The United States and the Soviet Union emerged from the World War II to displace Western Europe as the world’s superpowers. However, with the defeat of their common enemy, their primary bond was broken. Their differences, most notably their visions of a postwar Europe, drove the allied nations into an ideological conflict that would span 45 years, force most nations to choose sides, and bring the world to the brink of destruction. But could the Cold War have been avoided? For this activity, students consider the major factors stemming from World War II that led to the Cold War and develop a plan that could have brought the victors of the world together.
Please Note: While most of the major tensions between the United States and Soviet Union surfaced during World War II, some of the roots of the conflict stretch back even further. This lesson ONLY discusses World War II and its immediate aftermath.