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In developing your answer to Part III, be sure to keep this general definition in mind:

discuss means “to make observations about something using facts, reasoning, and

argument; to present in some detail”

PART III

DOCUMENT-BASED QUESTION

This question is based on the accompanying documents. The question is designed to test your

ability to work with historical documents. Some of the documents have been edited for the purposes

of the question. As you analyze the documents, take into account the source of each document and

any point of view that may be presented in the document.

Historical Context:

Following World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union emerged as rival

superpowers. This rivalry led to a period known as the Cold War. During the first

fifteen years of the Cold War (1945–1960), the threat of communism presented

many different challenges to the United States.
Task: Using information from the documents and your knowledge of United States

history, answer the questions that follow each document in Part A. Your answers to

the questions will help you write the Part B essay, in which you will be asked to

• Discuss how the threat of communism during the Cold War affected the

United States in the period from 1945 to 1960

Document 1



1 According to this cartoon, why was Congress rushing to the aid of Western Europe? [1]

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Document 2

This excerpt is from a telegram sent to the Soviet Ambassador to the United States from the Acting

Secretary of State in September 1948. A copy of this telegram was sent to President Harry Truman on September 27, 1948.
1. The Governments of the United States, France and the United Kingdom, conscious of their

obligations under the charter of the United Nations to settle disputes by peaceful means, took the

initiative on July 30, 1948, in approaching the Soviet Government for informal discussions in Moscow in order to explore every possibility of adjusting a dangerous situation which had arisen by reason of measures taken by the Soviet Government directly challenging the rights of the other occupying powers in Berlin. These measures, persistently pursued, amounted to a blockade of land and water transport and communication between the Western Zones of Germany and Berlin which not only endangered the maintenance of the forces of occupation of the United States, France and the United Kingdom in that city but also jeopardized the discharge by those governments of their duties as occupying powers through the threat of starvation, disease and economic ruin for the population of Berlin. . . .

2 According to this passage, what action taken by the Soviet Union created tensions between the Soviet government and the governments of the United States and its Allies?

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Document 3

. . . NATO was simply a necessity. The developing situation with the Soviet Union demanded

the participation of the United States in the defense of Western Europe. Any other solution

would have opened the area to Soviet domination, contrary to the interests of the United States

and contrary to any decent world order. At the time of the signing of the pact, April 4, 1949, I

do not believe that anyone envisaged [imagined] the kind of military setup that NATO evolved

into and from which de Gaulle withdrew French forces in 1966. It [NATO] was, rather, regarded

as a traditional military alliance of like-minded countries. It was not regarded as a panacea [cure]

for the problems besetting [affecting] Europe, but only as an elementary precaution against

Communist aggression. . . .

Source: Charles E. Bohlen, Witness to History, 1929–1969, W.W. Norton & Company, 1973
3 According to this document, why was the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) necessary?

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Document 4

Initial newspaper stories concerning Senator McCarthy’s speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, reported that the Senator said he knew of 205 communists in the State Department. Senator McCarthy later told the Senate he had used the number 57 in Wheeling. He placed this account of his Wheeling speech in the Congression lRecord.


. . . This, ladies and gentlemen, gives you somewhat of a picture of the type of individuals who

have been helping to shape our foreign policy. In my opinion the State Department, which is

one of the most important government departments, is thoroughly infested with Communists.

I have in my hand 57 cases of individuals who would appear to be either card carrying

members or certainly loyal to the Communist Party, but who nevertheless are still helping to

shape our foreign policy. One thing to remember in discussing the Communists in our government is that we are not dealing with spies who get 30 pieces of silver to steal the blueprints of a new weapon. We are dealing with a far more sinister type of activity because it permits the enemy to guide and shape our policy. . . .


4 According to this document, what did Senator McCarthy suggest about communist influence in the United States government? [1]

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Document 5

. . . The attack upon Korea makes it plain beyond all doubt that Communism has passed beyond

the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use armed invasion and war.

It has defied the orders of the Security Council of the United Nations issued to preserve

international peace and security. In these circumstances the occupation of Formosa [Taiwan] by

Communist forces would be a direct threat to the security of the Pacific area and to United

States forces performing their lawful and necessary functions in that area.

