, the the surge in market pessimism caused the decline in trading and investment activities. Given that these economies activities are vital for growth, the use of protectionist measures resulted in the economic slowdown in many developed nations.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand this economic issue:
– How far do you agree that the Crisis Decades was primarily caused by the rise of trade protectionism in the 1970s? [to be discussed in class]

In view of the trade protectionism problem that undermined the development of the global economy, we advise students to apply this knowledge to JC History essay questions. This is to ensure that what you know can be understood and applied effectively. Join our JC History Tuition and learn to synergize your knowledge of various factors to form persuasive and logical arguments. We teach students to do factor analysis and comparison through numerous class practices and discussions.

Additionally, you can consider other JC tuition classes, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Bishan Bedok Tampines Singapore - What caused the Third World Debt Crisis - JC History Essays - Global Economy Notes

What caused the 1980s Third World Debt Crisis?

What happened during the Third World Debt Crisis of the 1980s?
In the 1970s, developing nations were in need of financial support to carry out their economic development. As such, the governments took loans from international banks and developed nations. However, poor resource management resulted in the accumulation of debts, which was worsened by external factors like petrodollar recycling. By 1985, the total external debt rose to $1,017 billion, causing severe disruption to the international banking system.

Examine the origins of the Third World Debt Crisis: How oil production affected debtor nations?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 2: Reasons for problems of the global economy 

In the following sections, we will look at the contributing factors of the Third World Debt Crisis and its consequences on the global economy. This case study is crucial as students are expected to be weigh the significance of the Debt Crisis, with respect to other factors like the Oil Crisis of the 1970s and trade protectionism.

1. [OPEC] Cause #1: Petrodollar Recycling
One of the major contributing factors of the Third World Debt Crisis was related to twin oil shocks in 1973 and 1979. The OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) profited tremendously from the artificial oil shortage, thus accumulating ‘petrodollars’. With these excess profits, the OPEC members invested in international banks. Subsequently, these banks lent money to developing countries.

However, as these developing nations accepted loans to purchase raw materials and oil to facilitate economic development, the external shocks in the global market led to the expansion of foreign debts.

2. [USA] Cause #2: Volcker Shock
The second contributing factor relates to the US government’s response to the high inflation rates that plagued their economy. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, proposed the increase in interest rates to combat the double-digital inflation caused by the 1979 oil shock.

The Federal Reserve hiked its interest rates from 10.25% to 20% by March 1980. Consequently, higher interest rates led to higher costs of loan repayments for borrowers. For example, the total interest payment for Latin American countries increased by 360% from 1978 to 1983.

3. [Third World Nations] Cause #3: Mismanagement of Loans
Internally, it can be argued that some of these debtor nations were ineffective in managing their loans. In particular, the money was used for other purposes, besides economic development. For instance, inept leaders diverted the loans to the purchase of military equipment.

Besides, a large proportion of the loans were used to purchase oil and inflated prices. As a result of the interest rate hike (as discussed earlier), loans were also used to finance interest payments. Hence, it is clear that some of these nations were unable to repay their loans.

4. [Third World Nations] Consequence #1: Economic slowdown
In view of the debt accumulation, one significant impact is the slowdown in economic growth for debtor nations. Governments were unable to focus on economic development as they lacked the finances to function. Furthermore, Third World nations experienced a decline in living standards as many citizens suffered from extreme poverty.

Latin American countries, such as Mexico and Brazil, defaulted on loans, which caused severe disruption to the international financial system. For example, Mexico declared its inability to finance the loans in Aug 1982, which caused a cascading effect on other neighbouring countries.

5. [IMF] Consequence #2: Washington Consensus and SAPs
As such, these countries turned to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for solutions, such as debt re-scheduling or even cancellation. the IMF proposed a ‘bailout’ strategy, which was known as the ‘Structural Adjustment Programmes’ (SAPs).

To ensure these debtor nations are committed to the repayment of loans, the IMF imposed a set of strict conditions before loans were handed to them (i.e. Neo-Liberalism). In short, countries must adopt a policy of macroeconomic stabilization, trade liberalization and privatization.

Contrary to IMF’s expectations, the bailout was more of a hindrance than help to the indebted countries. For example, governments were forced to cut spending (i.e. austerity measures) to reduce debt. Yet, this meant that less subsidies were given to keep the price of necessities low, thereby resulting in higher cost of living. Eventually, the aim of debt reduction was not achieved.

Note to students: In fact, this IMF ‘bail-out package’ was accepted by some of the Southeast Asian governments during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis (Paper 2 Theme II topic), which also created problems for their economies.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand this economic issue:
– How far do you agree the debt crisis of the 1980s was more severe than the oil shocks of the 1970s? [to be discussed in class]

Following the thorough analysis of the Third World Debt Crisis, it is imperative to apply your newfound knowledge to practice questions. Sign up for our JC History Tuition and learn to form cohesive and persuasive arguments that answer a wide range of A Level History essay questions effectively.

