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JC History Tuition Online - When did Poland declare martial law - End of the Cold War Notes

When did Poland declare martial law?

Topic of Study [For H2 and H1 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Cold War (1945-1991)
Section A: Source-based Case Study
Theme I Chapter 3: End of Bipolarity [Popular movements in the West and the Eastern bloc to end the Cold War]

Learn more about the external responses to the Polish government’s declaration of martial law on 13 December 1981 [Video by Transdiffusion Broadcasting System].

Historical context: Rise of Solidarity
The trade union Solidarność (Solidarity) was formed on 30 August 1980 following a strike action (also known as ‘Lenin Shipyard strike’) led by a factory electrician Lech Walesa at the Gdańsk Shipyard. The strike was a response to the Polish government’s price hike for food in 1980.

At that time, the government gave in to the demands of the strikers, leading to the Gdańsk Agreement being signed. This Agreement allowed worker representation through the Solidarity.

The most important stipulation of the [Gdańsk Agreement] was that it recognised the workers’ right to set up a free trade union, independent from the state and the governing communist party. This stipulation gave ground for the future registration of the “Solidarność” trade union, which later played a historic role in the peaceful overthrow of communism in Poland and directly entailed its fall in other European countries.

An excerpt taken from “Changing Industrial Relations and Modernisation of Labour Law” by Dr. Roger Blanpain and Manfred Weiss.

The martial law
This first legal free trade union formed in the communist Central and Eastern Europe soon gained widespread following. Within two weeks, the Solidarity’s membership size ballooned to nearly 10 million. Members included state employees.

The Solidarity became a non-violent social movement, engaging in civil resistance to protect the rights of workers. In September 1981,Walesa was elected President of the Solidarity.

In view of the growing popular opposition in Poland, the Polish Prime Minister General Jaruzelski declared martial law on 13 December 1981. Many Solidarity leaders were arrested and the political groups were forced to close down.

Our country is on the verge of an abyss. The achievements of many generations raised from the ashes is collapsing into ruin. The state structures no longer function.

Our extinguished economy is given more shocks every day … The atmosphere of never ending conflicts, misunderstanding, hatred, sows mental devastation, hurts tradition of tolerance. Strikes, strike alerts and protest actions have become standard.

[…] We cannot let these demonstrations be the spark causing a fire in the country.

The self-preservation instinct of the nation must be taken into account. We must bind the hands of adventurers before they push the country into civil war.

An excerpt taken from the Prime Minister General Wojciech Jaruzelski‘s speech on the day martial law was declared, 13 December 1981.

As a result of the martial law, the Solidarity union was now made illegal. The Polish streets were filled with armed soldiers and tanks. While the Soviet news publications justified the necessity of martial law in Poland, the Western reception was contrastingly negative.

In particular, US President Ronald Reagan addressed the Americans with great concern on the Polish situation. In his speech, he condemned the oppressive responses on the Polish people and vowed to impose economic sanctions on the government.

On 22 July 1983, martial law in Poland was officially suspended. However, the Solidarity movement reorganised itself underground.

The Polish Government has trampled underfoot solemn commitments to the UN Charter and the Helsinki accords. It has even broken the Gdansk agreement of August 1980, by which the Polish Government recognized the basic right of its people to form free trade unions and to strike.

[…] The United States is taking immediate action to suspend major elements of our economic relationships with the Polish Government. […] These actions are not directed against the Polish people. They are a warning to the Government of Poland that free men cannot and will not stand idly by in the face of brutal repression.

An excerpt taken from the US President’s “Address to the Nation about Christmas and the Situation in Poland“, 23 December 1981.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the fear of ideological expansion was the key reason for the declaration of martial law in Poland?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about End of the Cold War. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition . Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the Mischief Reef incident - South China Sea Dispute

What is the Mischief Reef incident?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security – relations between ASEAN and external powers)

Learn more about the South China Sea dispute. [Video by BBC News]

What is the ‘Mischief Reef’?
The Mischief Reef has many names: The Philippines calls it the Panganiban Reef, whereas China describes it as 美濟礁 (Meiji Reef) and the Vietnamese labels it as Đá Vành Khăn. It is a low-tide elevation located in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Although the Mischief Reef is within the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which was established as within 200 nautical miles from the country as stated by 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III), China has made claims to this disputed territory.

The Mischief Reef is located within the Spratly Islands, in which China was known to have built military installations in 1994 and 1995. [Map extracted from Forbes]

The dispute
On 8 February 1995, the Philippine authorities identified eight Chinese ships in the vicinity of the Philippine-claimed Mischief Reef. In April 1995, these authorities publicised the arrest of 62 Chinese fishermen in the hotly-contested area, charging them with the violation of international law. The situation deteriorated when the Philippines identified Chinese markers on the Mischief Reef and other islands.

In response, the Philippines declared its intention to built 7 lighthouses to assert Filipino claims and support international navigation. Additionally, the government internationalised the matter, hoping to garner support from its long-term ally, the USA, which was bounded by the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.

