Unit 11: Cold War

Cold War

In 1945 the world rejoiced at the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, yet new conflicts began to emerge.  The war time alliance between the United States and the Soviet Union is quickly falling apart and with their conflicting ideologies these two Superpowers soon find themselves at odds. Engaging in smaller limited wars these two superpowers thwart the others foreign policy goals in battlefields spanning the globe. Thus emerges the Cold War as these two Superpowers begin an age of espionage, suspicion and fear.  This new age, will define the world as nations are caught in the middle of the epic struggle between these conflicting superpowers.


Cold War Essential Questions:

  • Is a ideological war more dangerous than a physical one?
  • What conditions and issues led to mistrust between the U.S. and USSR, thereby leading to the Cold War?
  • What methods did the U.S. use to attempt to stop the spread of communism in Eastern Europe?
  • What impact did the successful Chinese Communist Revolution have on the Cold War?
  • Why did Mao feel the need to institute programs such as the Great Leap forward and Cultural Revolution and what were their consequences?
  • Why did the U.S. turn to military action to stop communist aggression in Korea and Vietnam?
  • How did the Cuban Missile Crisis change the scope of the Cold War?
  • How did the Nixon Administration approach the evolving nature of the Cold War in the late 1960s and 1970s?
  • What role did the Reagan and Bush Administrations play in the eventual end of the Cold War in the late 1980s?


Unit 11 Classroom Notes


Unit Question

As a society we often get caught up in the good guys bad guys label. We like simple conflicts in which the good guys are good and the bad guys bad. However conflicts are rarely, if ever, so clear cut. The United States has often claimed and is frequently credited for having the moral high ground during the Cold War. Using the documents from Homework Assignments 1-12, determine to what extent was the United States or the Soviet Union the morally superior nation (the good guys). You should evaluate the nations based on their policies, words and actions from 1945-1991.