Ekta's Modern World History Blog

Friday, May 12, 2006

Cold War Project: Historical Imagination

Dearest Jamie,
How are you? How are your parents? How’s everything going? Hope this letter finds you and your family in the best of health. I really miss you since the wall has been constructed between us. The day I heard about the construction, I tried to find a way to cross the wall with my family, but it wasn’t possible; the wall is too thick and there are always soldiers guarding the walls.
Life’s been tough living on this side of the wall. Everything belongs to the state, we aren’t allowed to own anything. We have to pay high taxes each month, but we are lucky because we have some private business running over here. Anyways, there are also positive things happening. For example, everyone out here are equal. There is no one superior then another. Even the richest person is equal to the poor. Everyone receives the same amount of money out here.
There is only one political party in-control of everything, no opposition at all. I don’t really like the way they run the country at all, its not really fair and there are also corrupted, wasting money on useless things instead of making our lives better. Anyways, I don’t want you to feel bad for us so I will stop describing the circumstances here. I just wanted to ask how you are and how is it being on that side of the wall. I guess I would have to end this letter now, so take care and hopefully one day we will get to meet each other soon.
Sincerely, Ekta

Cold War Project: Maps

This map shows the alliances of United States and Soviet Unions. Europe was split into two; the communist side and the non-communist side. West Germany was the non-communist side and the alliances of United States, while East Germany was the communist side and alliances of the Soviet. The countries in orange are other communist countries which later joined the Soviet Union in the Cold War. By studying this map, it helps me have a better view of how the world was like during the Cold War. The only continent/country that wasn’t part of the Cold War was Africa, while the nearly the rest of the world was involved in the war. http://encarta.msn.com/media_701722302/Cold_War_Alliances.html

This map represents Germany and how it was divided among the countries that wanted to possess it. The countries that gained part of Germany include United States, Britain, Soviet Union, and France. This map also indicates the Berlin Airlift, or in other words the line that the West was allowed to use to transport goods to the East. If the airplanes flew out of the line, it would be shot down, so the pilots have to be really careful in flying the planes. From studying this map, it makes me have a better understanding of how Germany was divided amongst the four countries and where the Berlin Airlift line was.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Cold War Project: Political Cartoons

This image represents the USA’s president and the USSR’s leader. The two have their heads stuck together, and are both angered at each other. Each leader is standing on their own territory and has their weapons ready to fight at any occasion. This image symbolizes that the two nations can not get along together and are always armed with advanced weapons incase they are attacked. Both the leaders desire to be the only superpower. The cartoonist is trying to convey the message that war is not good and hatered between nations just causes the problem to become bigger.

This cartoon indicates two Santa Claus climbing a house with bags of goods and necessary things. One Santa is from USA and the other is from USSR. The two Santa Claus are competing to find alliances and gain support from nations. In the bags behind them are things such as steal, workers and dams. The two superpowers are finding support with exchange of goods to make the lives of the nation's citizens better. The cartoonist is trying is indicating how the Cold War was; and how the two super-powers gained support.

This image represents the Berlin blockade. People from the West were not allowed to enter the East; while people from the East were not allowed to enter the West. In this cartoon, there are the Soviet soldiers blocking the road to the West and trying the catch the plane crossing. The Berlin blockade had caused shortage of food and goods; therefore the West responded with the Berlin Airlift, or the operation to move goods and food by air. http://www.llgc.org.uk/illingworth/illingworth_s012.htm

This cartoon illustrates the spies spying each other. The left side is probably the US’s spies, while the right is probably the USSR’s spies. The US's spies acted like it came alone with no company, but in reality, it brought along with it a lot spies. During the Cold War, there was a lot of spying going on between the two superpowers. Each side wanted to know what the other side had done so they could come up with a new tactic to defeat the other side. http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/ato/lowres/aton646l.jpg

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cold War Project: Leaders

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 and dead on April 12, 1945.
  • Roosevelt became president of the United States in 1933-1945.
  • He was best known for leading the United States through Great Depression, and for leading the Allies in World War II against Germany, Italy, and Japan.