The 1995 China/Philippines incident involving Mischief Reef (Meijijiao/Panganiban) may have had its origins in September 1994, when the Philippine armed forces detained some 55 fishers from the People’s Republic of China who tried to set up homes on one of the islands claimed by the Philippines. They were charged with illegal entry and illegal possession of explosives. In what may have been a tit-for-tat, China detained 35 Filipino fishers for a week in late January 1995 in the area of the Spratlys which the Philippines claimed and calls Kalayaan. Then on February 8, 1995, the Philippines accused China of breaking international law by stationing armed vessels at, and building structures on, the feature it calls Panganiban (Mischief Reef).

An excerpt taken from “Sharing the Resources of the South China Sea” by Mark J. Valencia, Jon M. Van Dyke and Noel A. Ludwig.

Although China ratified the UNCLOS III in 1996, she provoked the Philippines and Vietnam by using a method of measurement to calculate her territorial waters. This method was applicable only to countries that are archipelagic, yet China was not classified as such.

ASEAN Response
On 18 March 1995, ASEAN Foreign Ministers issued a joint statement in view of the Mischief Reef incident, expressing concern over the regional stability in the South China Sea. Although the statement intentionally omitted any mention of China, it was clearly directed at this active claimant. As described by the former Thai diplomat Pavin Chachavalpongpun, ASEAN member nations raised the matter on the South China Sea dispute, hoping to engage China amicably.

At the first meeting of the ASEAN and Chinese senior Foreign Ministry officials, in April 1995 in Hangzhou, a forum that I had proposed the year before, the ASEAN delegations raised pointed questions about the Chinese position on the South China Sea and particularly about the developments on Mischief Reef.

[…] Nevertheless, the discussions were significant, being the first time that China dealt with the South China Sea question in a multilateral setting, as opposed to its preference for discussing it only bilaterally.

An excerpt taken from “Entering Uncharted Waters? ASEAN and the South China Sea” by Pavin Chachavalpongpun.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the South China Sea dispute was effectively managed by ASEAN?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about ASEAN and the South China Sea dispute. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition . Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - When did Indonesia get West Papua - Interstate Tensions Notes

When did Indonesia get West Papua?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 1: Inter-state tensions and co-operation: Causes of inter-state tensions

Learn more about the West New Guinea Dispute of 1962 [Video by British Pathé]

Historical background: The West New Guinea dispute
After the Netherlands ceded sovereignty to Indonesia on 27 December 1949, the Dutch retained control over the Western part of New Guinea (also known as ‘West Irian’). Its native inhabitants, the Papuans, have occupied the land for over 40,000 years.

More importantly, the Dutch continued to occupy West New Guinea for strategic reasons. The Netherlands can not only capitalise on the resource-rich territory, but also maintain its regional presence in Southeast Asia. In contrast, Sukarno believed that Indonesia should take control of West New Guinea to complete the decolonisation process.

According to the Netherlands, the 700,000 inhabitants of West Irian were racially and culturally unrelated to the Indonesians. Indonesia’s position was that its nationalist project had a territorial, rather than a racial, basis and was rooted in common suffering endured during the Dutch colonial occupation.

An excerpt taken from “Self-Determination in Disputed Colonial Territories” by Jamie Trinidad.
JC History Tuition Online - West New Guinea Map - Interstate Tensions Notes
Map of the West Papua under the Dutch role before 1962 [Extracted from CQ Press]

International responses
In 1954, Indonesia raised its concerns of West New Guinea in the 9th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Then, Sukarno garnered support from the Afro-Asian nations during the Bandung Conference in April 1955.

International opinion on the matter was divided. While Indonesia had the backing of the Afro-Asian nations, the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies, the Netherlands was supported by Latin American nations and other key Western powers like the USA and the UK. Notably, Australia opposed Indonesia’s claim of West New Guinea, citing security concerns as the former administered the eastern part of the disputed territory.

There were, of course, no immediate direct results to be anticipated from this but it served notice on the world that the Indonesian struggle for West Irian now officially had behind it the support of virtually all the independent and semi-independent nations of Asia – including Communist China – and Africa, the populations of which comprised the vast majority of mankind.

An excerpt taken from “The Dynamics of the Western New Guinea Problem” by Robert C. Bone.

By 1960, more nations supported the aim to put an end to the West New Guinea dispute. On 27 November 1961, the UNGA failed to pass a resolution on the dispute as some member nations favoured the resumption of Dutch-Indonesian talks while others preferred an independent West New Guinea. Consequently, Sukarno was certain that a military campaign was necessary to wrestle control from the Dutch.

Operation Trikora & New York Agreement
On 19 December 1961, Sukarno ordered the Indonesian military to commence a full-scale invasion of West New Guinea. In response, the Dutch ramped up its military presence. Fortunately, the military operation ended when the both parties agreed to sign the New York Agreement on 15 August 1962. Under General Assembly Resolution 1752 (XVII), the United Nations would administer West New Guinea temporarily before the territory is handed over to Indonesia.

