Lesson: The Cold War and the Nuclear Weapons Threat

Historians in the News
tags: Cold War, nuclear weapons, teaching history





The Cold War and the Nuclear Weapons Threat


This six-minute video provides students with a brief and engaging overview of the nuclear standoff during the Cold War, and how it permeated American culture. It poses the question of whether the threat posed by nuclear weapons may be greater now than ever before. The video contextualizes the current discussion of nuclear proliferation by comparing today’s problems with the comparative predictability of the Cold War’s nuclear standoff, showing students both the changes and the continuities relating to one of the gravest challenges of the 21st century.

This video was featured in an online class on The Cold War in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s History School and Joe Welch, a 2018 Gilder Lehrman National History Teacher of the Year and Master Teacher.

Students will learn

  • How Cold War fears led the United States and the Soviet Union to amass large nuclear arsenals.
  • How the bipolar world system of the Cold War and cooperation between the two superpowers created some degree of stability and predictability in managing the risk posed by nuclear weapons.
  • Why nuclear proliferation over the last 20 years has led some experts to believe that nuclear weapons pose a greater threat to humanity today than ever before.
Read entire article at Retro Report

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