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower was born on October 14, 1890 and dead on March 28, 1969.
  • Eisenhower (Ike) was elected as president of the United States in 1953 and served till 1961.
  • He introduced the highway system to America; modeled after Germany.

  • John F. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917 and dead on November 22, 1963.
  • Kennedy served as a president from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.
  • Major events during his presidency were the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missiles Crisis, the construction of the Berlin Wall, the Space race, etc.

  • Lyndon B. Johnson was born on August 27, 1909 and dead on January 22, 1973.
  • Johnson was elected as president in 1963 and served till 1969.
  • He was the major leader of the Democratic Party and leader of many other organizations.

  • Richard Nixon was born on January 9, 1913 and dead on April 22, 1994.
  • He was elected as president in 1969 and severed as a president until 1974.
  • Nixon was famous for his foreign policies, especially for being relaxed with the Union Soviet, China and ending the war in Vietnam. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Nixon#Presidency_1969-1974

  • Joseph Stalin was born on December 18, 1878 and dead on March 5, 1953.
  • Stalin was the leader of the Soviet Union from mid-1920s until his death in 1953. He was also the leader of the Communist Party of the Soviets from 1922 to 1953.
  • Stalin transformed the focus of the Soviets from a peasant society (farming society) to an industrial power by the end of 1930.


  • Nikita Khrushchev was born on April 17, 1984 and dead on September 11, 1971.
  • Khrushchev was the leader of the Soviet Union after the death of Stalin; and was the secretary of the Communist Party from 1953 to 1964. He was removed from power in 1964 and spent the rest of this life under house arrest.
  • Fought for the president seat with Georgy Malenkov, and won by arresting him.

  • Mikhail Gorbachev was born on March 2, 1931.
  • He was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991.
  • His attempts to make reform bought an end to the Cold War and also caused the end of the Communist Party of Soviet Union, including the dissolution of Soviet Union.

  • Ho Chi Minh was born on May 19, 1890 and dead on September 2, 1969.
  • He was a revolutionary, who later became the prime minister of North Vietnam in 1946 until 1955, and then president in 1955 until 1969.
  • Ho Chi Minh was famous for guiding North Vietnamese in the Vietnam War, and for making North Vietnam a communist country.

  • Ngo Dinh Diem was born on January 3, 1901 and dead on November 2, 1963.
  • Diem was the first president of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam) from 1955- 1963.
  • He was a corrupted leader, but received help from the United States in the Vietnam War.

Out of all the leaders during the Cold War, the leader I liked the most is Mikhail Gorbachev. He was able to bring an end to the Cold War and the Communist Party in the Soviets. If he wasn’t the one who called for reforms and changes, I don’t think the Cold War wouldn’t have ended peacefully; in-fact it might have continued till today.

Cold War Project:Photo Gallery

This picture was taken on July 22, 1950 in North Korea. It’s a picture of a train being attacked by a carrier plane. This picture is one of the pictures from the Korean War during 1950-1953. I chose this picture because the Korean War was part of the Cold War and especially because of the attacking of the train by an aircraft; which shows that there was already development in weapons and the used of aircraft during the 50’s. http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/h96000/h96977c.htm

This photo was taken by a low-flying US Air Force Jet in North Korea. It’s believed to be an image of houses which held the UN’s enemy war prisoners. The houses seems to be in bad conditions, but was still used during the war. I chose this image because I found it interesting to know how the prisoners of the war stayed and how their lives were like. http://history.searchbeat.com/koreanwar/korea1952.htm

This is an image of the Sputnik spacecraft. Sputnik spacecraft is an artificial satellite, which was successfully placed in orbit around the Earth in 1957. The Sputnik spacecraft was a major accomplishment for the Union Soviets, or Russia. I chose this image because it had a major impact on the Americans, since it was the first time in history that a satellite was sent into orbit. http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1957-001B

This image represents the Protestants in the United States protesting against the Vietnam War. The US citizens didn't wanted war because they felt that the war was bad and un-winnable. I chose this image because it represents how the situation in America was and how the people felt about the war. http://www.rwf.gr/uploads/photos/vietnam%20war%20protest.jpg/

