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Unit 6: Modern World History

Lesson A: 20th Century Global Politics - The Cold War

Review and Assessment


The fall of the Soviet Union was not an event that took place over night. It occurred because of a series of events, over many years, which created overwhelming pressure on the Soviet government. Individuals and groups both within and outside of the Soviet Union weakened communism’s control of Europe and Asia over time. As a result of these events, as of January 1, 1992, the Soviet Union no longer existed.

Directions: The interactive map from the opening of the lesson containing key events from 1945-present is linked below. In previous activities, you learned about the rise and fall of communism during the Cold War. Select the link below to look at each continent and review the role of communism in world events.

Activator: 1945-Present

Quiz Icon Select this link to review the pre-assessment prior to completing the lesson assessment. (Select it a second time to hide it.)

Now that you have reviewed the role of communism in world events, move on to the assessment.


The events of the Cold War had a global impact. After China became communist, the superpowers involved themselves in regional conflicts that soon became proxy wars. The threat of nuclear war was real, and impacted the lives of people everywhere. However, a series of events weakened communism in the Soviet Union towards the end of the 20th century. The events were a result of both internal weaknesses and external threats to the power of the Soviet communist regimes. Think about these examples as you complete the BCR below.

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Brief Constructed Response - Decline of Communism

Why did communism in the Soviet Union decline by the end of the 20th century?

  • Explain how internal events led to the end of the communist Soviet Union.
  • Explain how external events led to the end of the communist Soviet Union.
  • Include details and examples to support your answer.

Download Icon Download the Student Resource: Decline of Communism Brief Constructed Response (BCR) (doc).

Download Icon Select the link to review the Social Studies Rubric (pdf).

Dropbox Icon Submit the completed BCR to your teacher as instructed.