Changing attitudes

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  • Changing attitudes
    • Ronald Reagan became US president in 1981, believed the US had a mission to win the Cold War.
      • Mikhail Gorbachev became leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, recognised the USSR could not win the Cold War.
        • Together, they would bring the Cold War to an end within a few years.
    • Reagan and the 'Evil Empire'
      • Reagan made no efforts to get détente up and running again
      • He described the USSR as an 'Evil Empire'
      • Kick-started the arms race again
      • US technology was developing fast in the 1980s, especially computing
      • USA poured money into developing new missile technology
    • Crisis in the Soviet Union
      • Could not keep up with the US
      • Economy was in poor shape, spent so much on weapons
      • Bogged down in the war with Afghanistan
      • Living standards very low across the Eastern bloc
      • Did not have USA's computing expertise
      • Could not keep pace with the USA's new missile technology
    • Geneva, Nov 1958
      • Gorbachev and Reagan met at the Geneva Summit
      • Two men got on well and agreed to have more meetings
    • Reagan's change of heart
      • Public opinions was against arms race, especially in Europe
      • Gorbachev was popular, there was 'Gorbymania' in W.Europe and even in the US
      • Reagan liked Gorbachev and was prepared to work with him to improve US-Soviet relations. Margaret Thatcher described Ronald Reagan as a man he could do business with
    • Significance of Gorbachev's and Reagan's changing attitudes
      • Represented an easing of Cold War tensions
      • Led to greater cooperation between the US and the Soviet Union
      • Led to arms control agreement, the INF Treaty and START 1


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