This image symbolizes the air force used in the Vietnam War. During the war, there were much more advanced air forces and weapons used, compared to World War 2. I chose this image because it characterized how much development the US had after World War 2. http://mooreslore.corante.com/archives/images/vietnam%20war.jpg

This is a close up image of Cuba and the places where the missiles are located. In 1962, the United States blockade Cuba and demanded the withdrawals of the missiles. The Soviets agreed to the withdrawals of the missiles in exchange for lifting the blockade and removal of the missiles in Turkey. I chose this image because it was one of the most important events during the Cold War, as it was on the edge of causing World War 3. http://www.marxists.org/history/cuba/subject/missile-crisis/ch03.htm

The Berlin Wall became known as a symbol of the Cold War. For a long time, it had separated West Berlin from East Berlin. The wall was constructed in 1961 and was knocked down in November, 1989. I chose this image because the Berlin Wall was a representation of the Cold War, and the breaking down of the wall brought forth an end to the war. http://www.defence.gov.au/news/raafnews/editions/4711/letters.htm

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Respones on the flim 'Schindler List'

The film 'Schindler's List' is a great film to understand the lives of the Jews during World War 2 and Schindler's life. The Jews were treated extremely terrible and put to death in a horrifying way. Some were killed quickly by shot guns, while some suffered from working in the concentration camps (ghettos). This film makes me feel sorry for the Jews and hated the Nazi. The way the Nazi treated the Jews was horrible. Jews are also human like them, so why do they have to be so harsh and mean on them? How would they like it if they were being treated that way?
Amon Goeth was one of the characters who I really hated. Every morning he would shot people from his balcony as an entertaining activity. He made the Jews scared and hated him, including me. Doesn't he have any sympathy for those people? He is just like a robot with no feelings and heart. Later, after the conversation with Schindler, he started to be a bit nicer and gentle with the Jews, but still mistreated them.
Oskar Schindler was considered a hero to the Jews, because he was able to save some Jewish people. He treated them well and fed them with delicious food. Schindler was a good man in my perspective. He helped the Jews and took a good care of them. They were times when he mistreated them, but it was understandable. He offered bribes to the soldiers in order to get out some Jewish workers for his factory. He also bribed them to transport the Jews for him and to let them keep the secret about him taking out Jewish workers.
Overall, Schindler’s List was an excellent movie to understand the situation the Jews were in, and how they were tortured during World War 2. Seeing this movie, made me understand how horrible the lives of the Jews were and how the Nazi treated them. In conclusion, this movie made me feel sorry for the Jews and hated the Nazi.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Additional Information on Hitler's rule

This picture demonstrates a Nazi's soliders capturing a Jewish. The expression on the solider's face is angry and mean. He really wants to capture this Jewish person who seems so innocent. This pictures is from http://shamash.org/holocaust/photos/ .

The website I found is about the crimes, villians, and heroes of the Holocaust. I found it interesting because it explains you about the Holocaust by using simple english. There are some terms that are difficult, but over all it wasn't hard to understand. The Holocaust was the organized killing of millions of Jews and other people by the German Nazi during WW2. The Nazi wanted to kill all the Jews, including the Jews in the other European countries. There was approximately six millions Jews killed during the Holocaust. One of the heroes during the Holocaust was Oskar Schindler. Oskar saved many lives of the Jews, therefore he was reffered to as "a hero who saved hundreds of Jews from Hitler's gas chambers." In this website, there are also information on Amon Goeth and Adolf Hitler.

Website: http://www.auschwitz.dk/

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Russian Propaganda Project

Propaganda means ideas, facts, or rumours spread to damage an opposing force. Propaganda posters are not only made to provide information, but to also influenced people's opinions. Propaganda posters are powerful to the readers, and can send across the actual message the auother really means. Propaganda posters were also used in Russia during the Russian Revolution. These posters were used by the Communist Party to spread the idea of Marxism and to represent the different leaders of Russia.

