End of the Cold War


US History (11th) Contemporary America End of the Cold War
Students watch a primary-source ABC newscast from West Germany on the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Then, they learn the facts of the fall of the Soviet system. Next, they explore the causes and effects of the downfall of the communist system and write from the point-of-view of a citizen living in Russia during this time.

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Here are the teacher pack items for End of the Cold War:

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Overview

Students watch a primary-source ABC newscast from West Germany about the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Then, they learn the facts of the fall of the Soviet system. Next, they explore the causes and effects of the downfall of the communist system and write from the point of view of a citizen living in Russia during this time.

Objectives

  • Describe the events leading to the breakup of the Soviet Union.
  • Explain the significance of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • Analyze U.S. involvement in the end of the Cold War.


The Cold War, which began almost immediately after the end of World War II, ended suddenly in the period 1989–1991, when the Communist governments of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union fell. In this experience, you’ll learn what happened and what it meant.

Objectives

  • Describe the events leading to the breakup of the Soviet Union.
  • Explain the significance of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • Analyze U.S. involvement in the end of the Cold War.




West and East Germans meeting at the Brandenburg Gate of the Berlin Wall, 1989


The general opinion of historians and the public is that the United States and its allies “won” the Cold War. Almost overnight, the United States’ greatest adversary melted away. How could this have happened?

Watch Nov. 10, 1989: Fall of the Berlin Wall, a clip from a television newscast on the scene.


What words or phrases would you use to describe the mood of the people in this video? To list more than one, separate your ideas with a comma, like this: sweet, sour.

Post your answer

Possible words for the cloud include, but are not limited to, happy, elated, overjoyed, thrilled, surprised, shocked, amazed, celebrating.


The fall of the Berlin Wall was a turning point in history. Much of the free world reacted with jubilation, although supporters of Communism found no reason to celebrate.


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