Short Answers: Create a Historical Argument



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Cold War Activity
Short Answers: Create a Historical Argument (answer the Question w/o restating the question) and support with 2-5 pieces of Historical Evidence


1. Recognize Ideologies The banner carried by these East German demonstrators in the autumn of 1989 reads, “Improve Politics--only with new Government.” Explain the meaning of this slogan. What ideology are the demonstrators protesting against? Describe the historical background of this protest.
2. Identify Assumptions Explain how the Soviet political and economic system differed from economic and political systems in democratic, capitalist countries. Why do you think the Soviet systems failed?
3. Recognize Cause and Effect Explain how public opinion in the United States influenced the decisions of presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon concerning the Vietnam War.
4. Make Comparisons Draw some comparisons between the situation in the city of Berlin and the global rivalry between the superpowers during the Cold War. In what ways did life in the city reflect the international conflict?

5. Synthesize Information During the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union confronted each other indirectly by supporting opposite sides in local conflicts. Explain how the Cuban situation in the late 1950s and early 1960s was an example of this type of indirect conflict.


“So we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense we’ve come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.

This note was a promise that all men . . . would be guaranteed the inalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. . . .

The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.”

–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream” speech. Delivered on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.


6. Identify Central Issues Read the excerpt above from the speech Dr. King delivered during a civil rights march on Washington, D.C. in 1963.What does Dr. King mean when he says he has come to Washington to cash a check? What does Dr. King say to his followers about the way they should conduct their struggle? What are the central issues driving this protest?
7. Make Comparisons Compare and contrast communist command economies and capitalist market economies. How are prices determined in each? Who owns property? Which system does a better job satisfying the needs of most people? Why do you think this is so?
8. Recognize Propaganda In the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy was concerned about the spread of communism in American society and government. Explain how he conducted his search for communists and its result. What does the term “McCarthyism” mean? Do you think McCarthy may have been motivated by goals other than the security of the United States? Explain your answer.
9. Recognize Cause and Effect Explain how a political crisis in the Middle East in the early 1970s led to a serious recession in the United States and other industrialized democracies in 1974. Do you think the same problem could occur today?
10. Summarize Describe Japan’s “economic miracle” that took place between 1950 and 1970. Why was Japan so successful during this period? Why do you think the United States supported Japan’s economic success even though Japan was in competition with the United States?


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