What caused Detente?

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  • Created by: Jess
  • Created on: 16-04-13 17:48
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  • Causes of Detente
    • Fear of war
      • Cuban missile Crisis
        • The crisis of 1962 highlighted danger as superpower confrontation was likely to result in nuclear war. The world was anxious.
      • Mutually  Assured Destruction
        • The nuclear arms race meant more efficient missiles, which meant the fear of war increased.
        • By 1969, USSR had matched the USA in terms of arms. It was hoped that the balance of power would act as a deterrent, but pressure of an arms race threatened the balance.
    • Needs of the USA
      • Economic factors
        • America was spending too much money on military, rather than social issues.
        • Moves to Detente would allow resources to be released from the military budget  to improve the lives of the American people.
        • Detente would allow America to invest more resources in its own commerce & financial services, areas in Western Europe was becoming a serious rival.
      • Impact of Vietnam war
        • The failure of the USA to secure victory in Vietnam led to a re-evaluation of America's power in the world
        • The war had caused high inflation, a large budget deficit & had led to a decline in support for foreign intervention in the wider world.
      • Western European attitudes
        • Western Europe was now showing greater independence from the USA. De Gaulle, the French President, had gone as far as withdrawing France from NATO in 1966
      • Nixon & Kissinger
        • Both had established credentials as anti-communists & this allowed them to carry a large degree of American right-wing support with them.
        • Trade & arms agreements were seen as methods of restraining the USSR. The repproachment with China allowed the policy to be seen as one that weakened the communist bloc rather than one that gave into communism.
      • Oil Crisis, 1973
        • The enormous cost of US military spending, aimed at achieving supremacy over the USSR, seemed unsustainable given the economic situation produced by the oil crisis. Negotiation & compromise seemed an attractive solution.
        • Impact was to strengthen the large institution of US capitalism in the long term. Oil companies in the West were able to profit from the general rise in the price of oil & related processes of refining & marketing of oil. Arab wealth became a stimulus for the global economy.
    • Needs of Europe
      • Tensions in Europe
        • Events in 1968 was evidence of the instability on both sides of the iron curtain
          • Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia; student demonstrations in France resulted in a general strike which threatened the power of De Gaulle & the government system
      • Ostpolitik
        • Eastern foreign policy known as Ostpolitik opened up channels between Eastern & Western Europe thus developing links between the two.
          • It did not make an end to the Cold War conflict, but showed that there was more to cooperation than confrontation.
      • Brandt
        • Brandt was a West German politician & took lead in promoting links between West & East.
        • Saw stabilisation of European relations as essential for the whole of the continent.
        • Reducing tension & making links between the East & West of Europe could mean that divisions during the Cold War would be eroded.
          • Eastern foreign policy known as Ostpolitik opened up channels between Eastern & Western Europe thus developing links between the two.
            • It did not make an end to the Cold War conflict, but showed that there was more to cooperation than confrontation.
    • Needs of the USSR
      • National security
        • After 1964, Brezhnev replaced Khrushchev & made little change to foreign policy.
        • National security of USSR prevailed over communism v capitalism.
      • Sino-Soivet Split
        • The split pushed USSR to agreement with the West. This meant if there was a conflict in China, the USSR believed that the USA would not get involved. Therefore making relations more stable.
      • Limiting the power of the USA
        • Following US defeat in Vietnam, the USSR believed that they were equal to USA in terms of nuclear power. Detente meant the USA couldn't race ahead in terms of arms.
      • Eastern Europe
        • USSR believed that their relationship with the USA would stabalise their influence in the Eastern Bloc. Hoped it would gain recongition of communism in Eastern world from the West
      • Economic problems
        • Had to divert spending away from military. USSR found it hard to maintain living standards & consumer good demands during arms race. Detente would give them the aid to do this.
        • In the 1950s the annual growth rate for the Soviet economy averaged 7% in the 1960s it was 5% by the 1970s it had fallen to 3%

Comments

NZLHistory

This detailed mindmap is really useful for essay planning on the reasons for detente. It examines US and Soviet needs in detail, alongside the fear of war and European pressures. A very thorough resource.

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