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Unit 5: Crisis and Change

Lesson H: From Hot to Cold War

Activity 6: The Cold War Expands

map of Asia map of Asia

Map of Asia [1]

The Cold War was not an isolated event or a conflict simply between the United States and the U.S.S.R.; the Cold War enveloped many countries around the world. China was a major player in the Cold War and was an ally of the U.S.S.R. The events that followed illustrate the growing globalization of the Cold War.

Both the United States and the U.S.S.R. had been interested in controlling Asia for reasons similar to Japan’s desire during World War II and the Sino-Japanese wars. Each wanted to tap the natural resources of the region. The Cold War contenders also wanted to spread their respective economic ideologies and political structures as well, and, thereby spread their spheres of influence.

The U.S.S.R was aggressively pursuing a policy of support for national liberation movements across Asia, especially in Indochina and Malaya, which were still colonies of France and Great Britain, respectively.

Map of Indochina in shaded green Map of Indochina in shaded green
Map of Indochina (Shaded Green) [2]

Map showing British Malaya in Green Map showing British Malaya in Green
British Malaya [3]


image of classroom blackboard with world history written on it

Classroom Activity - The Cold War Expands

jigsaw image Jigsaw

Directions: Follow your teacher's directions to complete the jigsaw activity. After completing the assignment, prepare for discussion.

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Download the Student Resource: The Cold War Expands (doc).

Select the link for Korean War
Select the link for Cuban Revolution
Select the link for Vietnam War
Select the link for Cambodia


Discussion Icon Discussion

Directions: Prepare a response to the discussion question below. Follow your teacher’s directions to participate in your class discussion.

  • What influence did the U.S.S.R., China, and/or the United States have on countries during the Cold War?
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Select the link to review the Discussion Scoring Tool (pdf).


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Page Notes:

[1] Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Asie.svg is in the public domain.

[2] Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Indochina.PNG is in the public domain.

[3] Source: This image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:LocationBritishMalaya.png is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.