The stand-off between the Netherlands and its former colony resulted in a crisis in December of 1961 when Indonesian President Sukarno prepared for and threatened armed conflict. An agreement was negotiated under the supervision of the UN as a result of strong political pressure from the USA. […] The New York Agreement provided for a UN-supervised popular consultation in order to give the Papuans the freedom of choice in determining their future.

An excerpt taken from “Peacebuilding and International Administration: The Cases of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo” by Niels van Willigen.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that the Indonesian Confrontation broke out due to ideological differences.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about Inter-state Tensions. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the United Nations Malaysia Mission - Interstate Tensions Notes

Revisited: What is the United Nations Malaysia Mission?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 1: Inter-state tensions and co-operation: Causes of inter-state tensions

Historical background: The Conflagaration in Malaysia
When the Malayan Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman proposed the concept of a Malaysia Federation in May 1961, there was no outright objection by the neighbouring countries, including Indonesia. However, Indonesian sentiments changed in January 1963, whereby the Foreign Minister Dr. Subandrio declared a policy of Konfrontasi (Confrontation) towards Malaysia. Indonesian troops engaged in cross-border raids and anti-Malaysia propaganda was spread to oppose the formation.

The Manila Accord: A truce?
Even so, the parties involved were not completely opposed to make amends through diplomacy. From 7-11 June 1963, the Philippine President Macapagal hosted a meeting in Manila for Indonesian President Sukarno and the Tunku.

During the meeting, the leaders signed the Manila Accord, which expressed their mutual desires to consider the wishes of the people in North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak when deciding on the formation of the Malaysian Federation. In particular, the results of a referendum would be taken into account based on the context of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), Principle 9 of the Annex that advocates the principle of self-determination.

(b) The integration should be the result of the freely expressed wishes of the territory’s peoples acting with full knowledge of the change in their status, their wishes haying been expressed through informed and democratic processes, impartially conducted and based on universal adult suffrage. The United Nations could, when it deems it necessary, supervise these processes.

An excerpt taken from the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1541 (XV), Principle 9 of the Annex.

The United Nations Malaysia Mission
Following the signing of the Manila Accord, the United Nations Malaysia Mission led by Secretary-General U Thant was formed in August 1963 to ascertain the wishes of the people of North Borneo and Sarah prior to the creation of the Malaysian Federation. The Tunku agreed a referendum would be held before the Federation was formed, whereas Sukarno would not oppose the Federation if the majority supported it.

However, the Tunku’s decision to sign the London Agreement on 9 July 1963 was deemed problematic by Sukarno. The Agreement stated that the Malaysian Federation would be formed on 31 August 1963. Chronologically, the United Nations Malaysia Mission Report was only published on 14 September 1963, suggesting that the Tunku’s move may have been premature and a violation of the Manila Accord.

But even before anything had been done, before anything had been ascertained, before the U.N. mission’s inquiry had been completed, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putera already insisted that on 16 September Malaysia should be formed.

Why should he make decisions even while the U.N. team’s work was still not completed?

[…] Likewise, I am not pleased by the manner in which the people’s desires were assessed. In Manila, I said that the survey should be conducted in a manner in accordance with article 1541 of the U.N. [Charter], that the survey should be a truly democratic one.

An excerpt taken from Sukarno’s speech at an anti-Malaysia mass rally in Yogyakarta, 25 September 1963.

Notably, the United Nations Malaysia Mission Report concluded that “there is no doubt about the wishes of a sizeable majority of the peoples of these territories to join in the Federation of Malaysia”. Even so, U Thant expressed dismay at the Tunku’s decision to set an official date for the formation of Malaysia even before the report was concluded.

I later informed the Governments concerned that I would endeavour to report my conclusions to them by 14 September. During the course of the inquiry, the date of 16 September 1963 was announced by the Government of the Federation of Malaya with the concurrence of the British Government, the Singapore Government and the Governments of Sabah and Sarawak, for the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia. This has led to misunderstanding, confusion, and even resentment among other parties to the Manila agreement, which could have been avoided if the date could have been fixed after my conclusions had been reached and made known.

An excerpt taken from the United Nations Malaysia Report titled “Final Conclusions of the Secretary-General“, 14 September 1963.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the Konfrontasi occurred mainly as a result of political disagreements?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about Inter-state Tensions. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea - ASEAN Notes

What is the ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security – relations between ASEAN and external powers)

Historical context: Contestation of maritime boundaries and islets
The South China Sea dispute involves the contestation of islets and maritime boundaries by different countries, both ASEAN and non-ASEAN related. In the early 1990s, claimants in the ASEAN-6 had to deal with external powers, namely Vietnam (until it joined ASEAN in 1995) and China. Within the South China Sea lies one of the most hotly contested Spratly Islands, which are claimed by China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei.

