Essay Planning: Paper 2 Practice Questions
Causes, practices and effects of war
Compare and contrast the causes of the Korean War and Vietnam War.
The Korean War lasted from 1950 to 1953 and the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1975.
After World War II, as a result of an anti
Communist containment strategy, Korea
and Vietnam were both divided, along with two other countries, Germany and
Vietnam was, like Korea, split in two: North and South Vietnam. Both North
fractions were Communist.
both were ex
colonies that became independent after the Second World War and
were divided by the action of external powers;
both were civil wars;
aders, on both sides, in both w
ars claimed to be nationalists
both were Cold War conflicts with external involvement;
The intervened in both
in both wars communist force
s fought anti
communist forces (war based on
Korean War resulted from a series of border clashes, the invasion of the south
by the communist north, and a UN resolution, in response to which a US led force
landed and drove back the invaders.
The Vietnam War started later, as part of the US policy of
containment. More US
“advisers” were sent to the south, and the north sought Soviet and Chinese
permission and aid to invade the south. The North attacked US ships, and
President Lyndon Johnson ordered retaliatory bombing.
Topic 5: The Cold War
How important was mutual suspicion and fear in the origin of the Cold War.
The mutual suspicion, fear, and outright hostility between the United States and
the Soviet Union grew out of ideological differences and concrete actions
stretching back to World
War I and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. These
differences were briefly set aside for a portion of World War II. Following the
Nazi invasion of Russia in June 1941, Washington and Moscow entered into what
has been called a “strange alliance.” This anti
German union of convenience and
necessity temporarily muted the tensions between the two countries. But
disagreement over such issues as the timing of the second front and antagonistic
visions of postwar Europe pushed the United States and the Soviet Unio
n into a
“Cold War” within months of the end of World War II.
Look at the causes/ roots of the Cold War
Policy of Containment; fear of the spreading of Communism.
Communism is viewed as a danger and aggressive, however communist
countries view ca
pitalism as such.
This idea of containment led to the
involvement of the US in the Vietnam
Nuclear weapons changed how international relations were conducted.
The nature of security was psychological as the US and the Soviet Union
were unsure and ac
ted on what they assumed to happen. For example, the
creation of the atomic bomb by the US, created fear in the Soviet Union
because they were unsure if it would be used against them; they felt
insecure so they sent spies to see how the atomic bomb was mad
e s they
could make their own and potentially feel “safer” or have a way to strike
back if attacked.
The Soviet Union under Stalin was paranoid. The US
was driven in large part by the fear of another depression.
Yalta and Postdam Conf
4. Compare and contrast the parts played by Korea and Vietnam in the Cold War.
A good way to approach this question would be from the perspective of the causes,
development, and end of the Cold War
First proxy War. Proxy War
sing powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting
each other directly.
Insighted fears against Marxism
Triggered the fears of the domino theory
Difference: Korea played a bigger role in expanding the Cold War as it pushed the
conflict out to the d
ifferent areas (south
Triggered fears of domino theory
Korea didn’t have as
Kennedy seen as weak and saw Vietnam as he saw it as an easy win
Both were products of civil war (internal conflicts)
It was also North
vs. South. The US tried to establish a democratic south whereas the
North wanted to remain communist
While both the Korean War (1950
53) and the Vietnam War (1962
75) played significant roles
in the duration of the Cold War, the Korean W
ar contributed more to the causes and
development of the Cold War, whereas the Vietnam War’s role was more concerned with the
latter stages of the development and the start of the end of the Cold War.
was the first proxy war, heightened ten
sions and brought the Communist threat to Asian
leads to fear and contributes to Domino Theory, coincided with China’s involvement
in CW. Massive increase in CW tension which gave rise to McCarthyism etc.
on the other hand, occurred du
ring détente (1960s and 1970s), meaning it did not play
a part in causing the Cold War. Vietnam didn’t significantly raise the level of tension
went on regardless of Vietnam.
introduced China as a major player in global affa
irs due to its intervention when US
crossed Chinese borders, stalemate signified change in leadership for USSR (1953), therefore
tensions between countries lowers since USSR is unwilling to support N. Korea. A short war.
Not much media exposure.
part of US containment policy, foreshadowed the end of détente and would form the
basis for the continuation of the Cold War. A long war. Media war.
did not affect the end of the Cold War since it ended in 1953. Korean situation not
by the end of the Cold War.
Created a massive public uprising against the Vietnam War and against the Cold War
in general, human rights abuse by US soldiers while in South Vietnam and Diem’s corruption
immolations, mass killings in S Vietn
amese villages) and raised awareness (Daniel
Ellsburg), which deepened divide in Kent University between state and people
reasons for US involvement
Due to the occurrence of the Korean War in between two wars, it is not an error to
referenced as the Forgotten War
while it contributed much to the causes of the Cold War and
the early parts of its development, it did not play any major roles in the end. The Vietnam War,
on the other hand, had a much more lasting effect, and not
just because it was crucial in the
development and the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Its effects can still be seen today, in
the veterans of the unsuccessful US forage into Vietnamese affairs, and the influence it plays in
popular media and pop cu
lture (i.e. Watchmen, Frost Nixon).