Topic 5 THE COLD WAR N.B. The questions for each seminar section are only a guide. As always I expect you to be able to dig deep into the writings of historians that will shed as much understanding as possible on the single-party state: its’ organization, governmental structures, key figures, goals, plans, social, political, and economic manifestations, and the cause of its’ ultimate demise along with the origin and development of the Cold War. While we will not be studying World War II as such, there will be areas that will need to reference the coming of war. ALL STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO BE FULLY PREPARED TO DISCUSS EACH ASPECT OF EVERY SEMINAR EVERY DAY!
These can be purchased on halfpricebooks.com in paperback
Also check your local library! Don’t forget the myriad of choices available to you on Questiaschool.com. In addition most of you will receive some Cold War books. A few of these are also available on Questiaschool.com
The Origins of Joseph Stalin
Mrs. Root will cover this lecture-style giving a general overview of who he was, where he came from stopping with the early positions he held within the Bolshevik government
Dig in your sources and answer the following questions before stepping foot in the class room:
1. What was Stalin’s relationship to Vladimir Lenin in the last three years of Lenin’s life?
2. What is significant about Stalin’s various bureaucratic positions?
3. What was Lenin’s Political Testament?
4. How did Stalin use it to his advantage?
5. Who were Zinovev, Kamanev, Trotsky, Rykov, Tomski, Bucharin, Molotov? Yes, do biography cards on each one! How does Stalin use each one against the others and no one seems to notice he’s doing that? Think in terms of formal line dancing where Stalin starts at one end of a very long ballroom, begins the dance with Kamenev and Zinovev and then slowly waltzes his way through all the other partners ending up standing alone and holding total power by 1928. How does he do that? Yes, deceptively short looking questions that require much reading and understanding on your part.
Stalin and the Five –Year Plans 1930-1940
What are the goals? Focus of industry? Rearmament implications? Public works projects? What is the cost to society in terms of living standards, consumer goods, education, personal initiative in the workplace, human interaction? Where do “kulaks”, “saboteurs” and “enemies of the state” factor into industrialization? What is a Stakhanovite and why does it matter? There’s a story to this find out about it! What does the Soviet Union actually achieve in its’ industrial goals during this turbulent decade? How are workers rewarded both positively and negatively? Is this the workers’ utopia as it is exalted to the West? Lots of details, discussion leaders some graphing of statistics will help every one understand what the goals were, what the obstacles to success were, and what seems to have been achieved. Ah, see the way I worded that last bit…there’s a story in it…find out!
Stalin and Domestic Policies 1930-1940
What expressions of artistic voice are allowed in the Soviet Union? What is the outcome of these endeavors? What is the role of the family? How does the state provide in terms of health care, child care, education, and housing? Where does the KGB become a specter hanging over society? What is the impact on societal interactions of the Russians with each other? This is quite important to understanding Stalin as the total dictator!
Politics 101 in the Soviet Union 1930-1940
How does the top-down totalitarian state work? What happens with political purity? How do the show trials develop during this period? How does Stalin keep every department, branch, level of government under his personal rule? How is the judicial system used to control his enemies? Why does Stalin end the 1930s by killing off his best military talent in the officer corps? Who’s in and who’s out during this decade? Why? Details, the Devil’s in them!
Soviet Union Foreign Policies 1930-1940
What and who is Stalin worried about and how does he confront his international concerns? What happens in Mexico City that involves an ice pick? What is the KGB doing in the West and why is Cambridge University so interesting to the KGB during this decade? What does this foreshadow for the Cold War to come? Is the United States immune to these “adventures” of the KGB? Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact: why does Stalin get into this? What is he thinking?
Stalin and World War II – Remind me to hand out Cold War books if I haven’t already! Operation Barbarossa – what is it? What does it mean for the Soviet Union and Stalin? What is the new relationship with the United States and what has it got to do with lend-lease? What do the Americans think of the Soviet Union after 1941? Why? Was the United States fooled? What happened at Los Alamos, Nevada that indicates this war time alliance is about to take a rather nasty turn? Where do the Cambridge Five fit in here? Who is the American Harry Dexter White and what is he doing at the Bretton Woods Conference in New Hampshire? What happened at Yalta in February 1945? Potsdam in July/August 1945? Yep! Details! Stalin’s in them!
The Cold War Begins
Mrs. Root will take you through the origins, prior to 1945, at a rather breath taking pace. Pens at the ready? Brains engaged? Probably 30 minutes in duration. Again, big picture and historical overview via lecture.
Stalin, the Soviet Union, Cold War, and his demise 1945-1953
How does Stalin figure out a really nifty way to recover war losses? What does Winston Churchill have to say about this in Fulton, Missouri? What does this do for his relationship with Harry Truman and the USA? Internally, what is happening to the Soviet Union in terms of economic recovery and social costs? Where does Iran, Turkey, Greece, George F. Kennan and a really long telegram fit into origins of Cold War? What happens in Berlin in 1948 and why does it cause Stalin to look east to Korea? Especially important: Why do historians refer to the Korean War 1950-1953 as the first “hotting up” of the Cold War? Why is there Stalin-hope in China October, 1949? What is the doctors’ plot and how does that impact the leadership under Stalin? How does he die? Public reaction? Why? What do the scholars say about Stalin’s legacy? Who rules from 1953 onwards until the end of the Bolshevik experiment in August 1991? Yes, create a timeline with each General-Secretary’s name and length in office. It will help w/the Cold War.