Cold War era. Essential Understanding

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Standard 7-5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of international developments during the Cold War era.
Essential Understanding
Events during the Cold War affected the world politically, socially, and economically. To understand the significance of the Cold War, the student will utilize the knowledge and skills set forth in the following indicators:

7-5.1 Compare the political and economic ideologies of the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Who were the Superpowers of the Cold War?

The United States and the Soviet Union

What were the political differences between the United States and Soviet Union?

The United States had a limited government in the form of a representative democracy or constitutional government. The Soviet Union had an unlimited government in the form of a communist state.

What were the economic differences between the United States and Soviet Union?

The United States practiced capitalism, while the Soviet Union practiced socialism.

What did the United States and Great Britain want for the lands freed from control of the Axis Powers?

They wanted to these countries to have self-rule, constitutional governments, and capitalist systems.

What did the Soviet Union want for the lands freed from control of the Axis Powers?

Stalin wanted these lands to be communist with socialist systems.

What happened to Germany?

Germany was split into four occupation zones by the Soviets, Americans, British, and French.

How was West Germany formed?

The democratic zones merged together to form West Germany.

What was East Germany like?

East Germany had a communist government.

What happened to the capital city of Berlin?

Even though it was in East Germany, the capital was split into a democratic West Berlin and a communist East Berlin.

7-5.2 Summarize the impact of the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the United Nations, and the Warsaw Pact on the course of the Cold War.
What was “containment”?

This was a policy of the United States to stop the spread of communism and promote democracy.

What was the Truman Doctrine?

This United States’ policy gave money to Eastern European countries so they could enjoy democracy and individual freedom.

What was the Marshall Plan?

This plan gave money to Western European countries to help with reconstruction after WWII and prevent the spread of communism.

Why was the League of Nations replaced?

The League of Nations failed to prevent World War II.

What are the major differences between the League of Nations and the United Nations?

The UN could use military force and the United States joined the UN.

What was the greatest concern of the Cold War?

There was constant worry that any conflict between the superpowers would result in a war with the use of nuclear weapons, capable of world-wide destruction.

What was the Berlin Airlift?

The Soviets tried to block access to West Berlin by cutting off all land routes. For nearly a year, the Western Allies airlifted supplies to West Berlin by plane, forcing the Soviets to lift the blockade.

What was NATO?

This was military alliance of democratic nations formed to protect themselves against communist aggression. This included the United States, Canada, and ten western European countries including France and Great Britain.

What was the Warsaw Pact?

This was a military alliance of communist countries that included the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania.

7-5.3 Explain the spread of communism in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America, including the ideas of the satellite state (i.e., a country dominated politically and economically by another nation), containment, and the domino theory (i.e., the theory that if one country in a region comes under the influence of communism, the surrounding countries will follow in a domino effect).
What is meant by the term “satellite” countries?

These countries were freed from German control by the Soviets but they came under the influence and control of the Soviet Union.

What did the satellite countries have in common?

They were communist and located near the Soviet Union.

Why were the Soviets able to spread communism in Asia, Africa, and Latin America?

Many revolutions were taking place in these areas and the rebels needed money and support in exchange for establishing a communist government.

What was the Domino Theory?

The United States thought that if one nation fell to communism, then the next nation would fall, as well.

In Asia, how did China become communist?

Before and during part of World War II, China was involved in a civil war between the Communists, led by Mao Zedong, and the Nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek. After the war, Chairman Mao and the Communists took control.

What happened in Korea?

After World War II, Japan had to give up its territory of Korea. To avoid civil war, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel. North Korea became communist and South Korea was democratic.

What happened in Vietnam?

The French colony was seeking independence. The Soviet supported the rebels while the U.S. supported democratic leaders. Eventually, North Vietnam united the country into a communist nation.

What happened in Africa?

As African countries tried to get independence from imperial powers, the Soviets offered money and military support if the country became communist. The U.S. and other democratic countries of Europe also offered money and support if the countries became democratic.

What happened in Latin America?

Cuba became communist and with support of the Soviet Union, tried to spread communism in Central and South America.

7-5.4 Analyze the political and technological competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for global influence, including the Korean Conflict, the Berlin Airlift, the Berlin Wall, the Vietnam War, the Cuban missile crisis, the “space race,” and the threat of nuclear annihilation.
What was the Korean War?

North Korea invaded South Korea. The U.N. responded by sending troops. After three years of fighting, the division remained at the 38th parallel and a cease-fire was signed.

What was the iron curtain?

The Soviet Union controlled Eastern European countries which were communist. Western European nations were democratic. Winston Churchill described the communist countries as being “behind the iron curtain”.

Why was the Berlin Wall built?

There was a big difference between the prosperous democratic nations and the poorer communist countries. Therefore, many communists wanted to get to democratic nations. These differences were very obvious in Berlin and many from East Berlin wanted to go to West Berlin, so the wall was built to keep this from happening.

What was the Vietnam War?

Vietnam wanted its independence from France. The North Vietnamese defeated France and became communist. Vietnam was divided at the 17th parallel. In the south, the government was democratic but corrupt. The U.S. sent troops and fought for 15 years. Finally, the U.S. withdrew and the entire country became communist.

What was the Cuban Missile Crisis?

U.S. spy planes discovered Soviet missiles in Cuba. Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba and demanded that the missiles be removed. The Soviets demanded that the U.S. remove missiles in Turkey. Both nations complied and nuclear annihilation was avoided.

What was the arms race?

Both the U.S. and Soviet Union built up their militaries, increased their armaments, and developed hydrogen bombs.

What was the space race?

The Soviets launched Sputnik which spurred the U.S. into forming NASA and launching its own satellite and later, being the first to land on the moon.

7-5.5 Analyze the events that contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union and other communist governments in Europe, including the growth of resistance movements in Eastern Europe, the policies of Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, and the failures of communist economic systems.

Why did many communist countries begin to fail?

The people protested because they wanted political rights and a higher standard of living.

What happened after the fall of the Berlin Wall?

East and West Germany were united under democratic rule.

What happened in the Soviet Union?

The Soviets faced economic difficulty and citizens wanted more political rights.

How did U.S. President Ronald Reagan refer to the Soviet Union?

He called it “the evil empire”.

What was the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) proposed by Reagan?

This was a program of ground and space systems to protect the U.S. against possible nuclear attack from the Soviet Union. This was commonly called “Star Wars”.

What economic change did Gorbachev bring to the Soviet Union?

(perestroika) He allowed for more decision-making and private ownership of businesses.

What social reforms did Gorbachev bring to the Soviet Union?

(glasnost) He allowed more public participation and greater individual rights.

What was the result of a meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev?

The U.S. and Soviet Union had a relaxing of tension. A treaty was signed calling for a reduction in nuclear weapons and ending the arms race.

What was “democratization”?

Gorbachev called for elections, giving greater freedom in the Soviet Union.

How did nationalist groups respond to the new freedoms?

Nationalist groups wanted independence which led to ethnic tension in the Soviet Union.

What prompted the breakup of the Soviet Union?

Lithuania wanted independence and the Soviet Union countered with a blockade which failed. Military force was used but soon the Soviet Union was dissolved.

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