Superpower relations and the Cold War - Detente, Easing of Tensions

  • Created by: MC
  • Created on: 23-11-18 17:32

Detente - Easing of Tensions

In 1970's there was a period of detente - an easing in tension between the two superpowers.

The policy of Detente was practical

Detente wasnt just goodwill - it was also a sensible policy for both countries.

The 1960's were marked by crises, including some of the most tense moments in the Cold War. Both USA and USSR wanted to avoid other near misses.

Boosting military power hadnt succeeded in reducing tensions. Both countries recognised that a new strategy was needed.

Both countreis were also keen to reduce their military spending - the arms race was extremely expensive and led to falling standards of living.

USSR was especially worried about falling living standards in the Eastern Bloc. In 1970, there were riots in Poland in response to high living costs.

The superpowers agreed to reduce arms and cooperate

The two superpowers developed closer relations under detente. In 1975, Soviet and American spacecraft docked together in space. However, the most significant progress was achieved through diplomacy.

The First Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT 1) 1972

SALT 1 was a treaty signed in 1972 by USA and USSR. It limited the number of ABMs (anti-ballistic


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