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Transcript
World History
Mr. Plouffe
Korea International School
Cold War: Traditionalist versus Revisionist Perspective
Name: ________________________________
The Cold War, like any period in history, can be interpreted from several
perspectives. The two perspectives that we are going to examine are the
traditionalist and the revisionist.
The traditionalist perspective (in this case) is the pro-American stance and
is mostly critical of the USSR. And considers American responses to Soviet
aggression as being at the very least well intentioned.
On the other hand the revisionist looks at events through the eyes of the
Soviet Union, and seeks to explain their actions as being plausible given the
circumstances in which they found themselves at certain junctures in
history.
Event
Pulling out of
World War I.
Traditionalist Perspective
Abandoned the Triple
Entente, and left the allies to
have to fight the entire
German army on the Western
front.
Revisionist Perspective
The Russians had to pull out
of the war. They were in the
midst of a revolution. As well
many Western nations sent
troops to Russia to put down
the Bolshevik revolution.
There were may
anticommunist movements in
the west, esp. in America.
The nonaggression treaty
with Hitler
The D-Day
Invasion
Declaration of
war against Japan
by the USSR
The dropping of
the A-bomb on
Show that the Western allies
delayed it till USSR was too
weak to fight.
USA wanted to demonstrate
its power to the Soviet Union.
1
World History
Mr. Plouffe
Korea International School
Hiroshima and
Nagasaki.
Soviet
establishment of
pro-Communist
governments in
Eastern Europe
at the end of
WW II.
Task:
As you have observed above, a perspective is the pair of glasses through
which one views an event. Clearly, what is being viewed can be the same, but
how it is being interpreted is going to be very different.
1. For each of the events below provide one (or two interpretations) of
the events given.
2. In your view, who was most to blame for the poor relations between
the USSR and the West up to and including the final year of World
War II? Provide a brief summary why each side would be seen as
responsible.
a. The West (Capitalist side)
b. The USSR (Communist side)
3. If you were to pick out one event to prove the nastiness of the
opposing side, what would it be and why?
a. The West (Capitalist side)
b. The USSR (Communist side)
2