May 2011 Archives

Q4 - Lesson #35 - South Africa Before and After Apartheid

We'll start with the 35:2 quiz.

Your reading for today focused on the challenges of democracy in Africa. We can touch base on the Nigeria story, but the country of South Africa will be our focus for today. In particular, we'll examine the system of apartheid that was in place for decades. After that, we'll consider the threat AIDS is posing in many areas of the world by considering the case study of sub-Saharan Africa.

Apartheid in South Africa - When we last left South Africa, it had become an independent member of the British Commonwealth between the world wars. In 1948, the Afrikaner-led Nationalist Party came to power advocating a system of apartheid. For more than four decades, this become one of the most notorious governmental systems in the world.

  • How did apartheid work?
  • What was the damage done by apartheid?
  • How was apartheid opposed? (Internally? Externally?)
  • How was the system of apartheid dismantled?
Timeline of Apartheid -
  • 1948 - National Party institutes apartheid
  • 1950 - race classification, Group Areas Act passed, ANC banned
  • 1960 - Sharpeville Massacre
  • 1964 - Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment
  • 1976 - Soweto Uprising - 600 killed
  • 1977 - Stephen Biko killed in police custody
  • 1980s - international pressure increases
  • 1986 - state of emergency
  • 1989 - F.W. de Klerk becomes president
  • 1990 - Mandela released, ANC unbanned
  • 1994 - Mandela elected president in free elections


The colored areas on the map show the "homelands" or Bantustans where the black African population of South Africa was forced to live during the apartheid decades.

AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa: While certainly a worldwide crisis, AIDS has struck most severely in Sub-Saharan Africa. We'll take a look at the extent of the crisis using a set of overheads that look at the "numbers" behind the crisis. (These particular overheads are from 2000, so the specific numbers are no longer accurate. However, they certainly make certain points effectively. You can find updated information below.)


Some questions for us to consider:
  • Why has AIDS hit Sub-Saharan Africa so heavily?
  • What might be done to slow the epidemic?
  • Should (or how should) the outside world help in dealing with the effects of the epidemic?
Here are some additional resources on AIDS:

Here is the 2009 report of the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. There are a lot of links to statistics and resources.

"Death Stalks a Continent" - Time, (2001) - As the front page says, "This is a story about AIDS in Africa. Look at the pictures. Read the words. And then try not to care."

If you want some straight-forward information, the Global Issues - AIDS in Africa site is a good one to use.

"Worldwide AIDS epidemic slowing, says UN" - The Guardian, July 29, 2008. This is one of many articles suggesting that the epidemic may be slowing. (Don't confuse that with being cured.)

"FRONTLINE: The Age of AIDS" - This 2006 PBS site looks at the worldwide aspects. The timeline and map features are both interesting.

HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Wednesday, June 1st

Please continue your reading in Chapter 35 with Section 3, "The Collapse of the Soviet Union." (pp. 1046-1051) The quiz will be fill-in-the-blank.

Remember that your final batch of Current Events is due on Friday, June 3rd. You can download this template for your Final Set of Current Events. (Remember, you are picking stories from particular areas, not according to the AP History themes we had been using.) 

Unit #8 Exam - Identifications and Essay Questions

Here's another copy of the Unit #8 Review/Study Guide.

Unit #8 Identifications: On Thursday, June 9th, you will write on your choice of 5 of the 8 identifications that appear on the ID portion of the Final (Unit #8) Exam chosen from the list below. You may bring 10 words of "notes" for each of the 15 possible identifications to the exam. (Printed out, as you will not be able to use your computer.) You will need to turn in these notes, and I reserve the right to count symbols, acronyms, etc. as one or more words. Each of the five identifications is worth 5 points.

A good identification is typically in the range of 4 to 6 sentences in length. (You do need to write in complete sentences.) You should demonstrate both an understanding of just who / what the ID "is" and place it in the appropriate historical context. In addition, you need to explain the significance of the ID. In other words, answer the "So what?" question.

Marshall Plan
Cultural Revolution
Khmer  Rouge
Fidel Castro
Korean War
Nikita Khrushchev
Partition of India
Six-Day War
Tiananmen Square

Unit #8 Essay Exam - Questions and Format - You'll write an essay as part of the Final (Unit #8) Exam. This essay should be turned in no later than at your arrival to the Social Studies Final Exam on Thursday, June 9th. Below you can find both the questions from which you will choose and the format for the essay portion on the Unit #8 Exam. The essay will be evaluated on the usual 30 point scale, and that score is doubled in PowerSchool.

Format: The actual essay will be written by hand or word-processed. You should prepare for a five-paragraph essay. That means that you should include an introduction (with a clear thesis statement), three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. (Note that the questions lend themselves to such a format. That is on purpose.)

