Reasons for the Thaw

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  • Created on: 01-06-14 12:34
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Reasons for the Thaw
· Economics (Soviets). Khrushchev, the new Soviet premier, wanted to
develop the idea put forward by Malenkov of "New Course", into
"Peaceful Co existence". Part of this included an shift from industry
to consumer production, which could not be done without reduction
in defence spending (30% of the GNP). This emphasis on consumers
was needed; as many Soviet people did not have basic goods like
fridges.
· Economics (US). The globalisation of the Cold War into Asia (eg
Korea) was proving to be costly, thus they wanted to reduce defence
spending to allow for this.
· Arms Race- Both had a fear of nuclear war, and desperately did not
want a nuclear war. "There is no third way"- Khrushchev and "What
the hell do you do with the world after a nuclear war?"-
Eisenhower. Both wanted to avoid war and thus set out to reduce
nuclear weapons. Both had almost achieved a parity in terms of
weapons, further Khrushchev knew that Eisenhower would soon find
out about his "potenkinism", though Eisenhower couldn't reveal it as
he had been spying to get this information.
· Domestic pressures- fear in the US of a nuclear war- Duck n' Cover
campaign, fears of missile gap feared by Gaither Report and the Red
Scare led by McCarthyism, and within the USSR there was social
pressures for consumer goods; did not want a revolt
· Ideology- Khrushchev believed in ultimate victory of communism,
however felt that they should co exist in the meantime, and be able
to reduce defence in the mean time, but were still committed to the
triumph of communism.

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