Given that the Cold War came to an end by the late 1980s, the American disengagement had left behind a power vacuum in Southeast Asia, giving China the opportunity to fill the void up. To ally concerns among member nations, ASEAN made collective efforts to engage external powers amicably, as seen by its establishment of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in 1994.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the ASEAN Declaration of 1992.

ASEAN Ministerial Meeting of 1992
During the 25th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 1992, the regional organisation formed the ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea as a tangible response to manage inter-state tensions in South China Sea.

Also known as the ‘Manila Declaration‘, it urged claimants to exercise self-restraint and consider joint cooperation amicably. The Declaration was built on the foundation of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) of 1976, which advocated principles of non-aggression.

1. EMPHASIZE the necessity to resolve all sovereignty and jurisdictional issues pertaining to the South China Sea by peaceful means, without resort to force;

2. URGE all parties concerned to exercise restraint with the view to creating a positive climate for the eventual resolution of all disputes;

[…] 4. COMMEND all parties concerned to apply the principles contained in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia as the basis for establishing a code of international conduct over the South China Sea;

An excerpt taken from the 1992 ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea, 22 July 1992.

All bark and no bite?
However, not all external powers were supportive of the ASEAN Declaration. Similar to the USA, China was initially supportive of the Declaration. Yet, it was responsible for the ‘Mischief Reef‘ incident in February 1995. The Philippines discovered Chinese military installations being built at the Reef, antagonising other claimants. In retaliation, the Philippines arrested Chinese fishermen and destroyed Chinese territorial markers in following month.

Despite having expressed support for the ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea during the 26th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in July 1992, Beijing built structures on the Mischief Reef, which was also claimed by the Philippines, in 1994. Soon after the Mischief Reef episode in early 1995, Filipino and Chinese representatives met in August in an attempt to resolve their differences. A Joint Statement on PRC-RP Consultations on the South China Sea and on Other Areas of Cooperation was subsequently signed on 10 August 1995. Despites this, in January 1999, the Chinese were again constructing structures on another part of Mischief Reef.

An excerpt taken from “The South China Sea Dispute Revisited” by Ang Cheng Guan.

Notably, the USA took a rather hands-off approach in response to the South China Sea dispute in spite of its expressed interest to support the ASEAN Declaration. Even after the Mischief Reef incident, the USA insisted that the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty did not apply to the disputed occupation of the Mischief Reef, leaving its former Cold War ally disappointed.

ASEAN recognized the intrusion as a test of its 1992 Declaration and, acting with unprecedented cohesion, called “specifically” for the “early resolution of the problems caused by recent developments in Mischief Reef”. ASEAN’s remarkable success in forcing Chinese officials to discuss the South China Sea — despite their insistence that it should be dealt with bilaterally and not between China and ASEAN as a group — left the Americans largely unmoved.

[…] Washington made it clear that the provisions of their 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty did not apply, leaving a disappointed Philippines, which lacked a credible defence force, to fend for itself. The failure of U.S. surveillance satellites and sea or air patrols to detect six months or more of Chinese construction on Mischief Reef aggravated bilateral relations.

An excerpt taken from “Entering Unchartered Waters? ASEAN and the South China Sea” by Pavin Chachavalpongpun.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that ASEAN was successful in maintaining regional security in the post-Cold War period?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about ASEAN. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What is the Warsaw Pact and what is its purpose - Cold War Notes

What is the Warsaw Pact?

Topic of Study [For H2 and H1 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Cold War (1945-1991)
Section A: Source-based Case Study
Theme I Chapter 1: Emergence of Bipolarity after the Second World War II

Learn more about the Warsaw Pact that was signed in Poland, officiating the formation of a Soviet-led collective defense force [Video by Simple History]

The Warsaw Treaty: A pact; A commitment
On 14 May 1955, the Soviet Union and seven other Eastern European nations (Albania, Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria) signed the Warsaw Treaty, which officiated the creation of the Warsaw Pact. This Pact represents a mutual defense grouping that worked under the leadership of the Soviet Union.

The Warsaw Treaty, which was also known as the Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance, was signed right after West Germany joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). Both NATO and the Warsaw Pact stood on opposing ends of the Cold War, establishing the Western and Eastern blocs respectively.

Article 4

In the event of armed attack in Europe on one or more of the Parties to the Treaty by any state or group of states, each of the Parties to the Treaty, in the exercise of its right to individual or collective self-defence in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations Organization, shall immediately, either individually or in agreement with other Parties to the Treaty, come to the assistance of the state or states attacked with all such means as it deems necessary, including armed force. The Parties to the Treaty shall immediately consult concerning the necessary measures to be taken by them jointly in order to restore and maintain international peace and security.

An excerpt from the Warsaw Pact Treaty, 14 May 1955.

As seen from Article 4 of the Warsaw Treaty, all members of the Warsaw Pact were obligated to aid any individual member that was attacked or threatened by an external aggressor. This Article is similarly applied in the North Atlantic Treaty under Article 5.

