AP US History : Global Participation 1946–1980

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US History

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Example Questions

Example Question #7 : 1946–1980

"It did not take atomic weapons to make man want peace...But the atomic bomb was the turn of the screw. It made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country."

J. Robert Oppenheimer, commencement address, 1946

How did the invention of atomic weapons affect the development of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States?

Possible Answers:

The stockpiles of nuclear weapons that both countries possessed ensured that they would avoid open conflict

The Soviet Union's advantage in nuclear weaponry canceled out the larger conventional military possessed by the United States

The United States parlayed its invention of nuclear weapons into a lasting advantage by developing the Trident submarine-launched ballistic missile system

The Soviet Union placed nuclear warheads in several South American countries to increase its ability to strike the United States

Correct answer:

The stockpiles of nuclear weapons that both countries possessed ensured that they would avoid open conflict

Explanation:

During the Cold War, the acknowledgement of mutually assured destruction guaranteed that conflicts between the U.S. and USSR would be fought by proxy, such as the wars in Afghanistan and Vietnam.

Example Question #8 : 1946–1980

"It did not take atomic weapons to make man want peace...But the atomic bomb was the turn of the screw. It made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country."

J. Robert Oppenheimer, commencement address, 1946

Which of the following events reflected the change in relations between countries that Oppenheimer predicted in the wake of the atomic bomb?

Possible Answers:

the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961

the launch of Sputnik in 1957

the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962

the resolution of the Suez Canal Crisis in 1957

Correct answer:

the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962

Explanation:

Although all of the events took place during the post-nuclear era, the Cuban Missile Crisis is most closely associated with a world on the brink of destruction due to atomic war. The risks associated with war demanded a diplomatic solution. 

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