Origins of the Cold War (1945-1991)

What was the "Cold War"?

  1. It is a term coined by historians to describe the period of tension and conflict between the Soviet Union (USSR) and the United States of America (USA).
  2. Although there was no outright war between the two superpowers, there had often been outbreaks of wars or skirmishes between countries that were allied with the two superpowers. They were termed as proxy wars.
  3. Both superpowers used diplomacy and sometimes outright military intervention to extend their ideological influence over other countries involved in the Cold War.

Lesson Objective of Tasks

  • Students must be able to describe the events that led to the breakdown of US-Soviet relations in 1945.
  • Students must be able to explain why the changes in the terms of agreements as well as the events would lead to the rise in tensions between USA and USSR.

Task 1:

In order to understand why the two countries were involved in conflict and tension, it is necessary to examine the origins of this conflict. Please watch the two video clips embedded to gain an understanding of how these two allies during World War Two ended up as the worst of enemies.





Using the worksheet to summarise and understand what had been discussed at the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences. This worksheet is to be printed out, completed and then returned to me by Wedneday 26 Jan.

Answers will be discussed in class and the worksheet will be checked to ensure that students have been able to understand and rectify any misconceptions that they have of the Task.

Students are also encouraged to read the following links for more information about the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences.
Johndclare.net (Please open the links in a new tab)

Task 2:
Follow the following link to the Active simulation exercise found in the activehistory.co.uk website.
Yalta Conference Simulation Exercise (Please open the links in a new tab)

Find the website prompts you for a username and password, please use the password and username given bleow.

username: chong
password: bukit

Proceed to the Discussion forum after you have completed the game and explain why the three leaders were unable to come to agreement on these issues. Please provide adequate evidence on each of the terms agreed upon and explain how the respective leaders were influenced by political events happening in 1945.

You may disagree with your classmates over the reasons and you are expected to explain your point why you believe that it was due to a different term of agreement or factor.