From ABC-CLIO's History Hub website
After decades of tension and diplomacy, the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991. This collection of resources provides students with an overview of the many factors contributing to the communist empire's demise, including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and reforms instituted under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev. Use the Export to My Lists button above to turn this into a research list for your students.
Time Period Key Understandings
The struggle for political power can motivate nationalist response among the citizenry
Contrasting influences of communism and democracy can lead to difficult and fragmented transitions in political states
Geographic containment does not mean ideological containment
Ideological wars do not have physical endings
The legacies of political leadership and social policy cannot be erased
Weapons of mass destruction increase the impact and importance of political policy
Nationalism can motivate both national unity and domestic terrorism
The global focus on human rights influenced political regimes and economic structures
How did the end of the détente policy among the Cold War superpowers accelerate the fall of the Soviet Union?
How did the Helsinki Accords' position on human rights contribute to the decline of the Soviet Union?
How did the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan affect Soviet relations with the United States? How did Ronald Reagan demonstrate that the U.S. was no longer pursuing détente?
How did Mikhail Gorbachev bring a new approach to Soviet interactions with the U.S.? How did his policies change life within the Soviet Union?
Why do you think the final collapse of the Soviet Union was largely peaceful?