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As your Reading and Discussions point out, one of the biggest issues that citizens and politicians confronted during the 1960s was the Cold War, which might be defined as the geopolitical tensions and proxy wars fought between the United States and the Soviet Union. Indeed, for anyone who grew up during the 1950s, 60s, or 70s, the Cold War was a household topic everyone seemed to understand.


The purpose of this Assignment is to analyze how people understand the Cold War today. For example, what do everyday people today think of when they hear Cold War?


Conceptions of cold war

Cold war has been a matter which holds a significant part in the history of the world. But what is one of the main concerns in today’s world is that how much we know about something that has been such an important part of the history. When people have been asked about different phrases of cold war, and also about what they understand when they hear the term, different people responded differently. Some were close to being right and some were far away.

‘Cold war’ as we all know was ‘something that represented a conflict in two extreme ideologies, capitalism and communism which gave rise to bitter and hostile feelings amongst the two most powerful countries of the world’(What was the Cold War?, 2014)

Usually schools always land up giving a brief knowledge about some or the aspect of cold war, but not everything is remembered by the people. “Britain and USSR, and an iron curtain (Churchill) between then, seeds of hostility, where it’s not a war but there is no peace either was something that was known as the cold war” was a definition provided by an interviewee who happens to be pretty aware of what the cold war is. “Cold war? What is that? Some kind of war maybe? In the cold areas!” was what another respondent said finally “cold war, was the time when people were silently fighting to become the power block of the world, after the second world war, trying to get each country on their side, and a situation of hot peace existed” showing that this respondent too has some knowledge about it.

The perfect definition has been given in our reading material of the cold war. When we look at the definition we see that the first and the third respondent were pretty near to the definition of the cold war and have a clear understanding of the phase of history that took place after the Second World War. We see that their understanding is pretty clear, except the one who doesn’t even have a clue about what the cold war is. Its either of the extreme, either people know exactly what it is, or they don’t at all.

We saw that the respondents had some idea about what the cold war is and used phrases like ‘seeds of hostility’ (The Cold War) and ‘hot peace’ (Betts) show us that they have to some extent the idea of what cold war actually was. Other respondent seems to be pretty ignorant about the whole matter.

When it comes to topics like the cold war, it has to be noted that the primary and secondary education plays an important role in spreading the knowledge about the different phases of history to students in general (The Cold War for Kids ). If this wasn’t the case, only the students of history would have known about it. But like mentioned above the schools and the colleges usually provides the kind of knowledge that gives people the basic idea of things. The ignorance that is also seen in the respondent is also a result of what might not have been paid attention too. Usually people of different age brackets have different views on the given topic. Here we have considered only three respondents, first one being a college student, second a working personnel and third a college dropout. It was the working personnel who have least idea about the cold war, which does not even come near to the actual definition of cold war. Usually when we look up for the definitions of cold war we see that ‘this was more like a disaster that arose because of the given situation, which was the quest for power and an aim to bring the different countries of the world on its side’ (COLD WAR). The mentioning of the parts like the time of cold war, and the parties of the cold war, and what it actually was tells us that the respondents because of their primary education know exactly what cold war is.



Betts, R. K. (n.d.). From Cold War to Hot Peace: The Habit of American Force. Retrieved 3 6, 2015, from www.psqonline.org: https://www.psqonline.org/article.cfm?IDArticle=18965

Churchill, W. (n.d.). Cold War 1946 Churchill delivers Iron Curtain speech. Retrieved 3 6, 2015, from www.history.com: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/churchill-delivers-iron-curtain-speech

COLD WAR. (n.d.). Retrieved 3 6, 2015, from www.history.com: https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war

The Cold War. (n.d.). Retrieved 3 6, 2015, from www.atomcentral.com: https://www.atomcentral.com/the-cold-war.aspx

The Cold War for Kids . (n.d.). Retrieved 3 6, 2015, from www.coldwar.me: https://www.coldwar.me/coldwarforkids.html

What was the Cold War? (2014). Retrieved 3 6, 2015, from www.historylearningsite.co.uk: https://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/what%20was%20the%20cold%20war.htm


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