Tag Archives: Cold War

Cold War PPT’s

What is the Cold War?  It’s hard to believe in this post-9/11 world that something like nuclear war became such a defining mark of the times.  Everything from James Bond to the space program spoke to the us about the dangers of Communists.  The music reflected it.  The 60’s generation became the spokespeople of the times, fighting it.  The Cold War began with the end of World War 2 and ended with me, in college, watching the Berlin Wall fall.  Amazing and scary.


Cold War Themes and Questions:

  • Why did the Cold War not become a hot war? Why was there no World War III? Was it nuclear weapons? Rational leadership? Had war become too expensive and obsolete? Was war fought with something other than military means?
  • Was the Cold War principally an ideological confrontation, or just a contest for supremacy between two great powers? How did the rules of confrontation change with each generation? Was this struggle based on politics? Economics? Strategic Interests?
  • What role did culture play in the Cold War? Why did a Cold War culture develop, and why does it last in some aspects?
  • How do the ‘experiences’ of a country affect its decision-making? How do the experiences of countries shed light on actions and choices they made during the Cold War?
  • What role do personalities play during the Cold War?
  • How important were individual countries, other than the U.S. and the Soviet Union, in determining the course of the Cold War? Did smaller powers manipulate the larger powers (e.g. Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Cuba)?
  • Was the Cold War a result of two “empires” clashing? How did each power maintain control over its empire? The U.S. empire in Western Europe was established through invitation, whereas the Soviet “empire” in Eastern Europe was established and maintained through coercion and intimidation. In the Third World, the U.S. and the USSR often resorted to coercion and intimidation. Was the Cold War the culmination to an Age of Empire?
  • How important was the power of perception during the Cold War? What “weapons” were used to fight the Cold War? (propaganda, surrogates, economics) How did the Cold War affect average people?

CNN’s Cold War Documentary:


Advising President Truman

Your mission is to advise President Truman concerning future relations with the Soviet Union.  Should America use its military force to assert more freedom and democracy?  Should the US negotiate peace?  Should the US attempt to contain communism as it spreads?  Should the US withdraw completely under a policy of isolationism?

President Truman is seeking advice from his top aides. He is considering one of four options with regard to U.S. policy towards the Soviet Union. The situation is urgent and time is short. He is not looking for a detailed epic work. He is a simple, no-nonsense man who wants straightforward advice and evidence to support it.

Your letter to the president should be one page in length (typed).  You will follow the format provided for writing formal letters.  Your letter will include two important points: 1) Explain which option is the most appropriate foreign policy choice that the U.S. should take with regard to the Soviet Union, and 2) Explain why your option is the best course of action. Give specific evidence by referring to specific events and issues from 1945-1952 that will support your position.

To aid you in answering these questions you may explain:

  • how your option will protect America’s security interests;
  • how it will benefit America’s allies;
  • how it will promote stability in the world.

Evaluation: You should post answers that fairly address both important points. They should be in paragraph form, but do not need to be more than one page of text. You will receive 50 points for each thoughtful complete answer. (Total of 100 points)  Let me know if you have any questions.

Use the following PDF documents to help you in your research and preparation:

The Day After

Today we are going to analyze the effects of a nuclear attack on America from watching a made for TV movie on the subject. It came out in 1983 and shocked the nation. What we’re going to do is examine the impact of this movie by using the following worksheet:

Please feel free to hand write your responses if you choose. Add comments below if you’d like as well. Thanks! We’ll share and evaluate your responses (anonymously) on Monday!