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How did the Cold War come to an end?. Why did an end to the Cold War seem unlikely in the early 1980s? Situation in USASituation in USSR.

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Presentation on theme: "How did the Cold War come to an end?. Why did an end to the Cold War seem unlikely in the early 1980s? Situation in USASituation in USSR."— Presentation transcript:

1 How did the Cold War come to an end?

2 Why did an end to the Cold War seem unlikely in the early 1980s? Situation in USASituation in USSR

3 What did Reagan think of the USSR?

4 Ronald Reagan, speech on Communism delivered to US business people (September 1987) ‘How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti- Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.’

5 Ronald Reagan (1984) Reagan makes a private joke at a radio station but forgets the microphone is on. ‘My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.’

6 Ronald Reagan, from Ronald Reagan: An American Life (1990) ‘During the late seventies, I felt our country had begun to abdicate its historical role as leader of the Free World and its foremost defender of democracy. Some of our resolve was gone, along with a part of our commitment to uphold the values we cherished. Predictably, the Soviets had interpreted our hesitation and reluctance to act and had tried to exploit it to the fullest, moving ahead with their agenda to achieve a Communist-dominated world… The Soviets were more determined than ever to achieve Lenin’s goal of a communist world…. I deliberately set out to say some frank things about the Russians, to let them know there were some new fellows in Washington.’


8 The ‘militarised counter-revolution’ What was the key features of this approach? 1)Increasing nuclear arms 2)Reagan Doctrine Importance of Reagan’s ‘militarised counter-revolution’ On what grounds is Reagan’s foreign policy credited with bringing an end to the Cold War? How valid does this interpretation appear to be?


10 Why did Gorbachev abandon the Brezhnev Doctrine? Growing disillusionment with Soviet intervention in Afghanistan Expense of supporting other socialist regimes in the soviet sphere Gorbachev believed that the way to revitalise communism was to liberalise. Belief that the use of armed intervention was in most cases morally wrong Refused to inflict force to keep socialism under control

11 Gorbachev’s new approach: The ‘Sinatra’ Doctrine In October 1989 Gerasimov (Foreign Ministry spokesman) told an interviewer that, "We now have the Frank Sinatra doctrine. He has a song, I Did It My Way. So every country decides on its own which road to take.“ The Soviets recognised the freedom of choice of all countries (specifically Warsaw Pact states) The end of the Brezhnev Doctrine helped bring an end to the cold war – the USSR would no longer invade other countries – the threat of communism spreading was over – America was no longer afraid of the spread of communism

12 The impact of Mikhail Gorbachev Why was there ‘Gorby-mania’? Gorbachev’s policies led to a more critical approach towards communism. Some rejected it. Gorbachev’s policies encouraged eastern European communist reformers to do the same By 1988 ‘Gorby-Mania’ was spreading throughout eastern Europe. There were calls for Gorbachev’s ideas to be implemented in their own countries This attempt to liberalise changed USSR’s attitude towards Eastern Europe Gorbachev renounced the Brezhnev doctrine, making eastern European communism much less stable

13 The Consequences… The consequences of the end of the Brezhnev Doctrine were massive. Many countries in eastern Europe began having free elections. Eastern European leaders could no longer rely on Soviet military intervention to support their regimes. Evidence that Gorbachev meant what he said was seen in 1989: – Hungary adopted a multiparty system – Polish elections returned a non- communist government Gorbachev did not act against these and other developments which weakened the authority of the ruling Communist Parties of Eastern Europe

14 The ‘Thawing’ of the Cold War – Dialogue and Agreements in 1980s Key Developments Progress?Obstacles? Nov 1985 - Geneva Summit Oct 1986 - Reykjavik Summit Dec 1987 - Washington Summit May-June 1988 - Moscow Summit December 1989 - Malta Summit Personal rapport –cordial atmosphere Agreement that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must not be fought’ Nothing was formally decided or agreed Extensive discussion on arms control proposals Nothing agreed due to Reagan’s reluctance to sacrifice SDI in any arms agreement INF Treaty agreed – intermediate -range ballistic missiles scrapped (Arms reduction – a first) Agreements signed on complex detail of INF Treaty Reagan said he no longer believed in ‘evil Empire’ Gorbachev visited New York – promised further Soviet arms cuts Disagreement over SDI still surfaced First summit between Gorbi and Bush – good working relationship Shevardnadze – we ‘buried Cold War at bottom of Mediterranean’ Mainly symbolic end to Cold War - no new agreements made

15 Role of Individuals in End of Cold War Ronald Reagan Margaret Thatcher Mikhail GorbachevPope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla)

16 Place in order of importance and justify Crucial in reducing East-West tensions Crucial in weakening communist regimes in Eastern Europe Crucial in destabilising USSRCrucial in reducing threat of nuclear conflict Crucial to mobilising international support for talks Crucial to forcing USSR into seeking talks and arms reduction

17 Mapping the fall of communism

18 The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe Strength of opposition/ Weakness of Regime before Gorbachev A) Economic and social challenges? B) Organisations/ individuals challenging regime? C) Regime’s lack of legitimacy? Influence of Gorbachev’s Reforms D) Influence of ‘Sinatra Doctrine’? E) Inspiration to people and to opposition groups? F) Influence in convincing regime of need for Gorbachev- style economic and political reforms Influence of other factors G) Influence of Western leaders/Pope H) Influence of contagion I) Influence of individuals & organised opposition J) Influence of spontaneous people power K) Influence of nationalism

19 Why did the Soviet bloc collapse? Role of Individuals Gorbachev’s role Reagan’s role Thatcher’s role Pope John Paul II’s role Internal/Structural Factors Economic crisis in Soviet bloc Moral bankruptcy of communist system Generational shift in attitudes amongst Soviet leadership (declining importance of ideology) Popular protest in Eastern Europe Draw up a flowchart showing the interrelationship of reasons (long-term and short-term) for collapse of USSR – provide links to explain how different factors acted independently but also combined with others

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