Why did the cold war come to an end?

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  • Why did the Cold War come to an end?
    • people power.
      • POLAND.
        • Solidarity, high support due to failure of government to solve economic difficulties.
        • Government contributed to collapse of government by legalising solidarity in 1988.
        • endorsement of the Catholic Church, reinforced by popes visit in 1983 and 1987.
      • ROMANIA.
        • Laszlo Tokes, priest from Northern Romania.
          • Broken the law by allowing poetry to be recited in public places.
        • Hungarian television and radio stations meant that rumours of this and people protest spread quickly.
          • Massacre of 71 people. When Ceausescu arrived at a rally in Bucharest, the crowds booed.
        • army unwilling to take action. Securitate remained loyal to army.
      • Czechoslovakia
        • The Velvet Revolution
          • term used to describe the collapse in 1989. Communist regime brought down by widespread demonstrations that involved little violence.
      • By 1989 every pro-soviet communist government in eastern Europe had disintegrated.
      • By the 1980's the regimes of Eastern Europe had become so enriched that they had lost touch with their own population.
        • photographs of large crowds psychically dismantling the Berlin wall with hammers in Nov 1989.
      • photographs of large crowds psychically dismantling the Berlin wall with hammers in Nov 1989.
      • protests gave encouragement to the people of Eastern Europe to demand for change
    • Triumphalism- Reagan policy
      • Saw communism as an "evil empire" in 1983- strong believer in free market capitalism.
      • Reagan's militarised counter-revolution
        • Increasing nuclear arms and development of SDI (star wars).
          • attempt to put economic strain of USSR.
            • Soviet leadership didn't engage in Reagan's arms race.
          • SDI- Strategic Defence Initiative 1983. Development of anti-ballistic missiles in space.
            • SDI viewed by many as unrealistic.
              • alarmed the soviet leadership, showed that USA was hostile.
          • New methods including stealth bomber and trident submarines
            • Revived anti-nuclear protestors.
            • Reagan increased defense spending by 53% in october 1981.
        • Defence spending increased by 13% in 1982 and 8% in following two years
        • aim; supremacy against the USSR to the extent of nuclear.
        • Fundamentally and ethically opposed to MAD as he believed it kept the cold war going.
        • Us spending on the military = 1960's = 9% 1970's = 5 % but detente 1980's = 7%
    • Thatcher
      • Supporter of Reagan, able to present Reagan's perspective in Europe.
      • Her decision to deploy US missiles in Britain was crucial to the success of Reagan's policy.
      • Her strong personality gave her considerable influence in face-to-face meetings.
      • Established good relations with Gorbachev in 1984.
        • "Man I could do business with"
          • BUT!! Essentially a strong support player to Reagan.
      • Launched a strong verbal attack on Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan.
      • Opposed to all forms of communism. A strong supporter of free market economics.
    • Pope John Paul II
      • Challenging communism received encouragement from the pope in June 1979.
      • message called "don't be afraid" inspired those resisting communism.
      • Visited Poland in 1979, 1983 and 1987.
        • Each visit reinforced support for solidarity and helped it gain concession from the government.
          • Solidarity= illegal independent trade union in 1980-81.
      • Catholic church was only strong in Poland and Baltic states. IMPACT LIMITED IN OTHER COUNTRIES PF EASTERN EUROPE.
    • Economy
      • In some respects the cold war was essentially an economic competition between the east and west
        • It became clear in the 1980's that the soviet economy no longer had economic power to compete.
      • Economic performance
        • Growth of 6% in 1960's, 2% in 1970's and even less in 1980's.
        • Even at its peak, soviet economy had significant weakness.
        • Although the soviet union could produce large quantities of products- quality was very low.
        • Soviet economy unable to produce sophisticated consumer goods or hig h tech goods
          • 1n 1985 ussr produced 8800 computers compared to USA 6 million
        • For the first time since 1945, it was failing to produce large quantities of raw materials
          • GNP FACTS.. 1970's = 37.1% 1980=37% 1989=30.8%
      • Reasons for soviet stagnation.
        • The soviet union was subsidising the estern bloc. Subsidy amounted to $80 billion in 1970's- created huge economic strain
        • Soviet union's limited avilability of high-tech goods such as computers and modems as it feared they might help opposition groups organise against gov.
