Reagan + Gorbachev

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Who was Mikhail Gorbachev?
Last leader of USSR (1985 – 1991)
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How did Gorbachev view his relationship with the USA?
In simplistic terms.
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What did Gorbachev comment after his first meeting with Reagan in 1985?
“Reagan is not just a class enemy; he is extremely primitive. He looks like a caveman and is mentally retarded”
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What and when was the Chernobyl crisis?
April 1986 the nuclear reactor in the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukraine went critical and exploded. Initially he denied that there had been any release of radiation.
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Who was unconvinced by Gorbachev’s cover story?
Western media + Western governments put pressure on Gorbachev to tell the truth about the scale of the disaster.
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What was Chernobyl a symbol of?
The crisis in Soviet Communism.
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What problems did Gorbachev recognise that communism in Russia faced?
Soviet economy less effective than the USAs. USA = excellent standard of living whilst USSR had food shortages + Russian people had lost faith in the communist party.
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What wasn’t uncommon for housewives to do?
Queue up for five hrs to get a packet of sausages.
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What was PERESTROIKA (restructuring)?
Economic reforms designed to make the Soviet economy more efficient. Gorbachev wanted to get rid of the command economy which had existed since Stalin to rebuild economy.
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What was GLASNOST (openness)?
Censorship of press relaxed. Powers of KGB restricted + criticism of government allowed. Free elections held in 1990.
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What did Gorbachev assume that the policies of reform allowed?
Strengthen the power of Soviet Communist Party.
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Why was the Soviet Union bankrupt?
Supported Communist regimes through COMECON. Cuban joined in 1977 & depended almost totally on Soviet aid, Space race, and military expenditure, Afghan war.
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How were prices and conditions in the USSR?
Controlled & subsidised putting a strain on the government. Stopped spending on consumer goods.
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How were soviet exports?
Usually of poor quality i.e. ‘Lada cars’
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Why was there little incentive to workers to raise standards?
Everyone was guaranteed a job, cheap housing + public services
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What existed as the result of many economic problems?
‘Black market’ in western goods + currency. Tourists offered roubles at 3 or 5 times the official exchange rate.
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What did Gorbachev knew he would have to do in order for the USSR to survive?
He had reduce expenditure on arms and space technology, but needed foreign aid + new tech to compete by making agreements to reduce arms with the west.
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What were the strengths of the USA?
Booming economy, excellent computer/space technology. Highly equipped conventional military forces, International rep as ‘leader of the free world’ + NATO allies
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What were the weaknesses of the USA?
Fewer nuclear weapons than the USSR.
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What were the strengths of the USSR?
Warsaw pact allies, Greater number of nuclear weapons than the USA.
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What were the weaknesses of the USSR?
Committed to expensive Afghan War, failing economy, old-fashioned tech, rep ruined by Chernobyl crisis.
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Which friendship wore off on Reagan and Gorbachev?
Raisa Gorbachev (outgoing, lively, fashionable) + Nancy Reagan who persuaded her husband to moderate his opposition to the USSR.
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What was Reagans aim for the first meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev in the Geneva summit in November 1985?
To persuade Gorb that he sincerely desired peace between the superpowers. Gorb was hoping to persuade Reagan to drop SDI & was keen to establish a working relationship with US president.
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What did the replacement of Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko with Eduard Shevardnadze signal?
The end to the aggressive policy that had been pursued by Gromyko
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Why was the Geneva meeting significant?
The two leaders were able to talk face to face and develop a personal relationship but no formal agreement was reached.
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When, where and what was the significance of the second meeting?
Reykjavik in Oct 1986. Gorbachev refused to agree to scrap ballistic missiles as Reagan refused to drop SDI.
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When & where was the third meeting?
Washington Dec 1987.
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What was the INF treaty?
INF treaty Eliminated all nuclear missile & conventional ground based cruise missiles within range of 500-5500 km. Significant-1st treaty to reduce no. of missiles that superpowers possessed, went further than SALT I.
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When was the Moscow (4th summit) meeting and why was it significant?
May-June 1988. Finalised INF treaty as it had now been agreed by US senate. Joint statement to show friendship.
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What happened in the New York Summit 1988?
Reagan, Gorb + Bush (Pres-elect). Gorb wanted to speed up arms reduction + complete START treaty before Bush became pres. Negotiations slowed as Bush + advisors less trusting of Gorb than Reagan.
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What happened in the Malta summit 1989?
Bush + Gorbachev. Gorb assured Bush he’d never start a ‘hot war’ against US. Observer pointed out If Yalta was start then Malta was the end of the cold war. Announced end of Cold War in 1989.
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What happened in the Washington DC Summit 1990?
Bush + Gorb produced START I (Treaty for reduction + limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms) signed 31 July 1991. Meant reducing 25-35% of all strategic warheads-set ceiling of 1600 strategic nuclear delivery aircraft + 6,000 warheads per country if
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What was signed following the work of the New York, Malta + Washington summits?
Conventional Armed Forces Treaty (CFE) signed by NATO + Warsaw Pact reps which led to the reduction of weapons based in Europe.
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How did Gorbachev view his relationship with the USA?


In simplistic terms.

Card 3


What did Gorbachev comment after his first meeting with Reagan in 1985?


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Card 4


What and when was the Chernobyl crisis?


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Card 5


Who was unconvinced by Gorbachev’s cover story?


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