Keeping the satellite states in line
The Warsaw Pact’s main objective was to consolidate power for the Soviet Union. Notably, the Pact authorised Soviet troops to be stationed in the satellite states, discouraging any member nation from exiting the Eastern bloc.

Yet, the Warsaw Pact was put to the test a year after its formation, as seen in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Likewise, the Pact was invoked once more in Czechoslovakia in response to the 1968 Prague Spring.

[Nagy] announced formally that Hungary would quit the Warsaw Pact and would ask the four Great Powers to guarantee Hungary’s neutrality ‘with immediate effect’.

Hungary’s neutrality declaration continues to puzzle historians. There are some in Russia – no apologists for the Communist era – who argue that it was the last straw for the Kremlin, the move that convinced the Soviets to send the tanks rolling back into Budapest. Leaving the Warsaw Pact was a desperate gamble but the logic was simple. It would remove the Soviets’ treaty rights to intervene in Hungary. Legally, instead of offering assistance to an ally, they would be attacking an independent, sovereign state.

An excerpt from “Twelve Days: Revolution 1956. How the Hungarians tried to topple their Soviet masters” by Victor Sebestyen.

However, the Pact was not a complete success as seen by the withdrawal of Albania in 1968, which intensified the Sino-Soviet split.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– How far do you agree that the Warsaw Pact was an organisation formed primarily for defense?

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Cold War. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Online - What was the main objective of the Baruch Plan - Cold War Notes

What was the main objective of the Baruch Plan?

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Topic of Study [For H2 and H1 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Cold War (1945-1991)
Section A: Source-based Case Study
Theme I Chapter 1: Emergence of Bipolarity after the Second World War II

Find out more about the historical significance of nuclear weapons and their development in the Cold War. [Video by The Cold War]

“Before a country is ready to relinquish any winning weapons, it must have more than words to reassure it.”

Bernard M. Baruch, June 1946.

Historical context
In August 1945, the United States dropped two atomic bombs, ‘Little Boy’ and ‘Fat Man’, on Japan. As a result of their destructive capabilities, Japan surrendered, securing an American victory that ended the Second World War (WWII).

Afterwards, the Truman administration held a discussion, contemplating on the sharing of atomic secrets with the Soviet Union. The meeting was attended by notable officials, like Secretary of War Henry Stimson and State Department official George Kennan. The general consensus was that the end of US atomic monopoly may erode Russian suspicions and avert an arms race. Interestingly, Kennan opposed the notion of revealing their trump card to the Soviet Union, claiming that the Soviets could not be trusted.

In 1945 and the succeeding several years three broad policy options were available to the United States government. First, it could actively strive to reach an agreement with other countries for the international control of nuclear energy. […] A second option opposed this position. It emphasized the advantages that could be attained from exclusive American control of the new technology. […] The third and final broad option took shape only towards the end of the 1940s, after the harsh antagonisms of the Cold War had imposed their icy grip on international relations. This option proposed a preventive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union.

An excerpt from “Nuclear Fallacies: How We Have Been Misguided since Hiroshima” by Robert W. Malcolmson.

Enter Bernard Baruch
In early 1946, the USA proposed the establishment of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC). ITs role was to control the development and proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. An advisor to US Presidents, Bernard Mannes Baruch, present proposal to the United Nations.

When Baruch made the proposal on 14 June 1946, he included the need for international control and inspection of nuclear production facilities. Baruch’s proposal was based on the Acheson-Lilienthal report, which sought control of all activities deemed dangerous to global security.

Yet, he made a clear point that the USA would keep its monopoly over nuclear weapons until the proposal was put into action. Although Baruch claimed that it was the ‘last, best hope of earth’, the Soviet Union objected, offering a counterproposal to ban all nuclear weapons. It was not surprising that the USA rejected the Soviet Union’s suggestion.

By summer, it had become hopeless. The distinguished Chicago sociologist Edward Shils lamented the new status quo: “At present the situation is so unpromising as far as atomic energy control as such is concerned that even if the Soviets were to accept the majority plan, the American people and their leaders might indeed be too distrustful of the Soviets to accept their scheme which they themselves had proposed.” In June, the majority (supporters of a modified Baruch Plan) and the Soviet Union had hardened their stances to a deadlock, and in the fall of 1948 the UNAEC referred the issue to the General Assembly. It would bounce around for another year, only to die quietly in November 1949 after Soviet proliferation rendered the issue moot.

An excerpt taken from “Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly” by Michael D. Gordin.

The Soviet Union asserted that the USA could use its atomic monopoly to coerce other nations into accepting its plan. Eventually, the Plan fizzled out. The USA insisted on retaining its monopoly as a deterrent against the Soviet troops amassed in Eastern Europe.

Arms Race
By 1949, the notion of arms control was a lofty one. In September 1949, the Soviet Union tested a nuclear device successfully, ending the US atomic monopoly.

