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The end of the cold war
The end of the cold war
The end of the cold war
The end of the cold war
The end of the cold war
The end of the cold war
The end of the cold war
The end of the cold war
The end of the cold war
The end of the cold war
The end of the cold war
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The end of the cold war

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  • 1. The End of the Cold War
  • 2. The Soviet Union was slowly going bankrupt….  The space race and arms race severely hurt the Soviet economy.  Attempting to spread communism ALSO weakened the Soviet economy.  As the Soviet people saw their economy crumbling, discontent began to grow in the Soviet Union.
  • 3. Mikhail Gorbachev  Mikhail Gorbachev was elected Soviet leader in 1982.  He slowly moved the Soviet state from totalitarianism.  Supported perestroika (economic restructuring) which allowed private property.  And glasnost (openness) which allowed the people more rights and freedoms
  • 4. Gorbachev Vs Reagan
  • 5. Reagan  Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980 and immediately went on the offensive against communism.  Called the Soviet Union an “EVIL EMPIRE”  Proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative - a satellite and ground based protection from nukes.
  • 6. A Cold War Thaws….  In 1985, Gorbachev and Reagan met in person and began discussing ways to limit the Cold War.  They agreed to limit their weapon stockpiles and end the arms race.  Gorbachev agreed to democratization, or allowing the people to choose their grovernment.
  • 7. Meanwhile….  At the same time that the Soviet Union began to change, Eastern European countries began hungering for freedom.  Countries behind the Iron Curtain were poor but could see their nearby neighboring countries were wealthy.  This led to the growth of resistance movements against the Soviet controllers.
  • 8. Freedoms Spread to Eastern Europe
  • 9. Two Examples  The Polish Solidarity movement used strikes to gain recognition.  They elected Lech Walesa as the first democratically elected leader of Poland.  In Hungary, they literally cut a hole in the fences separating them from freedom.  Because of this example, the Hungarian people overthrew their communist government in 1989.
  • 10. “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall”  These events inspired the East Germans.  In 1989, East Germans began tearing down the Berlin Wall.  When the Wall was torn down, Germany was finally reunited as one democratic country.  The ultimate symbol of Soviet oppression was destroyed.
  • 11. Finally  Events throughout Europe began inspiring states in the Soviet Union to want freedom also.  Lithuania was the first to declare independence in 1990.  Although Gorbachev tried to blockade them, he failed.  This led to the Soviet Union falling apart in 1991.

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