Accordingly I have ordered the Seventh Fleet to prevent any attack on Formosa. As a corollary

of this action I am calling upon the Chinese Government on Formosa to cease all air and sea

operations against the mainland. The Seventh Fleet will see that this is done. The determination

of the future status of Formosa must await the restoration of security in the Pacific, a peace

settlement with Japan, or consideration by the United Nations. . . .

— President Harry Truman, Press Release, June 27, 1950
5a Based on this document, state one reason given by President Truman to justify his concern about

communism. [1]

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Document 6a

. . . Our unity as a nation is sustained by free communication of thought and by easy

transportation of people and goods. The ceaseless flow of information throughout the Republic

is matched by individual and commercial movement over a vast system of inter-connected

highways criss-crossing the Country and joining at our national borders with friendly neighbors

to the north and south. . . .

Source: President Dwight D. Eisenhower, message to Congress, February 22, 1955
Document 6b

. . . In case of an atomic attack on our key cities, the road net must permit quick evacuation of

target areas, mobilization of defense forces and maintenance of every essential economic

function. But the present system in critical areas would be the breeder [cause] of a deadly

congestion within hours of an attack. . . .

Source: President Dwight D. Eisenhower, message to Congress, February 22, 1955 (adapted)


6 Based on these documents, state two reasons President Eisenhower believed that the Interstate Highway System was important to national defense.

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Document 7

. . . When the air-raid siren sounded, our teachers stopped talking and led us to the school

basement. There the gym teachers lined us up against the cement walls and steel lockers, and

showed us how to lean in and fold our arms over our heads. Our small school ran from

kindergarten through twelfth grade. We had air-raid drills in small batches, four or five grades

together, because there was no room for us all against the walls. The teachers had to stand in

the middle of the basement rooms: those bright Pittsburgh women who taught Latin, science,

and art, and those educated, beautifully mannered European women who taught French,

history, and German, who had landed in Pittsburgh at the end of their respective flights from

Hitler, and who had baffled us by their common insistence on tidiness, above all, in our written

work. The teachers stood in the middle of the room, not talking to each other. We tucked against the

walls and lockers: dozens of clean girls wearing green jumpers, green knee socks, and pink-soled

white bucks. We folded our skinny arms over our heads, and raised to the enemy a clatter of gold

scarab bracelets and gold bangle bracelets. . . .

Source: Annie Dillard, An American Childhood, Harper & Row
7 According to this document, state one way schools were affected by the threat of communism. [1]

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Document 8

. . . Our safety, and that of the free world, demand, of course, effective systems for gathering

information about the military capabilities of other powerful nations, especially those that make

a fetish [obsessive habit] of secrecy. This involves many techniques and methods. In these times

of vast military machines and nuclear-tipped missiles, the ferreting [finding] out of this

information is indispensable to free world security. This has long been one of my most serious preoccupations. It is part of my grave responsibility ,within the over-all problem of protecting the American people, to guard ourselves and our allies against surprise attack. During the period leading up to World War II we learned from bitter experience the imperative [absolute] necessity of a continuous gathering of intelligence information, the maintenance of military communications and contact, and alertness of command. An additional word seems appropriate about this matter of communications and command. While the Secretary of Defense and I were in Paris, we were, of course, away from our normal command posts. He recommended that under the circumstances we test the continuing readiness of our military communications. I personally approved. Such tests are valuable and will be frequently repeated in the future. Moreover, as President, charged by the Constitution with the conduct of America’s foreign relations, and as Commander-in-Chief, charged with the direction of the operations and activities of our Armed Forces and their supporting services, I take full responsibility for approving all the various programs undertaken by our government to secure and evaluate military intelligence. It was in the prosecution [carrying out] of one of these intelligence programs that the widely publicized U-2 incident occurred. Aerial photography has been one of many methods we have used to keep ourselves and the free world abreast of major Soviet military developments. The usefulness of this work has been well established through four years of effort. The Soviets were well aware of it. Chairman Khrushchev has stated that he became aware of these flights several years ago. Only last week, in his Paris press conference, Chairman Khrushchev confirmed that he knew of these flights when he visited the United States last September. . . .

Source: President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Address, May 25, 1960,

Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower 1960–1961


8 Based on this document, state two reasons given by President Eisenhower for gathering information about the Soviet military.

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