Contemporary History

Discussion: Cold War and Communism

 

Required Resources
Read/review the following resources for this activity:

  • Textbook: Chapter 9, 10
  • Lesson
  • Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)

Option 1: Examine the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1980s. Include the following in your discussion:

  • What were the main reasons for the collapse?
  • What role did the constant state of militarism and the costs of  keeping up with the U.S. military buildup have on the Soviet economy?
  • What role did uprisings and rebellions in Poland, Czechoslovakia,  Hungary, and East Germany (among others) have on the sudden collapse of  the USSR?

Option 2: Examine communism and socialism.

  • We hear so often today that socialism and communism are the same  thing. Examine the similarities and differences between the two.
  • Why do so many Americans seem to hate even the word “socialism”?
  • We already employ some socialism in this country today (and for the  past several decades). Examples include libraries, police departments,  public education, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, public parks,  roads/highways, and so on. How do these services factor into arguments  for or against socialism?