Causes of Detente



- After 1964, Brezhnev made some changes to Khrushchevs policies and Peaceful Coexistence continued.
National interests guided Foreign Policy, which led to Detente.
- USSR had an advantage - USA looked weak after the Vietnam War.
- Detente would mean there could be Arms Limitations agreements for the USSR to catch up, but the USA had newer technology.
USSR wanted Western Recognition for influence over the Eastern Bloc.
- Romania's independant foreign policy, the Czechslovakia Crisis in 1968, and strikes in Poland were signds that the Soviet Union's hold needed strengthening.
- USSR didn't want USA involved in the Sino-Soviet split.
- The Polit-Bureau were facing serious economic problems and needed to divert money from the Military Sector to improve living standards and get comsumer goods.
- Improved relations would gain them access to Western Technology and grain.
- The eigth of the five year plans - they made deals with Renault and Fiat to import new technology into the USSR.

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- The Vietnam highlighted that the USA had limited power, and led to economic problems.
- Europe became more independant (e.g. France left NATO in 1966).
- Detente allowed USA to keep foriegn interest without military intervention.
- Nixon and Kissinger were very anti-communist.
Social reform suffered because of military spending - JFK's 'New Frontier' and LBJ's 'Great Society' were sacraficed, this led to riots. Detente allowed the USA to focus on Welfare spending and gaining international influence.

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- The Cuban Missile Crisis (1962) highlighted the dangers of superpower confrontation - it could result in nuclear warfare.
- JFK's threat to use US missiles during the crisis, caused anxiety across the world. 
- By 1969, the Superpowers had enough nuclear weapons to destroy each other several times over.
- The need to reduce the risk of nuclear warfare caused Detente.

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- By 1968, there was evidence of instability on both sides of the Iron Curtain (e.g. USSR invasion of Czechoslovakia and large scale strikes on France).
- Brandt - the leader of West Germany - took a lead in developing links across the border.
- Opening up channels between the East and West in Europe aided the move towards Detente. It encouraged other countries to develop links (e.g. France and Romania).

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