Remember that the questions are not designed for you to tell us everything you have learned. Focus on what the question is requiring you to do.

* I want them printed out. Printing double-sided is fine.

A. Identify and explain the significance of the three specific events that you feel best represent the overall nature of the Cold War. Is the world of today more or less safe than the Cold War world? Why?

B. On Lesson #24, you were introduced to the "Doomsday Clock." (Here's the timeline. It is currently set for six minutes to midnight.) Identify and explain the significance of three factors/issues that you think should be considered foremost in deciding where to set the clock in the near future. Two years from now, what time do you think the Doomsday Clock should read? Why?

C. Imagine that you have been given complete control of the Middle East peace process. Explain your recommendation or position on each of these three issues: the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, the future of the Old City of Jerusalem, and the status of the security barrier built by Israel along the West Bank. Five years from now, will the Palestinian / Israeli situation be more or less peaceful than it is today?

D. To many, the Cold War is the dominant theme of the post-World War II world. Setting aside events that took place between the superpowers, identify and explain the significance of the three world events that you believe will come to be recognized by historians as the most important of the last half of the 20th century. Which specific individual do you believe best epitomizes the post-World War II world?

Q4 - Lesson #27.5 - The Cold War Continues (some more...)

We'll be holding our "Cold Warriors" Anniversary round table tomorrow. You'll get some preparation time today. Remember that you are only asked to do a very brief introduction that focuses on your role in the Cold War.

Fighting the "Cold War": We've already been talking about Cold War events, but I think it makes sense to take a step back here and consider the broader picture. Here are a couple of questions for you:

  • Was the Cold War inevitable? Why or why not?
  • From the perspective of 1945, do you think either side conceived that this conflict would last for more than 40 years?
  • From the perspective of 1945, do you think either side could realistically have predicted victory?
While fought on a variety of fronts with a wide variety of tactics, here are some of what historians generally agree where the "strategies" of the Cold War. (A slightly different list appears on page 983 in your text...) It would be good if we can think of some examples of each of these strategies.

  • Espionage
  • Propaganda
  • Foreign assistance
  • Weapons development / arms race
  • Multinational alliances
  • Technological development
  • Brinkmanship
  • Proxy wars

The Doomsday Clock - Since 1947, the Board of Directors of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have kept the "Doomsday Clock." Originally set to reflect the dangers of a thermonuclear way, it now also represents the danger of other forms of "catastrophic destruction" as well. It is an interesting way to look at the tensions of the Cold War.


Cold War Time Capsules - Assume that you've been put in charge of compiling a time capsule of the Cold War. It will be opened in 2041, the 50th anniversary of the end of the Cold War. You've got room for ten items. What do you (and a partner if you want) put in the capsule?  Why?

Cold War Photo Album - A slightly different version. You're limited to ten photographs to capture the essence of the Cold War. Which do you select? Why?

HOMEWORK for next session - Thursday, May 19th

You can continue to take a break from the reading again tonight. You will be asked to read 34:1 for tomorrow's quiz. Obviously, you can get a head start reading in Chapter 34 with Section 1, "The Indian Subcontinent Achieves Freedom" (pp. 997-1003). The quiz will be true/false. (Reading tip: The book includes a lot of "current" names that are no longer that current. With India, you can stop worrying about names with Rajiv Gandhi. In Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto is a good stopping point. Don't worry about any Bangladeshi leaders by name.)

CONGRATULATIONS! When was the last time you read one thousand pages in a book???

"Your" Cold Warrior should be ready to present at tomorrow's Cold Warrior Retirement Home 20th Anniversary Celebration.

CNN: Cold War "Reports" - Quarter 4 - 2011

This is where you should post your blog entry on the CNN: Cold War Reports episode that you watched. It should contain the following.

  1. Provide the title of your episode, along with a several sentence summary of what it was about.
  2. Identify and key terms or people about which people should know.
  3. List the three main conclusions/points/ideas that people should take away from this episode. (We'll share these verbally in class as well.)
  4. Your reaction to the events you saw. Were there particular people or nations who acted in ways you found praiseworthy, dangerous, etc.?
  5. Your recommendation as to whether this is a worthwhile episode for others to watch.

Q4 - Lesson #24 - The Origins of the Cold War

We'll talk briefly about your work from yesterday, and then we'll jump into the Cold War.

I've got a "The Beginning of the Cold War" DBQ activity that should help give you the "big picture" of the Cold War. It's got useful background information and will serve as a valuable starting point.

CNN - Cold War: First, you're going to draw to select an episode of the highly regarded CNN - Cold War series to watch online. We'll do the drawing today. It's nothing major, but you'll basically be asked to post a brief summary and respond to a couple of questions. Here are the various episode titles and links to them. (My plan is that we'll go over the first half of these on Monday.)

