Content for Grade 12
Topic 1: The Cold War (Germany, Cuba, China and
Topic 2: Independent Africa (The Congo, Tanzania,
Topic 3: Civil Society Protests 1950s-1970s (USA)
Topic 4: Civil Resistance in South Africa 1970s-1980s
(South Africa)
Topic 5: The coming of democracy in South Africa and
coming to terms with the past (South Africa)
Topic 6: The end of the Cold War and a new world
order 1989 to the present (The world)
Topic 6: Globalisation
Topic 3:
Topic 2:
The Congo,
Topic 1:
Cuba, China,
Topic 4 and 5:
South Africa
Topic 1: The Cold War
Origins of the Cold War (Overview)
• The End of World War II – Why did Cold War develop?
• USSR and USA and the creation of spheres of interest:
- Instillation of the Soviet – friendly governments in satellite
- USA’s policy of containment: Truman Doctrine and Marshall
- Berlin Crises from 1949-1961 (broad understanding of the
crises); and
- Opposing military alliances: NATO and Warsaw Pact (broadly)
• Containment and brinkmanship: the Cuban crisis and
• Who was to blame for the Cold War?
Extension of the Cold War
Case Study: China
How did China rise as a world power after 1949?
Where in the world is China?
Events leading up to the Communist
takeover in 1949
Mao Zedong led the Communist
Revolution in China in 1949 and
remained China’s leader until his
death in 1976.
1927-1949: Chinese civil war
fought between Nationalists
(Chiang Kai-shek) and
Communists (Mao Zedong)
During WWII: Both USSR and
USA supported nationalists
and recognised this govt as
official Chinese government.
Mao defeated Chiang’s forces.
Communist Party took power.
The People’s Republic of China
was established.
China under Communist Rule
Economic Changes
• Collective farms replaced
private ownership.
• 1953-57: 1st five-year plan
(aimed to promote
• 1958-62: ‘The Great Leap
Mao’s plans to industrialise China
resulted in mass famine. An
estimated 20 million people
died. The policy was abandoned.
• After 1976 : China embraced
aspects of capitalist economy.
Social Changes
• New emphasis on improving
the health, welfare and
literacy of the majority
peasant population.
• Literacy increased from 20%
in 1949 to 90% by mid1960s.
The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)
The Aims of the Cultural Revolution were to:
• Reinforce communist principals.
• Re-establish Mao’s authority as leader of
China Chairman of the Communist Party (NB:
context of Mao’s failed Great Leap Forward).
• Prepare China’s youth to inherit socialism.
• Purge China of the four ‘Olds’: Old customs,
old culture, old habits, old ideas.
The Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)
The Outcomes of the Cultural Revolution:
• Students (and later workers and soldiers) were
organised into Red Guards whose aim was to
identify and root out ‘anti-revolutionary’ and
‘bourgeois’ actions, individuals or artefacts.
• Hundreds of thousands of Chinese (many
educated and skilled) were accused of being
enemies of the state and executed.
• Any work considered ‘anti-communist’ was
destroyed: books, art, music, monuments.
China’s Relations with the USSR (1949-1973)
• 1950: USSR signed a 30-year friendship treaty with China.
• USSR sent engineers and technicians to assist with
• Despite a shared communist ideology, China and USSR were
deeply distrustful of each other.
• Conflict over borders and territory in Manchuria.
• China criticised Khrushchev (Soviet leader after 1954) for
proposing ‘peaceful co-existence’ with west.
• In 1960 USSR withdrew aid and advisors from China.
• The breakdown in the relationship between China and USSR
was called the Sino-Soviet split.
NB: The split between China and USSR has influenced China’s
foreign policy and relations with neighbouring countries.
China’s Relations with the USA (1949-1973)
• In 1949 USA refused to officially recognise communist
China (believing China took orders from USSR).
• USA continued to recognise Chiang Kai-shek’s government
in exile in Formosa (Taiwan) as the legitimate Chinese
government and opposed China’s entry into UNO.
• China supported North Korea against South Korea (who
were supported by USA) during the 1950-53 war.
• After 1960 Sino-Soviet Split China was keen to improve
diplomatic and relations with USA.
• In 1972 Nixon became the first American President to visit
Communist China – diplomatic and trade restrictions eased
between the two countries.
• China became America’s ‘most favoured trading nation’
China’s relations with neighbouring states
• China invaded Tibet in 1949
and has occupied the country
ever since.
• Tibetan Buddhist monks
attacked, monasteries
destroyed, and culture
suppressed. (1959 Dalai Lama
went into exile in India.)
• Human rights abused by
Chinese in Tibet continue
• USA and most countries
recognise Chinese control
over Tibet
• 1949 India recognised
Communist China
• 1962 a border war broke
out between India and
China. (India lost 20km)
• China has consistently
backed Pakistan in its wars
against India (which has
been backed by USSR).
• China and India are now
both members of BRICS
(Brazil, Russia, India, China,
South Africa)
China’s Relations with neighbouring states
• China gave Vietnam military
assistance during their war of
independence from France
• China stopped aid to Vietnam
when they invaded China’s ally,
Cambodia in 1976 and then
signed a treaty with USSR in
• In 1979 a border war broke out
between China and Vietnam.
• Since the end of the Cold-war
relations have improved.
• Chiang Kai-shek fled to this
island off the coast of China
after Mao had defeated him
in 1949.
• They declared themselves
the official China.
• USA provided military and
financial aid to Taiwan.
• Today Taiwan and China are
major trading partners
although tensions remain.
To what extent was China a superpower
by the time of Mao’s Death in 1976?
• An economic superpower? Despite trade links with
newly independent African and Asian countries
China’s economy was weak in 1976.
• A military superpower? In 1964 detonated its first
atomic bomb but the army was large and
• A political superpower? Chinese model of socialism,
‘Maoism’, exported to many peasant based
societies in Africa and Asia.
• A cultural superpower? Not yet.
Conclusion: China after Mao
• 1977 Deng Xiaoping took control of China – he
moved away from the hardline style of Mao’s
communism to ‘Socialism with a Chinese
• Capitalist principals (such as private ownership
and production for profit) introduced to
encourage economic development.
• Foreign trade and investment was
• The military was modernised and streamlined.
Conclusion: China after Mao
At the end of the 19th
Century, European
countries were the
dominant economic
The USA has been the
dominant global economic
power for the last 50 years.
It has been predicted that
by 2030 CHINA will have the
largest share of the global
economic power. With USA
second and India third.
Source accessed at:
Extension of the Cold War
Case Study: Vietnam
How was a small country like Vietnam
able to win a war against the USA?
(1954 to 1975)
Stages in the War
• Background
• 1957 to 1965 – Struggle in Vietnam between the
South Vietnamese army and the communist-trained
rebels (Viet Cong)
• 1965 to 1969 – North Vietnamese-USA struggle
• The war from the Vietnamese and USA perspective
• The war as a global issue
• 1969 to 1975 – USA withdrawal from Vietnam and
• Conclusion
Activity 4.3: Assessment
• Instructions:
• In groups of 2 to 3 construct 3 Essay Questions which could be used
to assess the topic on China (p.25 CAPS).
• Each of the essay questions must engage with and use the historical
concepts identified on p.10 of the CAPS documents.
• Each question must also be examinable using the criteria identified in
the global assessment rubric on p.41 of the CAPS documents from
• Each question you design should identify which instruction words or
subject specific terminology the learner may find challenging and
suggest strategies to address this in a classroom context.
• Refer to the glossary in the resource pack.

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