Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Problem, Action, Reaction - Cold War
Author:
Robert Brosseau
Course:
US History
Time Frame:
overnight homework, one class day
Subjects:
Marshall Plan
,
Cold War

Grade Levels:
11

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

Investigate other sources to determine Cause(s) and Effect(s) of various early Cold War events

Rationale:

 To encourage both time-bound thinking (Cause & Effect) as well as research skills

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:


Missouri Course Level Expectations for United States History:  

3(a) Knowledge of Continuity and Change in History of the US

  • W – Foreign and Domestic policy developments    SS3 1.10
  • X – Causes, comparisons, and results of major 20th century wars  SS3  1.6; 1.9 ; 3.5 ; 3.6

Kansas Standards

Benchmark 3: The student uses a working knowledge and understanding of individuals, groups, ideas,
developments, and turning points in the era of the Cold War (1945-1990).
2. analyzes the origins of the Cold War (e.g., establishment of the
Soviet Bloc, Mao’s victory in China, Marshall Plan, Berlin Blockade,
Iron Curtain).
3. (A) evaluates the foreign policies of Truman and Eisenhower during
the Cold War (e.g., establishment of the United Nations,
containment, NATO, Truman Doctrine, Berlin Blockade, Korean
War, Iron Curtain, U-2 incident).

Benchmark 5: The student engages in historical thinking skills.
3.(A) uses primary and secondary sources about an event in U.S.
history to develop a credible interpretation of the event, evaluating
on its meaning (e.g., uses provided primary and secondary sources
to interpret a historical-based conclusion).

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

Truman Library student research file site ( http://www.trumanlibrary.org/bfiles.htm )

Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:

any four of the documents referenced in the student research file – anticipate seeing Truman Doctrine speech, NATO founding )

Full description of activity or assignment.

APUSH                       COLD WAR                                      PAR/CAR ACTIVITY

The outbreak and progression of the Cold War results from multiple events (at home and overseas) with multiple influences (Cause & Effect, both domestic and foreign) that are often difficult to understand.  Understanding these events is important for success on the AP exam as well as understanding much of our concurrent and later history. 

One way to understand them is to think of these events as either a Problem for one group of people, an Action by one group of people to solve a problem they are experiencing, or a Reaction by one group of people to an action by a different group.  This method is called the PAR method. 

A second way to understand these events is to think of them as Actions by a group of people taken due to a previous Cause for that action and, once taken, an action that has a Result.  This method is called the CAR method. 

 

Directions – Classify the following events using either the PAR system or the CAR system whichever you prefer.  List the other two parts of the classification you choose.  You may use different methods for different events as you choose.  But be prepared to defend your thinking, verbally or in writing. 

            Research Twist:  You are required to select four events of your choosing from the Truman Library website (http://www.trumanlibrary.org/).  Hint:  you are a student doing educational research, looking for documents online.  There are a wide variety of events you can choose, but as always, it is your justification via the PAR/CAR format that will be graded. 

 

PAR= Problem, Action, Reaction                  CAR=Cause, Action, Result 

examples:

                                                            P=US fears likely high casualties from invasion of Japan

Hiroshima bombing (PAR)                 A=Hiroshima  bombing

                                                            R=Japan surrenders; problem solved, or

                                                              =Russia accelerates its own nuclear program, new problem

 

                                                            C=Einstein letter to FDR suggesting the possibility of nuclear weapons

Hiroshima bombing (CAR)                 A=Hiroshima bombing

                                                            R=nuclear strategy dominates post-war US security thinking, or

                                                              =US dominant global military power, or

                                                              =radiation fallout in Hiroshima

 

Hiroshima bombing (CAR)                 C=Hiroshima bombing

                                                            A=Japanese surrender to end WWII

                                                            R=US demobilizes

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Yalta Conference (1945)

 

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United Nations founding (1945)

 

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event #1_______________________________ (____)

 

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event #2 ______________________________ (_____)

 

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Communists win Chinese civil war (1949)

 

 

event #3 _____________________________ (______) 

 

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event #4 ______________________________ (______) 

 

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Julius & Ethel Rosenburg executed (1953)

 

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Warsaw Pact formed (1955)

 

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Hungarian uprising (1956)

 

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Cuban Revolution (1959)

 

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U2 incident (1960)

 

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Cuban Missile Crisis (1962)

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:

Two choices:

1.     No class time – each blank must be logically filled in at one point each for a total of 30 points.  Alternative is to give more points for the researched events.

2.    Class time (preferred).  Students write their choices on the board and defend them verbally to their classmates.  All students must ask at least one question of another presentation.  The grade is participation for both defending their choices and asking a question of others’ presentation.