A world divided: superpower relations, 1943–72 Edexcel IGCSE Resources

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Paper 1:6 A world divided: superpower relations, 1943–72

For this history module, students need to learn about:

Reasons for the Cold War

  • Long-term rivalry between the Soviet Union and the West and the ideological differences between Communism and Capitalism;
  • Tensions and disagreements during the Second World War;
  • Key features of the conferences at Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam;
  • The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe;
  • The attitudes of Truman and Stalin

Early developments in the Cold War, 1945–49

  • Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe. Churchill and the ‘iron curtain’;
  • The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan;
  • Cominform and Comecon. Disagreements over Germany including Bizonia;
  • Causes, events and results of the Berlin Crisis (1948–49), including the setting up of NATO and the creation of two Germanys: the Federal Republic (FRG) and the Democratic Republic (GDR)

The Cold War in the 1950s

  • The impact of the Korean War and the formation of the Warsaw Pact;
  • Khrushchev and peaceful co-existence;
  • The impact of Soviet rule on Hungary, Rakosi, de-Stalinisation, Nagy and his demands. Reasons for the Soviet invasion of Hungary, its effects and the international reaction;
  • The nuclear arms race and its impact on superpower relations

Three crises: Berlin, Cuba and Czechoslovakia

  • The U2 incident (1960) and its effects on the Paris Summit Conference;
  • Reasons for the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, including the refugee problem;
  • The effects of the Berlin Wall on relations between East and West Germany and between the Superpowers;
  • The Bay of Pigs invasion, the causes and key events of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the reasons for its outcome;
  • The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia – its causes, events and impact, including the Brezhnev Doctrine

The Thaw and moves towards Détente, 1963–72

  • The thaw: ‘Hotline’, Test Ban Treaty, Outer Space Treaty and Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty;
  • Reasons for Détente;
  • SALT talks and treaty;
  • The extent of Détente in 1972

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