        • By mid 1980's, 25% of GNP spent on military
          • Less money to invest in projects designed to stimulate economic growth.
        • Gerontocracy- rule by elderly fro 1980-85. Brezhnev, andropov and chernenko.
      • A costly empire
        • In 1981 and 1986, the ussr provided Cuba and Vietnam with $4 billion and $6 billion in aid and oil supplies.
          • Warsaw pact countries also received a yearly subsidy of $3 billion due to cheap oil sent from ussr.
        • Oil accounted for 15.6% of soviet exports in 1970 but in 1984 this had risen to 54%.
      • Despite key structural difficulties with their economy, soviet leaders continued with cold war policies until 1985.
    • Gorbachev
      • End to soviet aggression and expansion
        • Soviet forces in Eastern Europe reduced by 500,000.
        • Withdraws from Afghanistan in 1989.
        • Ended support in Ethiopia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nicaragua and Angola.
        • Gorbachev doesn't suppress protests in Eastern Europe.
      • Co-operation rather than confrontation.
        • Arms reduction- starts in 1991.   CUT 30% OF ARMS.
        • INF treaty- reduction of ss20 and cruise missile
        • Reduction of weapons as it was a strain on soviet economy.
        • Reduction of weapons by USSR= 1750 in contrast to USA reducing 850.
      • Weakened hard-line communist regimes.
        • Removal of Brezhnev Doctrine 1985, replaced with Sinatra Doctrine.
        • 'Find your own path to socialism' 1988.
    • The moral bankruptcy of Marxism-Leninism
      • Key structural factor, underpins how society runs and functions.
      • Marxist-Leninism argued that the comunist party alone represented the working class.
        • Argued that a 'dictatorshiop of the proletariat' was necessary to protect the working class and build a society that was superior to the societies of capitalist west.
      • Nature of soviet society.
        • soviet bloc faced; long working hours, low-grade housing, poorly stocked shops, shortages of basic foodstuff and consumer goods.
        • deficiencies within society led to: low productivity in work and an extensive black market.
        • growing social problems- alcohol consumption quadrupled, increase in mental illness and suicide.
        • Economically poorer and politically repressive in comparison to capitalist west
        • Many soviet jews (refuseniks) were denied the right to emigrate to Israel or USA
          • Soviet jews pressed for the freedom to leave the ussr, campaign got high publicity
            • As a result, the number of jews allowed to emigrate increased from 14,000 in 1975 to 51,000 in 1979.
              • Jewish emigraton fell after invasion of afghanistan
      • use of military
        • soviet bloc was an "empire by rape" maintained by force rather than content
        • In 1982, reagan argued that satellite regimes had 30 years to hold free elections and establish legitimacy.
        • red army interventions in 1953, 1956 and 1968 to keep eastern bloc in line.
        • rapid collapse of eastern bloc in 1988, in absence of red army protection
      • The nature of the communist party
        • Political freedom was extremely limited, during Brezhnev era political opponents were imprisioned in psychiatric units
        • 1970's average soviet worker earned 165 roubles----- ommunist party would earn up to 900 roubles
        • Communist party tended to be corrupt- no social mobility- took bribes and appointed friends and family
        • Corrupt  communist elite emrged in ussr, under brezhnev's leadership (1964-82).
          • CPSU (communist party of the soviet union) who enjoyed status
            • Nomenklatura (soviet elite)  were bureaucrats appointed by CPSU to administer all aspects of soviet states.
              • Depending on rank had access to privilegdes- country residences, offical cars, private supplies of western goods, luxury vacation resorts and priavte medical centres.
      • Criticism of soviet rule
        • Helsinki watch committee and charter 77- soviet rule based on oppression rather than consent.
        • Glasnost- gorbachev allows criticism
        • Helsinki accords 1975, ussr guaranteed freedom of speech, pprotest and movement- howver coudnt obtain human rights
    • Reagan doctrine
      • Decisive measures to try and halt the growth of soviet influence in the third world.
      • Policy of sending assistance to anti-communist insurgents as well as anti- communist governments.
      • $687 millio in aid was provided to the mujahidin in afghanistan (grenada, el salvador and nicaragua).

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