Cold War Review Sheet Introduction

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Cold War Review Sheet
Following World War II, two superpowers emerged: The United States and the Soviet Union. The two former allies represented two very different ideas in government and economy. The United States preached Democracy and Capitalism while the Soviet Union wanted to spread Communism and keep a strict control on wealth and power. These two ideologies could not coexist peacefully and the world entered into a near half-century of The Cold War.
The Cold War was named as such because the two superpowers never came to direct war, in large part because of a desire to avoid a costly and destructive third world war, but also because of the spread of nuclear weapons and the theory of mutually assured destruction. However, the war still took violent steps toward larger and larger conflicts.
The U.S. adopted the policy of containment in which the U.S. would support all countries to resist the spread of communism and contain it to the present boarders. This idea is best displayed by the ideas of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. These programs were proposed to prevent communism by resisting it militarily, politically and economically throughout the world. The Marshall Plan in particular aided in rebuilding war-torn Europe to ensure that no one would even need to turn to Communism for help, money or food.
Ultimately, major symbolic and military conflicts would take place ranging from the building of the Berlin Wall to the violence in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and other global spots. While this was called the Cold War, tensions frequently heated up and shaped the world in which we live today.

Key Terms

Cold War

Soviet Union

Korean War

Vietnam War

Hydrogen Bomb

Arms Race


Truman Doctrine

Marshall Plan


Iron Curtain

Joseph Stalin

Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

Key Themes

  • Be able to explain the reason it was called “The Cold War” but be able to identify and explain key conflicts between the Soviets and Americans

  • What is M.A.D. in the greater context of the Cold War? How does it explain the war remaining “Cold”

  • What can we still see in today’s world that we can trace back to the Cold War?

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