NATO Created, 1949
This is a student-created answers to the eight questions assigned for the reading, "NATO Created - 1949." These are model answers. How do your answers compare?

Creation of NATO

Step 8: Effect of the Berlin Blockade: Why did the United States join NATO?

Read the document, “NATO Created - 1949,” (it’s in the shared reading folder) and answer the following eight questions.

1. What does NATO stand for?                         

NATO stands for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

2. Why was the U.S. signing on to NATO a historic moment for the United States?                 

The US signing on to NATO was a historic moment because it was the first treaty they signed with a European nation since 1778.

3. What was the purpose of NATO?                      

NATO was a military alliance of 12 nations that served as defense against the Soviet Union.

4. What did Article 5 state?        

Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty states that if one of the countries involved was targeted, it was the duty of one of other countries involved to intervene.

5. Explain the following statement: “NATO was created to keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the Americans in.”                

The statement “NATO was created to keep the Russians out, the Germans down, and the Americans in” refers to the purpose of drafting the treaty. “Keeping the Russians out” points toward the desire of the countries involved to have a guaranteed defense against the Soviets, one of the main reasons NATO was created. Also, the treaty was enacted in order to serve as a way to suppress possible future insurgence in Germany, thus keeping “the Germans down.” Additionally, France knew that the US would be integral in repelling Soviet forces, thereby creating the treaty in order to solidify US assistance. Therefore, “NATO was created to keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the Americans in.”

6. Why did France consider NATO to be most useful?                      

France considered NATO to be most useful in taming Germany, as that was their priority even as late as 1949. Involving other countries such as the US who had previously tried to evade commitment in providing European defense would make it easier to do so.

7. What advantages did NATO offer to: Britain, France, W. Germany, and the United States?              

NATO offered a variety of advantages to Britain, France, West Germany, and the United States. The treaty provided Britain and France with US support and a permanent military presence on the continent, viewed to be integral in constructing an effective defense against the Soviet Union. Additionally, the treaty gave France a method of taming Germany and quelling insurrection within, as they were given the aid and insurance of other countries’ presence. West Germans were given a closer connection to Britain, as it was a strong European country offering protection from the Soviet Union. NATO provided the United States with political as well as military advantages, as it shared the responsibility of protecting the allies against Soviet hostilities, valuable bases, and the foundation of West German contribution to defence. Therefore, NATO was beneficial for Britain, France, West Germany, and the United States.

8. In your opinion, could West Germany gain its independence without the creation of NATO? Why?        

West Germany would not have gained its independence without the creation of NATO. First, the treaty dissuaded Soviet aggression, helping avoid the spreading of Soviet influence into West Germany, allowing it to be independent. Also, the addition of the United States to the treaty helped European countries such as Britain accept West Germany as a separate state, considering it an independent entity. By investing interest in West Germany and making it a priority under NATO, West Germany appeared a much different atmosphere than that of East Germany, directly leading to its split in May 1949. Therefore, the NATO treaty was instrumental in allowing West Germany to gain its independence.

Jeffrey Hyer,
Nov 1, 2014, 8:32 AM