Section 1 Overview

Section 1: Introduction to Communism

In 1848, in a brief political pamphlet entitled The Manifesto of the Communist Party, Karl Marx set forth his theory of communism that, through an ideology of violent class struggle and revolution, led to untold repression, state terror, imprisonment, and death. From the USSR’s Gulag to Cambodia’s killing fields, from secret police to manmade famine, communism has claimed the lives of more than 100 million people.

Section 1 introduces students to the foundations of communism and provides an overview of the theory, ideology, and totalitarian system of rule. Students will explore and understand the theory, ideology, and measures necessary to achieve communism, as well as key communist leaders, important dates, fundamental vocabulary, and the tools utilized by communist regimes.

Learning Objectives

· Define foundational terms: communism, capitalism, socialism, Marxism, totalitarianism, democracy, and republic
· Compare and contrast methods and systems of governing and economics
· Identify key communist leaders across history and throughout the world
· Learn the basic timeline of communism, from theory and ideology to a totalitarian system of rule
· Learn the core facts, history, and impact of communism, from the publication of The Communist Manifesto to the collapse of the Soviet Union
· Understand the tools of communist regimes, notably: ideology, violence, terror, torture, economic repression, manmade famine, and information control (censorship, disinformation, and propaganda)
· Understand the communist aim to destroy God and religion and the repressive measures that communist regimes have used to achieve their goals

Content Standards

· NCHS World History 7.6A
NCHS World History 8.1A, 8.1B, 8.2B, 8.2C, 8.5A
NGSS SS.912.CG.2.6, SS.912.CG.3.1
NGSS SS.912.W.6.3, SS.912.W.7.5, SS912.W.7.6

Explore Section 1


Learn the terms, ideologies, events, and people of Communism.

Tools of Communism

Explore how the ideology is maintained by violence and information control.

Communism and Religion

From Marx’s Manifesto till today, communist regimes have sought to destroy God and religion.