Year 11

Containment and the Domino Theory

I can explain the importance of the Domino Theory.

Year 11

Containment and the Domino Theory

I can explain the importance of the Domino Theory.

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Lesson details

Key learning points

  1. America had been opposed to communism long before the Cold War started.
  2. Communism spread rapidly after World War Two.
  3. America committed itself to containing the spread of communism.
  4. Eisenhower believed communism might spread in Southeast Asia.
  5. Eisenhower committed large amounts of money to supporting Diem to stop the spread of communism in Vietnam.

Common misconception

Foreign aid support packages, for instance Marshall Aid, are made up of just money.

Equipment such as heavy machinery or weapons, natural resources such as coal, as well as money, make up foreign aid support packages.


  • Containment - Containment was a foreign policy strategy used by the US during the Cold War to try to prevent the spread of communism

  • Domino Theory - the Domino Theory was the idea that if one country fell to communism more would follow

  • Marshall Aid - Marshall Aid (or the Marshall Plan) was the American strategy of giving money to European countries to help them recover after World War Two

Hammer home the point that the Cold War was a global conflict, and events occurring on one side of the world, for instance Europe, had an impact on how countries acted on the other side of the world, for instance Southeast Asia.
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6 Questions

Who were the Viet Minh?
a Chinese communist group that aimed to take control of all of Southeast Asia
the name given to the Japanese when they controlled French Indochina during WW1
Correct answer: a communist nationalist group that fought for Vietnamese independence
a group that worked with the French to help govern French Indochina
Complete the sentence: the Viet Minh specialised in __________ warfare.
Correct Answer: guerrilla, Guerrilla, guerilla, guerrila, guerila
How did the people of France refer to the conflict in Vietnam against the Viet Minh?
'The forbidden war'
'The great patriotic war'
'The necessary war'
Correct answer: 'The dirty war'
Which countries supported the Viet Minh during their conflict with France?
China and Laos
Soviet Union and Cambodia
Laos and Cambodia
Correct answer: China and Soviet Union
How was Vietnam divided at the Geneva Conference in 1954?
at the 1st parallel; most of the territory went to North Vietnam
Correct answer: at the 17th parallel; roughly in half
at the 21st parallel; land was lost to Cambodia and Laos
at the 38th parallel; most of the territory went to South Vietnam
When were elections supposed to take place to unify Vietnam?
Correct Answer: 1956

6 Questions

Complete the sentence: The __________ Scare referred to a wave of anti-communist feeling in the US.
Correct Answer: Red, red
Which area of Europe saw communist parties come to power in multiple countries?
Correct answer: East
What plan aimed to rebuild Europe in order to prevent the spread of communism?
The Major Plan
The General Plan
The Admiral Plan
Correct answer: The Marshall Plan
Which Asian country became communist in 1949?
Correct Answer: China, china
Place the events in the correct order
1 - end of the Second World War
2 - Second Red Scare begins in the US
3 - China becomes communist
4 - Communist North Korea invades capitalist South Korea
5 - Vietnam is split into North Vietnam and South Vietnam
What was the term given to President Eisenhower's fear of communist governments coming to power in Southeast Asia?
conspiracy theory
containment theory
Correct answer: domino theory
Marxist theory

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