Some suggested topics:
This list is not exhaustive; you may suggest a different topic if your teacher approves.
Vietnam has been excluded from these suggestions, as it is our external exam topic, and will be studied in detail after completion of the IA3.
Key QuestionWhy could it be said that Germany was the epicentre for all the tensions between democracy and communism, especially during the early period of the Cold War era? Look at this website.
: Germany became the epicentre of post-war heightened tensions between the US and USSR which intensified into the Cold War, and also the symbolic site of its conclusion many decades later in 1991 as the Berlin Wall fell.
1. What was the Berlin Blockade / Airlift of 1949, and why was it important in poisoning the relationship between the US and Sovet Union?
2. How was the division of Germany achieved, and what were its long-term consequences for the Cold War?
4. Why was the Berlin Wall built in 1961, and what impact did it have on the Cold War?
The Korean War
In what ways was the Korean War a significant conflict in the Cold War and a prototype for many modern international conflicts involving the super powers?
The Korean War demonstrated a significant shift and intensification of Cold War tensions which had enormous consequences and a profound and enduring impact on international relations. Where previously the Cold War conflicts had been totally focussed on Europe, the Korean War demonstrated that the battle over ideological differences had spread to Asia and inevitably to the world stage; it began the policy of ‘proxy wars’ in a third country that was to become a feature of other Cold War conflicts; and its effects continue to be felt 70 years later.
Hypothesis: Fidel Castro used his powerful Communist-brotherhood connections to deftly manipulate the opportunities afforded him, and to provoke and defy the United States.
Soviet Union Leaders
Other National and State Leaders
Alan Dulles (Director of the CIA)
Henry Kissinger (US Secretary of State and National Security Adviser)
John Foster Dulles (US Secretary of State)
Douglas Macarthur (Commander of US forces in Pacific War; Commander of US occupation of Japan; Commander of US forces in Korea)
Joseph McCarthy (Republican senator from Wisconsin who capitalized on Cold War fears of Communism in the early 1950s by accusing hundreds of government employees of being Communists and Soviet agents)
J. Edgar Hoover (Controversial Director of the FBI)
George Kennan (Containment Theory policy)
George C. Marshall (The Marshall Plan)
Lech Walesa (Leader of the Polish Solidarity Movement, who helped to bring about the end of one-party Communist rule in Poland)
Che Guevara (Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution).
The ENTIRE collection of resources provided by the BBC Library can now be searched on ONE single, powerful search platform, which retrieves print books, eBooks, database articles and websites. Click HERE for assistance.
Wilson Centre Origins of the Cold War Documents
This collection of primary source documents discusses international relations during World War II and the years shortly after.
McCarthyism and the Red Scare - Accessed via History Reference Centre database.
Provides an absorbing overview of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his anti-Communist "witch hunts" of the 1950s. Also explores the ways in which the McCarthy era shaped the trajectory of American politics and culture for decades to come.
George Washington University: Afghanistan - Lessons From the Last War
Note where it says 'Jump to Documents' - this will take you to valuable primary source material.
Afghanistan: Anatomy of a Soviet Failure - Primary source, accessed via JSTOR database.
Google search: Britain - MI5 & MI6 - (M.I.5 handles domestic espionage and M.I.6 handles espionage abroad. Includes Roger Hollis)
Cambridge Spies | How Philby, Burgess, Maclean, Blunt and Cairncross were unmasked - Includes broadcast links
Wilson Center Digital Archive : excellent range of primary documents - use the search box to find your topic
The Avalon Project, Yale Law School : primary documents from the Cold War
CIA : Assessing the Soviet threat
Library of Congress : Revelations from the Russian Archives_Cold War. Documents translated into English and accessed via the Library of Congress
Office of The Historian, United State Government : Cold War years
British National Archives : The Cold War
John F Kennedy Museum : Cold War documents
History.Com - videos of speeches from the Cold War
Museum of Australian Democracy : The Petrov Affair
Korean War : Australian Government
Occupation and the Emergence of Two States (1945-1961) : German History in Documents and Images
CIA intelligence report - documented on 28 Oct 1986 'POLITICS IN THE SOVIET POLITBURO AND THE CZECH CRISIS'
Prague Spring Archive - Texas University
Speech by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev November 1968, as justification to Prague Spring - Fordham University
Note: In 1981, Yale Law reviewed the Brezhnev Doctrine - Law and Use of Force by States
Cold War studies (Transcript of Conversation between Brezhnev and Dubcek, 13 August 1968) - Harvard University
The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia - Michigan University
Crisis in Czechoslovakia - (includes translated documents, images, video & audio) Michigan State University
Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia - Wilson Centre Digital Archive
Czechoslovakia 1968 - includes CIA reports documenting the build-up to and Soviet Invasion
Information in JSTOR is 3-5 years old
Other Useful Databases
A great general encyclopedia, especially for Middle School, this is the largest, most authoritative encyclopedia in the world. Beside topical articles, it includes maps, photos, illustrations, videos, multimedia clips, and yearbooks from 1993 onward.
Username: brisboys and Password: trial. Look on the tab at the top and see if there are any 'Primary Sources'. On trial because of the corona virus shutdown until May 31.
Password: gift. This database is on trial until May 31, until end of corona virus shutdown. Look on the left-hand side for the different collections of ebooks and choose what you want.
When you are away from the campus you will need to login using the appropriate username and password, available in an email which has previously been sent to you by Ms King.