Practice Question Notes - End of the Cold War 1985 - 1991

This isn't necessarily an essay plan, just the notes that you could use to form a plan and then be able to build your essay. This question came up in the June 2014 paper, so it's unlikely to come up in 2015, but it could be reworded. You wouldn't include all of these points (you wouldn't have time) but you could select the arguments you agree with most to formulate your judgement. 

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  • 'It was Ronald Reagan who brought an end to the Cold War.' Assess the validity of this view with reference to the years 1985 to 1991
    • 1. Reagan's increase in military spending by 1985 forced the Soviet Union to negotiate DEALERS
      • Increased military spending to $300 billion by the end of his presidency
        • Wanted to be able to negotiate from a 'position of strength'
        • 1983 - SDI $26 billion spent
        • Leads to Soviet negotiation - summit diplomacy
          • Negotiates a peaceful end to the Cold War, with treaties such as the INF Treaty at the Washington Summit in 1987
      • 2. Reagan's increase in military spending by 1985 forced the Soviet Union to match this, which the Soviet's couldn't do, so they had to back out of the Cold War SQUEEZERS
        • At the Reykjavik Summit in 1986, Gorbachev actually said that the USSR would get rid of all of their nuclear missiles by 2000 if Reagan disbanded SDI, to which Reagan refused and the Soviet economy had to try and match SDI
        • Could argue that this is not as important because if the Soviet Union had been economically strong, this would not have been an issue. Therefore, the real reason for the end of the Cold War was the Soviet Union's failing economy
          • 3. The end of the Cold War was due to the Soviet's failing economy
            • The USSR could not afford to fight the Cold War anymore
              • It could not afford to support COMECON
              • It could not afford to continue the Arms Race
              • The GDP of the USSR was about 2.8% a year in the 1980s, and this figure was exaggerated due to discoveries of oil and gas in the Soviet Union
              • Could argue that Reagan exploits this or that he was just the President at the time that this was occurring
              • By 1991, there has been a 10% reduction in national income
    • 3. The end of the Cold War was due to the Soviet's failing economy
      • The USSR could not afford to fight the Cold War anymore
        • It could not afford to support COMECON
        • It could not afford to continue the Arms Race
        • The GDP of the USSR was about 2.8% a year in the 1980s, and this figure was exaggerated due to discoveries of oil and gas in the Soviet Union
        • Could argue that Reagan exploits this or that he was just the President at the time that this was occurring
        • By 1991, there has been a 10% reduction in national income
    • 4. Gorbachev accidentally ended the Cold War with his economic reforms
      • 5. Gorbachev intentionally ended the Cold War with his economic reforms
      • Tried to introduce elements of capitalism into a communist state
        • Highlighted through the _____ in _____ - wasn't benefitting from capitalism (as profits were going back to the investors and this law undermined communism
        • 1988 renounced the Brezhnev Doctrine - this weakened Soviet influence in Eastern Europe
          • Communist governments were collapsing in Eastern Europe and being replaced with democratic ones

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