This poster represents a teen Lenin (upper) and a pioneer (lower). The message this poster is trying to get across is to live like Lenin and grow up to become a communist to bring forth development to the country. The upper boy is holding a book and dressed up like a professional to represent how smart and how knowledgeable Lenin was; while the boy in the lower conner is dressed in normal clothes but has red cap and scarf on. The lower boy who represents a pioneer is nothing compared to the upper boy who looks more elegant and well educated. Even if the lower boy does not look as elegant as the upper boy, both of them are determined to face the challenge which awaits them in the furtue.

This propaganda poster is about Lenin. Lenin's picture is in the center with red surrounding him. The message this poster is trying to get across is how powerful Lenin was; by showing his picture alone surrounded by red all over. Lenin's facial expression is serious with determined eyes. The person who drew this picture is trying to tell the aduiences how strong and dedicated he was to rule the country with success.

This poster represents the Civil War in Russia 1918-1922. It demonstrates the worker conquering power in Russia and will soon conquer power in the entire world. The workers or peasants are rebelling against the government in the October Revolution led by Lenin. The flags the peasants are holding (in red) represents power and strength to overthrow the government. In this propaganda poster, some peasants are wearing black shirt which represents the combination of power between the black and the white.

This propaganda poster was drawn on November 1920 by an unknown artist. This picture represents Lenin (the person with the broomstick) wiping out all the upper class men and creating equality between all the classes. Lenin is trying to make all the people equal no matter from which type of ranks they come from. The message this poster is trying to demonstrate is the equality between everyone, no matter how rich or how poor you are; towards the end, everyone is equal.

This poster signifies the way Nicholas II ruled the country. The top most person is Nicholas II (the person with the rope, and in dark yellow shirt). Below him are the citizens of Russia suffering from hunger and diseases. The huge clouds and brown sky demonstrates how much the citizens suffered from Nicholas II poor leadership. The birds flying around in the sky represents freedom that the people wanted. I think this picture clearly signify the harsh conditions the citizens faced during the rule of Nicholas II.

This propaganda poster represents Trotsky in the red dress. The message this poster is trying to get across is how strong and smart Trotsky was to win the battle against the White army. The red dress of Trotsky represents power and his ability to lead the nation into success. This picture also shows us that Trotsky's army is bigger and wealthier then other armies; and no other army would be able to defeat him and his strong army.

After viweing many different posters about Russian's propaganda, I saw that these posters were made to demonstrate each party's stength and weakness. These posters were made to compete between each party showing who is better; and to destroy the party's enemies by showing their weak points. For example the governemnt might show posters of Lenin as a traitor to the country. This is done to destroy Lenin and to destory the trust people have for him. In conclusion, I think propaganda posters were made to destroy the enemies and to priase the party (group) which made those posters.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Turn of a Century: 1900-1909


1. The Russo-Japanese War began in February 8, 1904. This war marked the first time an Asian power defeated a European power.

2. The Boxer Rebellion in China began in 1900. It was a rebellion against the Emperor Dowager. I chose this event because I think it is important. The Chinese should have the right to overthrow their Emperor if he or she is not good.

3. The first European country which granted women with the right to vote was Finland. The right was granted in 1906. This event is another important event, because for the first time women were actually allowed to vote.

Famous People:

1. In 1905, Albert Einstein introduced his theory of E=MC square. Albert Einstein was one of the most influential scientists ever. Without him, science would not have develope this far.

2. Pu Yi was the yongest Emperor of China. He was ascended to throne at the age of three. Pu Yi was also the last Emperor of China, therefore I think he is an important person.

3. William Taft was elected as a president in 1908. He was the fattest man ever elected as the U.S's president. I chose William Taft because it marked a change in histroy, that fat people could also become president.


1. The Wright Brothers invented the first airplane flight in 1903. It flew for 58 seconds before dropping. The flight testing was done at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

2. The first electric washing mahcine was invented in 1907. This changed people's lives in a better way. Instead of having to wash clothes by hand, they could use the washing machine; which made the job much easier and faster.

3. Plastic was invented in 1909. Today, plastic has become essential to our everyday lives. Without the invention of plastic, the world would have been different today.