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Détente Notes

This is a sample of our (approximately) 12 page long Détente notes, which we sell as part of the A2 History Notes collection, a A package written at Heathfield School in 2015 that contains (approximately) 116 pages of notes across 25 different documents.

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Détente Revision

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-USSR and USA attempted to reach general agreements on arms reduction and trade relations
-Characterised by summit meetings and the reduction in hostile propaganda
-In order to avoid nuclear war- USSR had closed missile gap between 1963 and 69-MAD was a definite outcome
 Reasons for USA perusing Détente:
-Withdrawal of troops from Vietnam- US moral authority of leaders of the free world had been weakened
-Expensive war 1969 alone $30 billion
-Withdrawal could be achieved by better relations with USSR who had supported the Vietcong
-Inflation reached 6% in 1970
-Unemployment rose to 5% in early 70's
-Bretton Woods currency system ended (fixing international currency rates), trade less stable- economic difficulties in the west
-Détente could reduce arms spending and increase trade with USSR Henry Kissinger believed in -'realpolitik'- focussed on practical issues such as arms reduction rather than resolving ideological differences

-Process of negotiation could create a framework for super powers to work which prevented erratic behaviour
 Reasons for USSR perusing Détente:
-Economy was 1/6 size of USA's
-Increased demands for consumer good
-Ease economic problems by reducing defence spending and encouraging loans and trade from the West
-Could not produce nuclear weapons as effectively as USA- 28,200 USSR- 11,000- Treaties would limit the nuclear stockpiles in both countries and encourage nuclear parity
-Politburo feared an anti-Soviet alliance between USA and China and wanted to diffuse this
-Détente would placate the USA, allowing USSR to extend communist influence to the third world without risking conflict
 The Moscow Summit, May 1972:
-Nixon and Brezhnev agreed on SALT I- Strategic Arms Limitation Talks

-The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty:
-Restricted USA and USSR to two anti-ballistic missile shields each
-Shield was restricted to 100 miles
-Further development of anti-ballistic missile technology was restricted- Oversight Commission established to enforce this
-The Interim Agreement on Offensive Missiles:
-The Basic Principles agreement- 12 fundamental principles that would underpin super power relations:
-Acceptance that they would peacefully-coexist
-Recognise each other as equals
-Avoid confrontation
-Joint commercial Commission to negotiate trade deals
-Significant- introduced a series of rules governing most aspect of the relationship between the two superpowers - greater stability
-European Ostpolitik-European nations own form of détente
-Ostopolitik- working together to address the problems created by a divided Europe
-1970-71- East and West German Governments negotiated the Berlin Agreement-Guarantee the borders of West Germany
-Significant- Prior to the Eastern Bloc had refused to recognise West German borders- Greater stability of relations The Helsinki Accords, 1975:
-Comprehensive framework about governing relations between Eastern and Western Europe
-Three main 'baskets'

-Security Issues- Respect one another's sovereignty- would not intervene in one another internal affairs and respect borders (which would only change through peaceful negotiations)
-Economic, Cultural, Scientific & Environmental- Co-operate on matters of interest and foster good trading relations. Share Western Technology with the East
-Human Rights- Respect human rights of their citizens and relax travel restrictions across Europe Significance:
-Problems with Basket 2- Highlighted the inferiority of communist economies- Western goods were better quality and more sophisticated, led to 'ideological subversion'- Citizens questioned the efficiency of a communist economy
-Problems with Basket 3-Travel restrictions relaxed, business relationships crossed Iron Curtain, people learnt of the freedom associated with West, free speech, press and religion- more attractive alternative to communist rule
-Legitimacy of communist rule in Eastern Europe was undermined
 Reality of Détente 1973-76:
 The Oil Price Shock
-October 1973- Response to Yom Kippur War- OPEC launched a complete oil embargo against Israel's allies e.g the USA
-Four-fold increase in the price of oil within a year

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