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Westcourt iCentre: History - The Cold War

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Research and Historical Skills

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Cold War - Historical Knowledge

Image result for cold war leaders

Harry Truman - Created the Containment policy, Domini Theory, and Marshall Plan

Joseph Stalin - Distrusted America and it's Allies, created communist govs in east europe after WW2, and buffer against future western aggression
Nikita Krushchev - Approved the building of the Berlin Wall,1961 and ordered nuclear missiles sent to Cuba,1962
Fidel Castro - Accepted missiles from U.S.S.R to protect against future American attack

Dwight Eisenhower - Gained popularity from WW2 and sent American "advisors" to Vietnam

Ronald Reagan - Renewed American defense build up, credited with convincing Gorbachev to end the Cold War
Mikhail Gorbachev - Final leader of the U.S.S.R spent more money on rebuilding Russia, less on military
John F. KennedyConvinced Soviets to remove missiles from Cuba and guaranteeing on American on the moon
Lyndon B. Johnson - Following assassination of JFK and greatly expanded America's role in Vietnam
Richard Nixon - Ending American involvement in Vietnam
General Douglas McArthur - General of the United Nations during the Korean War


  • System of government is democratic
  • Property is privately owned
  • Driven by free enterprise
  • Wealth distributed unevenly
  • Education and health provided by private entities
  • Freedom of the press and class distinctions
  • Focus is on the individual and their own progress in life


  • People need freedom
  • When people compete against one another, they achieve great things
  • Some people have more than others as they make better use of their abilities
  • Governments should not interfere with the rights of individuals to make their own living
  • The government should interfere as little as possible in the economy


  • System of government is totalitarian
  • Property is owned by the state
  • No free enterprise is allowed
  • Wealth distributed equally
  • Education and health provided by the state
  • Press controlled and owned by the state
  • Classless society
  • Focus is on the progress of the community as a whole


  • People need one another
  • When people work together as equals, they achieve greater things
  • No-one should have more than anyone else
  • Governments should make sure that every ones needs are being met
  • There is central control of the economy

What is Liberalism?

Liberalism is a political and economic theory developed by John Stuart Mill in the 18th Century and is underpinned by a belief in the sovereignty of the individual, laissez faire economics and equality of opportunity. For liberals, the state should be kept small so as not to stifle the individual.

"Classic liberalism …. is concerned with freedom, stressing:

  1. civil freedom of the individual
  2. free political institutions
  3. freedom of religion
  4. free enterprise and trade." 

          (Leach, R. 1988. Political Ideologies: An Australian Introduction)

Liberalism grew in the 18th century largely in opposition to the abuses of absolute monarchy and feudalism. Liberals wanted a say in how countries were run.

In one of the most famous orations of the Cold War period, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill condemns the Soviet Union's policies in Europe and declares, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.”

The Cold War

The Cold War lasted from the end of World War Two until the fall of the Soviet Union. On one side of the world, the United States led an alliance of nations in their determination to protect democracy and freedom throughout the world. On the other side, the Soviet Union spearheaded a campaign to bring Communism to the world. During these 44 years, tensions between these two superpowers were high. The United States and the Soviet Union competed in every arena of the world, but never went to war with each other.  Such a war was feared as the one that would end the world.

Clickview Cold War Folder