As the shock of the Russian bomb wore off, the Truman administration seemed outwardly unaffected by the atomic monopoly’s end. The President’s own repeated public assurances that the Soviet test had not taken the United States unawares even seemed an implicit argument against any steps to counter the Russians’ achievement. But Truman’s claim that the government had not been surprised was freely contradicted by a consensus of newspaper and magazine articles following announcement of the test.

An excerpt taken from “The Winning Weapon: The Atomic Bomb in the Cold War, 1945-1950” by Gregg Herken.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that the failed Baruch Plan contributed to the start of the nuclear arms race in the late 1940s.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Cold War. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

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JC History Tuition Online - What was the purpose of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks - End of the Cold War Notes

What was the purpose of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks?

Topic of Study [For H2 and H1 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Cold War (1945-1991)
Section A: Source-based Case Study
Theme I Chapter 3: End of Bipolarity [Collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War]

Find out more about the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks [Video by Pritzker Military Museum & Library]

Historical context: Putting a halt to the arms race
Following the 13-day Cuban Missile Crisis, US President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev realised that the superpowers were dangerously close to nuclear annihilation, thus seeking to ease tensions. The Soviet leader once noted that both superpowers “had been squared off against each other, each with its finger on the button”. Subsequently, the two leaders were in consensus of banning nuclear testing.

On 5 August 1963, the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed by the United States, the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union. It was a remarkable development as negotiations took only 12 days before the Treaty was officially signed. A notable clause in the treaty states that prohibition of “nuclear weapons tests or other nuclear explosions under water, in the atmosphere, or in outer space”.

On 12 March 1964, the Conference of the Eighteen-Nation Committee on Disarmament was held in Geneva, Switzerland. Deputy Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, Adrian S. Fisher proposed a “verified freeze of strategic nuclear vehicles, both offensive and defensive”. Fisher continued, “That verified freeze, together with the third point, relating to a halt in the production of fissionable materials for weapon uses, would go far towards curbing the nuclear arms race”.

Yet, the Treaty had failed to slow down military build-up. In the mid-1960s, the Soviet Union and United States developed their own anti-ballistic missile (ABM) capabilities.

Preliminaries: SALT I
On 20 January 1969, US President Richard Nixon received a statement submitted by the Soviet Foreign Ministry to deliberate on strategic arms limitations. The Strategic Arms Limitation Talks were held in Helsinki, Finland, running from 17 November to 22 December 1969.

SALT I concluded with the signing of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABMT), which was signed by Richard Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev on 26 May 1972. The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty I (SALT I) restricted the number of strategic ballistic missile launchers at current levels, Additional submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launchers could only be developed after the same number of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and SLBM launchers had been dismantled. Notably, SALT I had laid the foundation for subsequent arms control agreements.

The objective of the ABM Treaty, in essence, is to eliminate the deployment of a large-scale ABM strategic defense, making each party a hostage to the other. The ABM Treaty was amended in 1974 by a protocol reducing each party’s permitted deployment areas from two to one, thereby reducing strategic defense deployments to a level just short of abolition.

[…] The treaty prescribes reviews every five years; the first such review was in 1977, and subsequent reviews were held in 1982, 1988, 1993, and 1999.

While the system the United States chose to deploy (Grand Forks) was placed on inactive status in 1976, after only six months of operation, the Russian ABM defense around Moscow remains operational, though its effectiveness is uncertain.

An excerpt taken from “Cornerstones of Security: Arms Control Treaties in the Nuclear Era” by Damien J. LaVera and Thomas Graham Jr.

Continuation: SALT II and breakdown
The second round of talks took place in late 1972. These talks lasted till 1979 under the aegis of three successive Presidents, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. During the Vladivostok Summit of 1974, Ford and Brezhnev came to a consensus on establishing a framework of a SALT II agreement. Eventually, the SALT II Treaty was signed by Carter and Brezhnev in Vienna on 18 June 1979.

The main goal of SALT II was to replace the Interim Agreement with a sustained comprehensive Treaty that provided broad limits on strategic offensive weapons. For instance, the agreement included a “2,400 equal aggregate limit on strategic nuclear delivery vehicles (ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers) of the sides”.

Yet, the Treaty never took effect formally. Although the 1972 ABMT restricted a range of nuclear weapons, there were unresolved matters. The USA was concerned with the Soviet Union’s obsession with the arms race. In contrast, the Soviet Union held suspicions towards the USA due to the latter’s strategic relationship with communist China.

Similarly, the new Tu-22M ‘Backfire’ bomber, which could be used for both conventional and nuclear missions, was far more capable than the older Tu-16s and Tu-95s that preceded it, and became a particular problem in the SALT II negotiations held during the Carter administration.

