The Cold War: Ideologies, Conflicts, and the End of an Era


CONCEPT: The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the United States and the Soviet Union 

IDEOLOGIES: The Western Bloc was capitalist while the Eastern Bloc was communist.

WHEN IT HAPPENED: It started in 1947 with the Truman Doctrine and ended in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

WHY THAT NAME: The term cold war is used because there was NO large-scale fighting 

HOW: The struggle for dominance was expressed via indirect means such as psychological warfare, propaganda campaigns, espionage, rivalry at sports events, and technological competitions such as the Space Race.


UNITED NATIONS (UN): This international organization to prevent another world war 

TRUMAN DOCTRINE: Containing Soviet geopolitical expansion. The United States would provide political, military, and economic assistance to all democratic nations under threat from external or internal authoritarian forces. 

MARSHALL PLAN: Foreign aid to Western Europe. The United States feared that the poverty, unemployment, and dislocation of the post-World War II period were reinforcing the appeal of communist parties to voters in western Europe

NATO: NATO constitutes a system of collective security, whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party. Its original members were Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

WARSAW PACT or COMECON: Was a collective defense treaty signed in Warsaw, Poland, between the Soviet Union and seven other Eastern Bloc socialist republics. Was established as a balance of power or counterweight to NATO. Originally formed by the Soviet Union and Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. 

DJJmd-C6jXUW_FHXieuTIArcPNNkmda-l28hFZc3xHu80wHO2eIvbhTNAVYAJM1XSBU5Xc_THuvfciM8p7jdD4mjsmUtE8-6CweGcWBeFtddAJ8wPlWCEG1iqfkl2qUXcY7xtNqQ IRON CURTAIN: The Iron Curtain was a political boundary dividing Europe into two separate 

East side ( USSR and East European countries ) and West side ( Nato members )


At the end of the war, in order to solve future international conflicts, in Yalta (Ukraine) and Potsdam all the countries involved held peace talks. They also created the United Nations, but:

  • Whereas during WW2, the United States and the Soviet Union had been Allies against Nazi Germany, after the war the relationship between the two countries quickly degenerated into mutual distrust, resulting in a military and nuclear build-up.

  • There were major differences between the winners: the United Kingdom and the USA were democratic and capitalist states, but the USSR was communist.

  • The Soviet Union set up communist systems in the eastern European countries they had helped to liberate.

  • Great Britain and Europe lost their international predominance, taking a subordinate position to the two superpowers, the USA and the USSR.

  • The two superpowers each wanted to be the world leader.

  • Decolonization in Africa and Asia began, but independence was often achieved after long struggles.

  • The United States feared that the deteriorating economic situation in post-war Western Europe could lead to the Communists coming to power in some countries This, in turn, would threaten American international security.

  • The Soviet Union was afraid that the American policy was covertly aimed at bringing the Soviet borders back to the pre-1939 situation and they thought that these territories were essential for preventing any further aggressive attacks on the Soviet Union.

  • The end of the Cold War  

  • Who began to rule the Easter Bloc in 1985? Why was he different from previous leaders?

  • Gorbachev he was different because wanted to make people happy and actually he made changes in USSR

  • What do “glasnost” and “perestroika” mean? Can you give an example?

  • Glasnot=openness

  • perestroika=restructure of soviet system 

  • e.g Freedom of speech, cultural diversity 

  • What is the INF Treaty? Who signed it?

  • the INF treaty: all intermediate-range missiles eliminated USA USSR

  • What happened when Hungary opened the Iron Curtain?

  • In Hungary the barbed-wire border between East and west was removed. citizens of East Germany traveled to Hungary so they could cross to the west 

  • Use the inf. in the video and the map below to say which were the main geopolitical changes in the end of the Cold War. How was the USSR dissolved?

  • in 1989 fall of Berlin’s wall

  • in 1990 Germany is united 

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    elections Hungary, Poland, and Bulgaria 

  • Revolution in Czechoslovakia and Romania 

  • Boris Yeltsin made a deal with Ukraine and Belarus to dissolve the USSR in 1991 and make the Russian Federation