Core Documents Collection: The Cold War

This collection of documents on the Cold War continues TeachingAmericanHistory.org’s extended series of document collections covering major periods, themes and institutions in American history and government. The volume covers American aid to Europe in the early years of the Cold War and American intervention in subsequent years in conflicts around the world to contain the spread of Soviet power. Its documents also explore the dometic effects of the Cold War, chronicling how national security concerns affected relations between American citizens and between Americans and their government. Each volume includes:

Key documents on the period, theme or institution, selected by an expert and reviewed by an editorial board
A thematic table of contents, showing the connections between various documents
Study questions for each document as well as questions that refer to other documents in the collection
Notes on each document to identify people, events, movements, or ideas to improve understanding of the document’s historical context

Grades 10, 11, 12
History
Modules (Teaching Unit)

Congress, the President, and the War Powers (Fundamental Principles of Government)

This lesson will explore the implementation of the war-making power from the first declared war under the Constitution—the War of 1812—to the Iraq War. Using primary sources, students will investigate how the constitutional powers to initiate war have been exercised by the legislative and executive branches at several key moments in American history. They will also evaluate why and how the balance of authority in initiating war has changed over time, and the current balance of power.

Grades 10, 11, 12
Federal Government
Lesson Plans

Major Events of the Cold War

In this lesson, students will use short video clips to learn about major events occurring during the Cold War, the causes of these events, and their impact on the U.S., Soviet Union, and the world. Students will summarize this information by providing a written response that analyzes the legacy of the Cold War.

A Fire Waiting To Be Lit: The Origins of World War I

This year (2014) marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. This lesson, which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, examines the causes of WWI. The main article provides information on events leading up to the war and includes discussion and writing questions. Additional activities available are: The Bosnian Crisis of 1908; Did the Serbian Government meet the Austrian Demands?; What Country Was to Blame for WWI?; and two enrichment activities on cartoons and music.

Memorial Day Lesson Plans & Resources

Free PreK-12 Lessons for Memorial Day.

Find new ways to discover the meaning of Memorial Day with students using the free K-12 resources in this curated collection from Share My Lesson. The lessons and activities honor military men and women who died while on duty and explore the wars they served in, as well as the impact on their families and our country.

Grades K-12
Federal Government
Lesson Plans

Patriotism Crosses the Color Line: African Americans in World War II

Professor Clarence Taylor reminds us of the role African American soldiers played in the conflict—and the role their military service played in shaping the racial politics that followed in peacetime. This essay helps us appreciate the complexity of mobilization for modern warfare and drive home the impact of events on the world stage upon domestic affairs. Registration is required to view this resource.

America and Red Scare

The Cold War was sparked by the immediate aftermath of World War II. The Allied Forces were divided by ideology and quickly separated into two camps: the Western democracies, led by the United States, and the Communist nations, dominated by the Soviet Union. This alignment served as the basic framework of the Cold War over the next fifty years, from 1947-1991. As America positioned itself in opposition to totalitarian regimes, American citizens were forced to confront realities of what “freedom” meant, or should mean.

Grades 9-12
Federal Government
Primary Sources

The Meaning of Veterans Day

Each November 11, our nation commemorates Veterans Day. But what does the holiday mean, and how do we properly observe it? In this ebook, we examine the evolving meaning of Veterans Day, with selections by American authors and statesmen such as Ernest Hemingway, Robert Frost, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. Each selection includes a brief introduction by the editors with guiding questions for discussion. A model conversation is also featured.

Extending Suffrage to Women

In this activity, students will analyze documents pertaining to the women’s suffrage movement as it intensified following passage of the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed the right to vote for African American males. Documents were chosen to call attention to the struggle’s length, the movement’s techniques, and the variety of arguments for and against giving women the vote.

Grades 9-12
Voting, Elections, Politics
Primary Sources