SAQs for APUSH Topic 8.2 — The Cold War
Twenty questions designed to help students review for the annual exam and that relate to a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc
- Between 1945–1991, United States policymakers engaged in a Cold War with the authoritarian Soviet Union. What was the Cold War (being sure to include the words “tension” and “proxy” in your answer)? Also, what was a major Cold War goal of US policymakers relating to the Soviet Union?
- Many historians mark the beginning of the Cold War with George F. Kennan’s “Long Telegram.” In this telegram, written in 1947, Kennan advocates for a policy of containment of the Soviet Union and strong anti-communism. What was one reason Kennan gave in support of his call for action?
- During the Cold War, the United States developed a foreign policy based on collective security. NATO and the United Nations are both pieces of evidence in support of this claim. Briefly describe each.
- During the Cold War, the United States developed a foreign policy based on international aid. The Marshall Plan, Berlin Airlift, and Peace Corps are all evidence in support of this claim. Briefly describe each.
- During the Cold War, the United States developed a foreign policy based on economic institutions that bolstered non-Communist nations. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is evidence in support of this claim. Briefly describe.
- During the Cold War, the United States sought to contain communism through a variety of measures, including major military engagements in Korea and Vietnam. Briefly describe one similarity and one difference between the Vietnam War and the Korean War. And for ten questions that relate to the Vietnam War (the second-longest war in American history, after the war in Afghanistan,) click here.
- During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union fluctuated between periods of direct and indirect military confrontation and periods of mutual coexistence (or détente). The Cuban Missile Crisis is a piece of evidence in support of the first part of the claim. (For ten SAQs that relate to the Cuban Missile Crisis (and the 13 days in October of 1962 when the United States went eyeball to eyeball with the Soviet Union and “the other fellow blinked”, click here.)
- The Strategic Arms and Limitations Talks (SALT) is a piece of evidence in support of the second part of this claim. What was one outcome of the Strategic Arms and Limitations Talks?
- During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union sought allies among new nations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Many of these new nations, remained non-aligned. What does non-aligned mean? Name one new nation in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East that the United States and the Soviet Union sought to ally with but that remained non-aligned?
- During the Cold War, the United States supported non-Communist regimes in Latin America, with many of these regimes having varying levels of commitment to democracy. Name one of these regimes.
- During the Cold War, Americans debated the merits of a large nuclear arsenal. What is an “arsenal?”
- During the Cold War, Americans debated the merits of the military-industrial complex. What is meant by the term military-industrial complex? What did President Dwight D. Eisenhower say about the military-industrial complex in 1961?
- During the Cold War, Americans debated the appropriate power of the executive branch in conducting foreign and military policy. One piece of evidence in support of this claim is the debate over the War Powers Act. What is the War Powers Act?
- During the Cold War, Americans debated policies and methods designed to expose suspected communists within the United States even as both parties supported the broader strategy of containing communism. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the investigation of Hollywood and the Hollywood Ten, the trial of Alger Hiss; McCarthyism, the Second Red Scare, and the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are all examples policies and methods designed to expose suspected communists within the United States. Briefly describe each. And for ten questions that relate to the Red Scare, click here.
- During the Cold War, America’s anticommunist foreign policy faced little domestic opposition in the years 1945–1968. Beginning in 1968, however, sizable and passionate anti-Vietnam war protests became more numerous and sometimes led to violence. Woodstock and the Kent State Demonstrations are both examples of sizable and passionate anti-Vietnam War protests. Briefly describe each.
- During the Cold War, the Reagan administration promoted an interventionist foreign policy that continued in later administrations, even after the end of the Cold War. Name and briefly describe one piece of evidence in support of the first part of this claim? Also one piece of evidence in support of the second part of this claim.
- Increased U.S. military spending, Reagan’s diplomatic initiatives, and political changes and economic problems in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union were all important in ending the Cold War. Name and briefly describe one of Ronald Reagan’s diplomatic initiatives that was all-important in ending the Cold War
- The end of the Cold War led to new diplomatic relationships but also new U.S. military and peacekeeping interventions, as well as continued debates over the appropriate use of American power in the world. Name and briefly describe one post-Cold War U.S. military and peacekeeping intervention.
- The end of the Cold War and new challenges to U.S. leadership forced the nation to redefine its foreign policy and role in the world. Explain
- One of the more famous Cold War speeches was Ronald Reagan’s 1987 Berlin Wall Brandenburg Gate speech? What was the primary message put forward in this speech?
All SAQs associated with this page have been produced by a team of APUSH teachers and teacher-leaders. They are not official CB-created exam questions. While CB/AP cannot endorse the work, it “ appreciate(s) the enthusiasm and efforts to create and share resources that students and teachers in the AP community may find helpful.”