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Factors Ending The Cold War Notes

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Factors Ending the Cold War


 The role of personalities Reagan & the triumphalists:
 Triumphalist argument- Regan's hard-line approach put huge economic and military pressure on the USSR
 USSR could no longer compete with US defence spending
 USSR had to abandon the arms race and the Cold War
- 53% increase in US defence budget (Oct. 1981)- fund a B1 bomber, neutron bomb, stealth aircraft programmes, deployment of MX missiles and expansion of Navy
-SDI (March 1983)
-Anti-Soviet rhetoric- 'Evil Empire'
-Reagan Doctrine- US military and financial measures to combat communism (Afghanistan)
-Cruise and Pershing II missiles deployed in Europe Criticism of Interpretation:
 1982-84, Reagan failed to extract concessions from Soviet leader, merely prolonged Cold War with hard-line approach

Offer to share SDI technology, contradicts idea that USA tried to undermine Soviet economy

SDI was deemed impractical by Soviets, put limited pressure

1985- Constructive engagement was more significant (1987 INF treaty & 1991 START treaty)

Ignores Gorbachev's 'New Thinking', internal problems of USSR and discontent in Eastern Europe

Margaret Thatcher:
 Reinforced Reagan's anti-communist rhetoric- Oct. 1982- 'Pitiless ideology only survives because it is maintained by force'

November 1983- allowed USA to deploy cruise missiles in GB

Acted as Regan's unofficial envoy by promoting US policy to other West European governments

1984- invited Gorbachev to London and established a good working relationship- 'this is a man I can do business with' Helped Reagan start dialogue with Gorbachev and acted as an effective diplomatic link between the two

Pope Jean Paul II:
 Inspiring Catholics in Eastern Europe & moral support for trade union Solidarity

Visits to Poland- 1979, 1983 and 1987- showed Catholicism commanded public loyalty not communism

12 million Poles saw the Pope on his 1979- 'gigantic anticommunist plebiscite'- Michael Burleigh

January 1981- blessed Lech Walesa (Solidarity leader) in Rome

Speeches- 'Do not be afraid' (1979) made polish people more confident and inspired anti-communist movements

-Influence had it's limits- Support in Poland and Baltic states, elsewhere in Eastern Europe, it had less impact
-Worked to create a genuine East-West understanding by adopting new policies to build trust, reduce Cold War tensions and solve the USSR's economic problems Key actions:
-Pursued arms reduction, reduce risk of nuclear war and ease economic burden on the USSR 1987, INF treaty, dismantled a whole class of intermediate range missiles
 1991- START agreement, reduced overall nuclear arsenals by 30%
-Removed ideological basis, promoted glasnost and perestroika UN speech- 1988, abandoned Brezhnev doctrine, endorsed freedom of speech and dismissed Marxist- Leninism as irrelevant
 Perestroika reforms introduced into the Soviet economy in 1986
 April 1989- Told Eastern European governments they would have to govern without Soviet support
 Glasnost- gave satellite countries right to choose their own paths Ended 'old style' Soviet aggression and expansionism 1988- Soviet forced in Eastern Europe reduced to 500,000

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