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US History Series 4: The Cold War to Present

US History 4

This is the 4th of 4 courses in this full year US History course series. 
It is not required to take them in order, but it is HIGHLY recommended.

The other courses in this series include:
US History Series 1: Colonies to the Civil War
US History Series 2: Reconstruction to the Progressive Era
US History Series 3: The World Wars


The end of the Second World War brought lasting change to the United States and to the world. The dropping of the first nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki radically changed the ways that wars were fought between major world powers. The Soviet Union and the United States became entangled in a Cold War fought through intelligence and proxy wars. The world changed, and the effects of globalization began to be felt by so-called “First World” and “Third World” countries alike. All the while, Americans at home continued to push for social reform for women and minorities.

The last seventy years in the history of the United States shaped the country that we see today, so join us on this six-week, final installment of our US history series: The Cold War to Present.

DISCLAIMER: This is history, not math. There is not a right and wrong, black and white answer to everything! So much in history can be subjective and argued over endlessly. I’m presenting the facts the best I can from various sources I’ve researched. I don’t consider any history book to be 100% accurate. It’s impossible. And same with this course. I compiled my research and put together the most authentic story I could, considering I wasn’t personally privy to the goings on during this time period.

No live classesview lessons on YOUR schedule. In general, expect 1.5-2.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time). For classes with two levels, the material is the same for boththe depth of the assignments differs. Younger students should usually be placed in Level 1. Older students, or younger students who want more of a challenge, should be placed in Level 2.

Each lesson consists of a fully narrated PowerPoint presentation with images and videos to enhance the topics. Students will have access to our learning management system, Canvas, for viewing their lesson, printing worksheets, taking quizzes, viewing/submitting assignments, participating in discussions, and viewing grades/feedback. Read more details about class format.

Week 1: The Cold War and Korea
The first week of the class picks up where US History Series 3: US Involvement in the World Wars left off. World War II has ended, but tensions between former allies sparked into another war. This war differed from others in that direct conflict between the warring nations was limited. We will be studying the process that led to the Cold War and how it affected American citizens at home. The lesson will conclude with America’s “forgotten war” in Korea.

Week 2: The 1950s
Week 2 will be a look into the changing American culture of the 1950s. Several new technologies, such as the television, led to a rise in consumption that fueled changes to the ways of living of many Americans. Suburbs cropped up around cities to provide new types of housing to those who could afford it. At the same time that the suburbs were blossoming, dissatisfied Americans continued to struggle for their rights as citizens of the United States. Their movements began growing through the decade, right alongside the growing suburbs and consumerism.

Week 3: Social Revolution
The 1960s are famous for the immense number of social movements in the United States and the rest of the world. This week will focus on the many social movements that happened during the decade. Women, African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, and more formed social movements to establish their voice and their place in this country. Social changes in the country are the highlight of this lesson.

Week 4: The Vietnam War
While the country is going through internal changes, the struggle between communism and democracy continues in the rest of the world. The fourth week of the course examines the Vietnam War and the leaders who took the country through it. As the war persisted, the American people became increasingly dissatisfied, leading to the war being lost. Afterwards, Vietnam became the textbook example of how a group of guerillas could win against a superpower.

Week 5: The End of the Cold War and the Collapse of the Soviet War
After the end of the Vietnam War and into the 1980s, the Soviet Union started showing signs of cracking. Its fall had a drastic effect on global politics. This week will be a look into the perspective of the United States leading to the Soviet Union’s collapse. We will be reviewing the presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan; and we will finish up with the collapse of the USSR.

Week 6: The Globalized World
The United States continued to change through the 1990s and 2000s with the fall of the Soviet Union and the advent of new technologies, particularly widespread access to personal computers and the internet. The modern presidencies of both Bushes, Clinton, and Obama, the events of September 11, the burgeoning War on Terror, and the continued globalization of the world take precedence in this week’s lesson.

Next Level Homeschool is a firm believer that not all learning should happen from behind a screen! That's why we give students the freedom to submit their assignments in the way THEY want to! We don't want regurgitation learning here. By allowing students to use their own talents, skills, and passions to complete assignments, they become even more engaged and retain the information. Why? Because now it's literally in their hands! We receive thousands of projects every year from our students: written reports, videos, models, posters, Scratch, Minecraft, Roblox, songs, poems, skits, drawings, sculptures, craftswe've seen it ALL! And WE LOVE IT!!

Click here to view just a few projects we've received from students who have taken this class and see what YOUR kid could be learning with Next Level Homeschool!

Course Features

  • Schedule Spring 2024
  • Activities History
  • Lessons 6
  • Suggested Ages 12-17 Two Levels