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Unit 5: Crisis and Change

Lesson H: From Hot to Cold War

Opening: A Bipolar World

The global economy was greatly affected by World War II but countries were affected differently. The U.S. emerged the richest of countries and, by 1950, its GDP per person was much higher than that of any other country. It dominated the world economy and also had a major baby boom.

Most of Europe suffered for years and then rebounded economically. The U.S.S.R., however, despite tremendous mortality rates and material losses during World War II, enjoyed a rapid increase in production in the years immediately after the war. After World War II, the United States and the U.S.S.R. emerged as the major world powers and split the world into two camps in the Cold War of political tensions and military competition.

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Presentation Activity - Tensions between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

Mini Lesson Presentation Mini Lesson

Before you view the presentation:

Notebook Icon

As you view the presentation respond to the following question in your notebook.

  • What were the causes of tension between the United States and the U.S.S.R.?

View the presentation:

To review the causes of the tensions between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., select the play button to learn about tensions between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Take notes on the causes of the tensions in your notebook.

Mini Presentation

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The U.S. was the leading capitalist country and competed with the U.S.S.R., the leading communist country. These countries were involved in the political affairs and revolutions of many countries around the world, both directly and indirectly. The Cold War included a series of proxy wars and an unprecedented arms race.