The Cold War

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The Cold War

In this module you will learn:

  1. FOUR causes of the Cold War [BARE].

  2. NINE events which caused the Cold War.

  3. FOUR decisions made at the Yalta Conference.

  4. TWO decisions and three disagreements at the Potsdam conference.

  5. The ‘salami tactics’ that brought Communists to power in Eastern Europe

  6. FIVE causes [CABAN] and FOUR results [CENA] of the Berlin crisis, 1948–9.

  7. FIVE ‘Berlin Airlift Facts’.

  8. FOUR causes of the Korean War [CJD-Kim].

  9. FIVE phases of the Korean War, 1950–53.

  10. FOUR ways Khrushchev brought a ‘thaw’ in the Cold War.

  11. THREE ways ‘peaceful co-existence’ worsened the Cold War.

  12. EIGHT countries in the Warsaw Pact.

  13. FIVE crises after 1955.

  14. FIVE causes, the events and FOUR results of the Hungarian uprising

  15. THREE reasons tension grew after 1957.

  16. The events and FOUR results of the U2 crisis.

  17. THREE causes, the events and FOUR results of the Berlin Wall

  18. THREE causes, the events and FOUR results of the Cuban Missiles Crisis.

You might do the following written work:

 A paragraph on ‘What was the Cold War?’

 An essay: ‘Were the Yalta and Potsdam conferences different?’

 A spidergram of the factors bringing Communists to power in eastern Europe, 1945–48.

 An essay: ‘Why had the superpowers become suspicious of each other by March 1946, when Churchill made his Fulton speech?’

 Notes on events: ‘Truman Doctrine – Marshall Plan’.

  • Written notes on the causes of the Berlin Blockade.

  • A written description of the Berlin Crisis, Jan 1948–12 May 1949.

  • A spidergram of why the Berlin blockade failed.

  • Written notes on the causes of the Korean War.

 An essay on the events of the Korean War.

 Notes on how Khrushchev brought a thaw in the Cold War, and how he made it worse.

 An essay: ‘Did superpower relations improve after 1953?’

 Notes on the Polish Riots of 1956.

 A mini-essay: ‘Why was there a revolution in Hungary in 1956?’

 Notes on the events and results of the Hungarian Revolution.

  • A mini-essay: ‘The events which led to the Berlin Wall 1958–61.’

  • Notes on the results of the Berlin Wall.

  • A mini-essay: ‘Why was there a Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.’

  • Notes on the events and results of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Have you read:

N deMarco and R Radway, The Twentieth Century, pages 184–191.

 T Rea and J Wright, International Relations, chapter 7.

 Christopher Culpin, Making History, pages 185–192.

 JF Aylett, The Cold War and After, pages 2–17.

 James Mason, Modern World History to GCSE, pages 56–77.

Tony Howarth, Twentieth Century History, pages 235–244.

New Words

Allies: countries working together.
Communists: believe that industry should be state-owned.
Soviet Union: the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – the USSR –– i.e. communist Russia.
Dictator: a ruler who has total power.


Capitalists: believe that property and industry should be privately owned.
Democracy: where the people can elect their own government.




  1. Write a paragraph to explain the meaning of the term ‘Cold War’.

From Hot War to Cold War

During the Second World War, Britain and the USA were allies of the Soviet Union, fighting together against Germany. After the war, they became enemies.

After Hiroshima, and particularly after 1949 when Russia developed the atomic bomb, politicians realised that another ‘hot war’ would kill all humankind – war would be MAD (mutually assured destruction).
So they stopped short of war – the ‘cold war’. They didn’t declare war. But they did everything to oppose each other short of war.
It was called the ‘cold war’. It lasted until 1989.

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