Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941-91

Why do we study this? What the exam board says…

In this option, students study a period of immense recent significance in the development of our modern world. It is a story of mistrust and nervous tension, spying and treachery, tragedy and new hope, destruction and rebuilding.
Here, too, is the story behind every spy thriller: why the USA and the Soviet Union became locked in a deadly battle of words; how close the world came to nuclear catastrophe; what was really going on in the minds of leaders from Stalin to Kennedy, Reagan to Gorbachev, how secret agents plotted and East German holidaymakers helped to tear down the Berlin Wall. It is a story of crisis talks and secret police, puppet leaders and power struggles – and of ordinary people changing the course of history. Its framework is the confrontation, military and ideological, between the two Superpowers that dominated the world during these years. It is a story of crises and conflict on a global scale: from the Berlin Blockade and the Cuban Missile Crisis, to the tanks in the streets of Budapest and Prague, to spies, student riots and encounters in space.
The Cold War is over, but its legacy remains. This period study of twentieth-century international relations will help students to engage with new as well as familiar issues in the twenty-first century.

How will you be assessed?

This paper is the period study and will be bundled in with the British depth study. If you are not sure which British depth study you do, ask your teacher.

You answer three compulsory questions for the period study. 

● Question 1: Explain two consequences of… You need to use PEE to give a consequence and explain it.

● Question 2: Write a narrative account analysing the key events off… You need to write 3 paragraphs telling the beginning, middle and end of an historical event.

● Question 3: Explain two of the following: The importance of… for… you select two from a choice of three parts. You need to write two PEEA paragraphs explaining the importance of an event/person/development in terms of what difference they made in relation to specified situations and unfolding developments (i.e. their consequence and significance).

Topic 1: The Origins of the Cold War 1941-58
Topic 2: Cold War Crises 1958-70
Superpower Relations and the Cold War 1941-1991
Topic 3: The End of the Cold War 1970-91
Scroll to Top