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End of the Cold War

Our final unit of the year, and the course, will examine the causes, key events and consequences of the end of the Cold War (1980-1991).  The unit will be organized around the below key questions:

1. How was the Cold War impacted by the leadership of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev?

2. How did ideological challenges and rising dissent weaken the Soviet Union?

3. What challenges began to emerge in Eastern Europe that challenged the Soviet sphere of influence?

4. What was the role of economic and martial competition in the collapse of the Soviet Union?

5. Did the United States win or did the Soviet Union lose the Cold War?


This unit corresponds with Paper 2 topic 12 and some elements of Paper 3 topic 18.  As such we will be completing essay plans, short answers and an on-demand essay drawn from past papers. 


We will use a variety of primary and secondary sources to support our understanding of the end of the Cold War.  One of the major secondary sources will be Walter LaFeber's America, Russia and the Cold War 1945-1996. We will also be watching a few episodes from the CNN documentary series Cold War.

Please see the below unit calendar for the topics, resources and activities we will be completing in this unit.

War in Afghanistan
Internal Pressures in the USSR
Eastern Europe
Long Term and Short Term Issues
Pressure from the United States
Reagan vs. Gorbachev
Nuclear and Space Race
HW: Watch Episode 23 of the Cold War
Glasnost, Perestroika and the Collapse of Soviet Control in Eastern Europe
Watch Episode 24 of the Cold War
End of the Soviet Union and the Cold War
HW: Prepare for On-Demand Essay on the End of the Cold War
Review for Mock Exam/Intro Historical Investigation
End of Cold War On-Demand Essay
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