Cold War:  The End, 1970-1991 - Poland's Example ('Solidarity')

In GCSE History students will look at the Cold War, which lasted from the end of World War II until the fall of the Soviet Union. One area they will focus on is how the Cold War and the Soviet Union came to an end.

In 1970 the Cold War was raging: Nixon was US President, Brezhnev was the leader of the Soviet Union and there was little hope of a more friendly atmosphere. By 1991 the Cold War was effectively over, following the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The Soviet Union had imploded and the Warsaw Pact was no more.

Find out how the Cold War finally ended in this enlightening quiz.

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  1. Which Polish trade union leader became the first president of an independent Poland?
    The growth of the Solidarity movement showed the strength of anti-Communist feelings, which spread beyond the confines of the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk
  2. Presidential elections were held in Russia in 1990. When had free elections most recently been held there?
    There had been regular elections during the Communist years, but these did not meet Western standards of fairness
  3. Which younger Soviet leader emerged as the Communist Party Secretary in 1985?
    A new Soviet leadership now enabled the USSR to negotiate more successfully with NATO
  4. What name was given to the nuclear treaty signed between East and West in 1979 to continue mutual disarmament?
    Both the USA and the USSR were spending huge sums on weaponry
  5. Which East European state was the first to set up a non-Communist government - even before the fall of the Wall?
    The signs of the collapse of Communism could be detected throughout Eastern Europe, well before the collapse of the Berlin Wall
  6. In which year did the re-unification of Germany take place following the fall of the Berlin Wall?
    Chancellor Kohl of West Germany was keen to move towards re-unification of the two German states as quickly as possible
  7. Which Afghan leader did the Soviet Union support, following their invasion of that country in 1979?
    Once the Soviet Union had invaded Afghanistan they needed a compliant ruler who could be relied on to foster Communism there
  8. Which year marked the official end of the Cold War?
    The beginning of the crumbling of the Warsaw Pact, and threats to the unity of the USSR itself, forced the end of Cold War hostilities
  9. In the early 1980s three NATO members (Great Britain, the Netherlands and Italy) requested US-made missiles to deter the new Soviet SS20 rocket. Which was the principal missile involved?
    The USSR's introduction of new missiles seemed to be an unacceptable escalation of the Cold War arms race
  10. In which year were Soviet troops withdrawn from Afghanistan?
    The USSR took its forces out of Afghanistan after years of failure trying to subdue this turbulent state

Author: Edward Towne

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