Why did the Cold War end?

Detailed notes on why the Cold War ended

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: olympia
  • Created on: 02-06-14 14:18
Preview of Why did the Cold War end?

First 422 words of the document:

How did the Cold War end?
New hard-line approach adopted by Western leaders
This argument supported by triumphalist school of historians and those
on the political right who think that firm action is the only way of
standing up to aggression
Helped in undermining the USSR through his policy of militarised
counter-revolution. Marked a change towards a more aggressive,
strident anti-communist approach indicating he would pursue the `2nd
Cold War' with vigour
Increased military spending on a scale unprecedented in US history
o Increased by 13% in 1982
o New methods of deploying nuclear missiles produced e.g. trident
submarines and stealth bomber
Central to arms build up was SDI announced in 1983 ­ `Star Wars'
o Development of anti-ballistic missile systems in space. HUGE
COST that would bankrupt USSR if they were to try and keep
o Aim was to regain military supremacy to the extent that USSR
would not be able to continue the OC
The Reagan Doctrine involved measures to try and halt the growth of
Soviet influence in the 3rd world involving sending aid to
anti-communist insurgents often through CIA operations.
o Designed to weaken Soviet Union at the edges and to supply
counter-revolutionaries with enough support to ensure Soviet
support for revolutionary regimes would entail a much greater
economic cost.
In Europe radio broadcasts such as `Voice of America' and
`Radio free Europe' were used to encourage those living in
E Europe to protest against communist govts
In Nicaragua, doctrine was used to send military aid to the
Contras, a right wing guerrilla group fighting against the
communist govt of the Sandanistas
o Veterans of Gorbachev regime stress this as a major factor in the
end of the Cold War and collapse of USSR due to the pressure it
exerted resulting in Gorbachev surrendering.
Reagan's approach made more effective by support from Thatcher
She helped present Reagan's approach to Europe and her decision to
deploy US missiles in Britain was crucial to the success of Reagan's
policy in exerting pressure on the Soviet Union. Without European
bases the threat to use nuclear missiles against Soviet territory would
have been much diminished.
Actions undertaken by Reagan were not always popular with the wider
world and were often counter-productive

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Supported regimes that had very poor records of human rights
e.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Increasingly aged and confused Brezhnev died in 1982, only to
be followed by Yuri Andropov who was wired to a dialysis
machine for most of his time as leader and finally Chernenko who
was dying of emphysema when he became leader. All of these
men failed to have an impact on policy as they were all very ill or
old.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

Oct 1986: Reykjavik Summit ­ Gorby proposed phasing out
nuclear weapons and offered a series of over-increasing
concessions that took US leadership by surprise
o Dec 1987: Washington Summit ­ INF (intermediate nuclear
forces) agreement signed scrapping all intermediate range
ballistic missiles. First time the superpowers had agreed to arms
reduction rather than control
o Dec 1989: Malta Summit ­ Gorby and Bush. Achieved good
working relationship and both leaders declared that the Cold
War was over.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

Dec 1989 Ceausescu regime in Romania overthrown
o Trend continued throughout E. Europe each one spurring the
next on in an ironic domino theory kind of way.
o By end of 1989 every pro-Soviet communist govt in E Europe had
Finally in 1991 the Soviet Union dissolved as a result of increased
unpopularity of Gorbachev who had failed to improve the living
standards despite economic restructuring. This coupled with growing
freedom of people to express their own opinion, instigated by Gorby,
caused the downfall.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

Development of popular protest movements was certainly a
consequence of the failure of communist regimes, if not communism as
an ideology
Again this links back to economy as if the state controlled economy was
successful and didn't produce inefficient workers and factories then the
living standards would be higher and people happier.
o On the other hand the economic pressures on the Soviet Union
were largely due to the arms race and supporting regimes abroad
and thus have little to do with communist ideology itself.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all resources »