Besides, you can consider other related JC tuition classes, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to learn more.

JC History Tuition Bishan Bedok Tampines Singapore - What caused the energy crisis of the 1970s - JC History Essays

What caused the energy crisis of the 1970s?

What was the oil shocks about?
Following a period of rapid economic modernization, also known as the ‘Golden Age of Capitalism‘, the world witnessed a sudden turn of events that resulted in the gradual decline in this fast-paced growth, ushering the ‘Crisis Decades‘. The twin oil shocks that took place in 1973 and 1979 were the result of geopolitical conflicts that involved the key driver of the global economy – USA – as well as the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) that dictated the output of oil. In general, the surge in oil prices dealt a significant blow to many economies, including USA, reflecting the significance of oil as an essential resource for households and firms.

Learn more about the causes and consequences of the energy crisis of the 1970s

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Global Economy (1945-2000)
Section B: Essay Writing
Theme II Chapter 2: Reasons for problems of the global economy 

In the next section, we will look at the background causes to understand what happened during the energy crisis of the 1970s.

1. [USA] 1973 Oil Crisis: Causes
There were two major factors that contributed to the start of the 1973 Oil Crisis – the dismantling of the ‘Gold Standard’ (US Dollars -Gold) fixed exchange rate system as well as the Yom Kippur War.

On 15 Aug 1971, US President Nixon announced that the United States would cease to maintain the Gold-USD standard fixed exchange rate system, which was based on the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement. Consequently, the loss of market confidence towards the USD resulted in its depreciation (fall in currency value). In contrast, many firms and investors valued gold, contributing to the surge in gold prices.

However, the depreciation of USD undermined the OPEC as their export revenue (earnings from the sale of oil) was in USD. Therefore, OPEC lost a significant proportion of its export earnings.

The second factor was the Yom Kippur War, which began on 6 Oct 1973. Following Israel’s victory during the Six-Day War in 1967, both Egypt and Syria deployed its military to attack Israel on a religious day for the Jewish population, known as the Yom Kippur. Several weeks later, Nixon sought Congress funding of $2.2 billion to provide military backing for Israel.

2. [OPEC] Oil Embargo of 1973: Consequences
In view of the American intervention in the Yom Kippur War, the OPEC members in the Middle East, such as Egypt and Syria, protested by engaging in an oil embargo. This embargo persisted even after the end of the Yom Kippur War, thus triggering a global energy crisis.

The price of crude oil surged from $3/barrel to $12/barrel in 1974. The oil crisis was arguably a major cause of the economic recession in the developed economies from 1973 to 1975.

In the US, the economy experienced stagflation, in which there was high inflation, high unemployment and slow economic growth rates. Unemployment rate peaked at 9% in 1975.

In the UK, it experienced a fall in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) by 3.9% in the same time period. Also, the UK experienced double-digit inflation that went beyond 20%.

3. [USA & OPEC] 1979 Oil Crisis: Causes
The energy crisis resurfaced in the late 1970s. Primarily, the Iranian Revolution of 1979 was a major contributing factor that led to the spike in oil prices. After the departure of the Shah of Iran, the world supply of crude oil fell significantly.

4. 1979 Oil Shocks: Consequences
Similar to the 1973 energy crisis, the oil shortage was detrimental to the oil-dependent economies. The price of crude oil increased to nearly $40/barrel from 1979 to 1980.

In the US, many households were forced to undergo conservation, since petrol and fuel were needed for transport and other domestic purposes (like cooking). Also, the automobile companies, such as Detroit’s “Big Three” (General Motors, Chrysler and Ford) suffered from the oil spike.

In contrast, Japanese manufacturers adapted to the situation by producing fuel-efficient automobiles, which then captured a significant market share in the global industry.

On a separate but related note, the OPEC earned a significant sum from the sale of petroleum exports – known as ‘petrodollars’. OPEC members then placed their earnings in international banks, which were handed out to developing nations as loans. Later, this petrodollar recycling process was known to have contributed to the ‘Third World Debt Crisis‘ of the 1980s.

What can we learn from this case study?
Consider the following questions to understand this economic issue:
– How far do you agree that the energy crisis of the 1970s was more significant than the debt crises of the 1980s in causing the problems of the global economy? [to be discussed in class]

Now that you have studied the key considerations, you can enhance your knowledge application skills through the answering of History Essay questions. Join our JC History Tuition and find out how we teach you to form clear and logical arguments to answer fundamental and complex questions effectively and efficiently.

Furthermore, we offer other complementary JC tuition classes, such as GP Tuition, Economics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition classes, we offer Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. Call 9689 0510 to learn more.