1. Comrades 
2. Iron Curtain 
3. Marshall Plan 
4. Berlin 
5. Korea
6. Reds 
7. After Stalin 
8. Sputnik 
9. The Wall 
10. Cuba 
11. Vietnam 
12. MAD 
13. Make Love, Not War 
14. Red Spring 
15. China 
16. D├ętente 
17. Good Guys, Bad Guys 
18. Backyard 
19. Freeze 
20. Soldiers of God 
21. Spies 
22. Star Wars 
23. The Wall Comes Down 
24. Conclusions 

When you have finished summarizing, please post your blog entry on the CNN: Cold War Reports blog entry listed above. It should contain the following.

  1. Provide the title of your episode, along with a several sentence summary of what it was about.
  2. Identify and key terms or people about which people should know.
  3. List the three main conclusions/points/ideas that people should take away from this episode. (We'll share these verbally in class as well.)
  4. Your reaction to the events you saw. Were there particular people or nations who acted in ways you found praiseworthy, dangerous, etc.?
  5. Your recommendation as to whether this is a worthwhile episode for others to watch.

Cold Warriors - Pick One: Here's your chance to take on the persona of your favorite "Cold Warrior." Thursday, we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the End of the Cold War at the Cold Warrior Retirement Home. (1991 is generally considered to mark the end of the Cold War.) You will select from the list of participants below. You'll be expected to look into "your" role in the Cold War. We don't need to know a bunch more about other aspects of your life. Keep it simple and straight-forward. We're talking introductions of about a minute or two. Following that, there will be some questions for the group to discuss.

Your roles were selected from the list at the Cold War International History Project's Cold War Files (a great site) page cleverly entitled, "People." I'd recommend starting your research there.


  • Mao Zedong
  • Zhou Enlai - NOT this quarter


  • Lech Walesa
  • Vaclav Havel - NOT this quarter
  • Margaret Thatcher
  • Erich Honecker
  • Willy Brandt
  • Konrad Adenauer - NOT this quarter


  • Syngman Rhee
  • Kim Il Sung

Soviet Union

  • Joseph Stalin
  • Nikita Khrushchev
  • Andrei Gromyko - NOT this quarter
  • Leonid Brezhnev
  • Mikhail Gorbachev

United States

  • Harry Truman
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • John Kennedy
  • Lyndon Johnson
  • Richard Nixon
  • Henry Kissinger - NOT this quarter
  • Ronald Reagan


  • Ngo Dinh Diem
  • Ho Chi Minh

  • Fidel Castro

HOMEWORK for tomorrow - Friday, May 13th

Please continue reading in Chapter 33 with Section 3. The quiz will be matching.

"Your" episode of the CNN: Cold War series should be watched by Monday. (Realistically, we won't get to all of them that day, but we'll do as many as we can. We will go in order.)

Our 19th Anniversary of the End of the Cold War round-table discussion will take place next Thursday.

Q4 - Lesson #17.5 - Reports from the Front - Preparation

Welcome back... Please note that the Unit #7 Identifications and Essay Exam Questions are posted on a previous entry.

Here are the six "fronts" from which we will be hearing over the next two class periods:
  • War in Europe
  • War in North Africa
  • The Russian Front
  • The Holocaust
  • War in the Pacific
  • The United States and the War
Each of these timelines can be found here. Barring multiple absences or something else strange, my plan is to hear from the first three groups today.

Here's a reminder of the expectations:

Assume that you have a maximum of 20 minutes to walk us through the events of your timeline. (15 minutes would be a reasonable minimum.)

"Reporting Live..." - For at least three of your events, a group member should report "live" from the scene. Basically, I'm thinking you will give us a minute or so as if you were there, reporting on what is happening/what happened and why it is/was significant. 

"Where in the World?" - Basically, be sure we understand the geographic context for your information.

Visuals - Seeing something visual to accompany several of your events seems like a reasonable expectation.

You need to make sure you are crediting the original sources, but Eyewitness to History - World War II might be useful to you.

You are certainly free to put your own spin on these requirements, but I think the basic requirements are pretty straight-forward. Obviously, you'll be expected to show the proper level of decorum for your particular events as well.

HOMEWORK for next session  - Tuesday, May 3rd

Finish your reading for Unit #7 with Section 5 in Chapter 32, "Europe and Japan in Ruins." (pp. 948 - 951) The quiz will be multiple choice.

The remaining groups should be ready for your "World War II Timeline Reports" tomorrow. 

Remember that the Unit #7 Identifications (and DBQ) Exam will be on Friday. The possible IDs (and the essay choices) are posted on another entry.The Unit #7 Essay is due to me by the end of Monday, May 9th. Monday is also the day when we will have the Unit #7 Multiple Choice Exam.

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