The non-ratification of the 1979 SALT II Treaty marks the end of this period of the Cold War. The pace of the Soviets’ strategic modernization, and the rapid deployment of accurate MIRVs on their ICBM force in particular, called the entire arms control process into question. SALT II capped the numbers of delivery vehicles on both sides, and imposed limits on the numbers of warheads each could carry. Critics believed it also locked the US into an increasingly dangerous strategic position.

An excerpt taken from “Arms Races in International Politics: From the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century” by Thomas Mahnken, Joseph Maiolo and David Stevenson.

With reference to the illustration below provided by Statista, nuclear warhead stockpiles did not diminish even though SALT I and SALT II were signed in the 1970s. The Soviet Union continued to increase its nuclear arsenal till the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was signed on 8 December 1987.

JC History Tuition Online- Nuclear Stockpile - Statista - End of Cold War Notes
Military build-up by the two Great Powers [Illustration by Niall McCarthy, Statista]

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the view that the breakdown of the arms control agreements was the main cause of the renewed Cold War confrontation in the early 1980s.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the End of the Cold War. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as JC Math Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition, Social Studies Tuition, Geography, History Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English, Math and Science Tuition . Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - How did Singapore respond to the Cambodian Crisis - ASEAN Notes

How did Singapore respond to the Cambodian Crisis of 1979?

Topic of Study [For H2 History Students]:
Paper 2: Regional Conflicts and Co-operation
Source Based Case Study
Theme III Chapter 2: ASEAN (Growth and Development of ASEAN: Building regional peace and security – relations between ASEAN and external powers)

Topic of Study [For H1 History Students]:
Essay Questions
Theme II Chapter 2: The Cold War and Southeast Asia (1945-1991): ASEAN and the Cold War (ASEAN’s responses to Cold War bipolarity)

Prelude to the CGDK: An enervating meeting
In view of the Vietnamese invasion and subsequent occupation of Cambodia in the late 1970s, ASEAN and its member nations including Singapore became increasingly concerned with this challenge posed to regional security.

In 1979, the Thai Foreign Minister Upadit Pachariyangkun and the Singapore Foreign Minister S Rajaratnam met the members of the outsted Pol Pot regime, such as Kheiu Samphan and Ieng Sary. During the meeting, Thailand and Singapore deliberated on the inclusion of other Cambodian factions to oppose the pro-Vietnamese puppet regime under Heng Samrin.

Notably, this meeting had set the stage for the creation of the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK) in June 1982. Rajaratnam made it clear to the Pol Pot leaders that they had to take a backseat, while the other two groups, namely Sihanouk’s royalist faction and anti-communists under Son Sann, led the coalition. This was because of the controversial atrocities committed Pol Pot regime in the 1970s that would have hindered efforts to garner international support.

Minister Rajaratnam reminded them of the horrors [the Pol Pot regime] had perpetrated and that they had no chance of getting international support without forming a coalition with other nationalist groups. […] While this discussion was going on, I observed that Ieng Sary’s wife, Ieng Thirith, was giving fierce looks at our Minister, boiling with anger, breathing heavily with chest heaving and subsiding as she listened to her husband’s requests being rejected. [..] We prevailed because they had no choice. We thus cobbled together a coalition under Prince Sihanouk.

An excerpt from a chapter entitled “Scenes from the Cambodian Drama” by Mr. S. Dhanabalan in “The Little Red Dot: Reflections by Singapore’s Diplomats” by Tommy Koh and Chang Li Lin.

Interactions with China
During a special International Conference on Cambodia in 1980, ASEAN had lobbied for a United Nations resolution to demand the immediate withdrawal of Vietnamese forces from Cambodia. During the Conference, a delegation that represented the People’s Republic of China (PRC) asserted that the Pol Pot regime should be reinstated, which drew criticisms due to moral and pragmatic reasons.

The Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Han Nian Long alleged that Singapore was involved in a conspiracy to influence the attendees of the Conference to oppose the return of the Pol Pot regime. In response, Dhanabalan disagreed, stating that there was an overwhelming majority that was against this move.

I was surprised to note how keen the U.S. was to accommodate the PRC’s request. I explained to the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State that it was not possible to accede to the PRC’s request as it was wrong and would not get any support from the conference. He ended the meeting by threatening that he would go over my head and take the matter up with Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore.

[…] PM Lee sent a note to the effect that the Foreign Minister represented the Singapore’s government’s position at the conference. It was a real life experience for me that interests and not principles determine the actions of big powers. The International Conference on Cambodia adopted a resolution that reflected ASEAN’s position.

An excerpt from a chapter entitled “Scenes from the Cambodian Drama” by Mr. S. Dhanabalan in “The Little Red Dot: Reflections by Singapore’s Diplomats” by Tommy Koh and Chang Li Lin.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the political effectiveness of Singapore’s efforts in response to the Third Indochina War.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the Regional Conflicts and Cooperation. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.

