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© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance Did Ronald Reagan really end the Cold War?
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance Objectives In this activity you will: Learn why the Cold War ended. Discuss what part Reagan played in ending the Cold War.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance Who was Ronald Reagan? He became US President in 1981, aged 70. He was the oldest ever US President. He was a former Hollywood film actor. On becoming President, he claimed ‘America has lost faith in itself. We have to recapture our pride.’
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance How did Reagan end the Cold War? He increased military spending by $30 billion, challenging the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) to keep up. He supported Solidarity against the Communist government in Poland. He sent arms to groups fighting against pro-Soviet governments in, for example, Afghanistan. He invaded Grenada and overthrew the pro-Communist government. In 1983, Reagan famously called the Soviet Union an ‘evil empire’.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance He poured millions of dollars into researching his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) – nicknamed Star Wars. Strategic Defense Initiative
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance In 1985, a new and younger leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, came to power in the USSR. Gorbachev knew the USSR could not outspend the USA. Between 1985 and 1989, both sides cut down their nuclear weapons. In 1987, Reagan and Gorbachev both visited Berlin.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance The end of the Cold War In 1989, the famous symbol of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, was pulled down. The Communist countries of Eastern Europe became democratic. Soviet troops left Afghanistan.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance The end of the Cold War
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance The end of the Cold War
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance A true hero? When Ronald Reagan died in 2004, his friend Margaret Thatcher, the ex-British Prime Minister, said ‘Reagan had a higher claim than any other leader to have won the Cold War – and he did it without firing a shot. A truly great American hero…’
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance How did Reagan end the Cold War? Which answers are correct? He increased military spending by 50%. He avoided tension with the USSR wherever possible. He invaded the island of Dominica. He got on very well personally with Gorbachev. He sent little money to anti-Soviet groups. He used to be an actor.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance How did Reagan end the Cold War? Which answers are correct? He challenged the USSR to keep up with the USA’s spending. He was unpopular with other leaders. He spent $30 billion on defence. He researched the Star Wars project. He negotiated with Gorbachev to cut down nuclear weapons on both sides. He threatened war over Afghanistan.
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance A true hero? While some people think Ronald Reagan is a ‘great American hero’, there are some people who believe the policies Reagan pursued in the 1980s were very risky indeed. Now its your turn… what do you think?
© HarperCollins Publishers 2010 Significance What impact did Mikhail Gorbachev have on ending the Cold War?
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