JC History Tuition Online - What role did Boris Yeltsin play in the collapse of the Soviet Union

What role did Boris Yeltsin play in the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Topic of Study [For H2 and H1 History Students]: 
Paper 1: Understanding the Cold War (1945-1991)
Section A: Source-based Case Study
Theme I Chapter 3: End of Bipolarity [Collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War]

Find out what happened on 19 August 1991 when Russian leader Boris Yeltsin opposed the coup attempt by the ‘Gang of Eight’ [Video by Simon Marks Reporting]

Cracks within the political system: A failed last ditch attempt
Since 1988, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev embarked on ambitious reforms, namely the perestroika and glasnost that reshaped the Soviet system. However, Gorbachev was faced with a problem. Soviet republics began to break away from the USSR, threatening its very existence.

In response, the Soviet leader proposed the New Union Treaty, which was submitted to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union on 23 November 1990. Yet, six of the fifteen Soviet republics (Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) were determined to declare independence. The remaining nine republics comprised of Russia, Byelorussia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Tajikistan, Turkmenia, and Uzbekistan.

Meanwhile, within the Soviet government, Gorbachev faced a bigger threat. Hardline politicians and military officials have begun to lose confidence in Gorbachev’s leadership, thinking that he was on the verge of bringing the Soviet Union to utter ruin. Notably, President Boris Yeltsin commented that the Soviet leader was not working fast enough.

From the outset, members of the elite had held different views about the reforms, with no one sure of the consequences of what they were doing, but some unutterably opposed. By 1989, that elite was split in three ways. […] Another, more conservative group opposed the course of reform. Some of these believed that all sorts of change were wrong, others accepted that some changes was needed but argued that the changes espoused by Gorbachev went too far too fast. […] The third group was headed by Boris Yeltsin, and believed that Gorbachev’s reforms went neither far enough nor fast enough.

An excerpt from “Building an Authoritarian Polity: Russia in Post-Soviet Times” by Graeme Gill.

The August Coup: Yeltsin’s resistance
On 18 August 1991, high-ranking officials that were hard-liners within the government placed Gorbachev under house arrest in Crimea. Although he was pressured to resign, Gorbachev declined to do so. Former vice president Gennady Yanayev came up with an excuse that Gorbachev was ‘ill’, so a state of emergency was declared. Then, the coup leaders (also known as the ‘Gang of Eight’) tried to take control of the government.

The following is a translated excerpt of Yeltsin’s speech in front of the parliament building, in which he denounced the coup and called for a general strike.

Citizens of Russia: On the night of 18-19 August 1991, the legally elected president of the country was removed from power.

Regardless of the reasons given for his removal, we are dealing with a rightist, reactionary, anti-constitutional coup. Despite all the difficulties and severe trials being experienced by the people, the democratic process in the country is acquiring an increasingly broad sweep and an irreversible character.

The peoples of Russia are becoming masters of their destiny. The uncontrolled powers of unconstitutional organs have been considerably limited, and this includes party organs.

An excerpt from President of the Russian republic Boris Yeltsin’s address to the Russian people, 19 August 1991.

In view of these shocking events, Yeltsin stepped up and called on the Russian civilians to oppose the coup. In a historic moment, Yeltsin climbed aboard a tank and spoke through a megaphone. He called the coup a ‘new reign of terror’ and even convinced some of the soldiers to join hands with the civilians to protest the coup. In three days’ time, the coup finally came to an end. Gorbachev was released.

The rise of Yeltsin: A new Russia
On 8 December 1991, Boris Yeltsin, as well as the Presidents of Ukraine and Belarus (Leonid Kravchuk and Stanislav Shushkevich) met to sign an agreement for the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Instead, a new entity known as the Commonwealth of the Independent States (CIS) would form the Russian federation. From then on, Yeltsin would legally become the de facto leader.

The news about Yeltsin’s speech on the top of a tank on the Red Square broke around the world. […] His rival Mikhail Gorbachev returned to his position of President of the weakened Union. But the power was already in the hands of Boris Yeltsin as President of the Russian Republic. He knew how to use power in order to eliminate his rivals. […] However, the better option for Yeltsin would be to dissolve it. The dissolution of the Soviet Union would immediately imply the elimination of the position of the President of the Union and thus the political death of the incumbent Mikhail Gorbachev.

An excerpt from “Global Trends in Eastern Europe” by Nikolai Genov.

What can we learn from this article?
Consider the following question:
– Assess the political factors that have caused the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Join our JC History Tuition to learn more about the End of the Cold War. The H2 and H1 History Tuition feature online discussion and writing practices to enhance your knowledge application skills. Get useful study notes and clarify your doubts on the subject with the tutor. You can also follow our Telegram Channel to get useful updates.

We have other JC tuition classes, such as GP TuitionEconomics Tuition, JC Chemistry Tuition, JC Math Tuition and China Studies in English Tuition. For Secondary Tuition, we provide Lower Secondary English Tuition, Secondary English Tuition, Secondary Math tuition, Secondary Chemistry Tuition and Secondary Economics Tuition. For Primary Tuition, we have Primary English Tuition. Call 9658 5789 to find out more.