The Cold War: India’s RoleAs the Cold War progressed,countries in all corners of theworld chose sides.India, the second largest countryin the world, under its PrimeMinister Indira Gandhi, decided tomove more distant form the USand closer to the USSR.However, India never officiallyjoined either side’s alliance andtried to assert itself as anindependent country. Under IndiraGandhi, India also started anuclear program due to theirrivalry with Pakistan.
Margaret Thatcher: The “Iron Lady”• Under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom became a closer ally of the US. Thatcher reformed the British government to make it more capitalist by reducing government controls on businesses. She took certain services that were government run and turned them over to private businesses.• Thatcher also strengthened and asserted the UK’s military power by Thatcher is known purchasing missile systems from the as one of Britain’s US. greatest leaders, for strengthening her• Her strong leadership earned her country’s economy the nickname the “Iron Lady” and military.
Contributors to the fall of the USSR:The Arms Race• The Cold War theory of deterrence suggested that each country needed to show great strength in order to deter its enemy from thinking it could successfully attack the other.• Throughout the Cold War, both These things aren’t sides spent huge amounts of cheap money on their armed forces. The US was able to afford the military spending, while the USSR’s spending put a serious burden on their economy.
The Failure of Communism• Communism proved to be a failed economic theory and communist countries lagged far behind the West in economic growth.• State controlled industry was capable of producing military supplies but was inefficient when it Communism could came to producing regular produce good products for consumer goods. the military, but not for the regular consumer.• People in Communist countries did not enjoy the standard of living of those in Western Democracy.• This caused many within communist states to reject the philosophy.
Nationalism in the Iron Curtain• People in the Iron Curtain countries became upset with the communist system and indirect rule by the USSR.• A number of nationalist movement took place as countries wanted to rule themselves under a different system.• Up until the 1980s, the USSR would swiftly crush The Prague Spring Movement was Crushed by the USSR. Other any revolution. However, nationalist movements that nationalist movements and followed would see more success protests continued to weaken their control.
Poland• The movement began when a man named Lech Walesa started a labor union, known as Solidarity and led a strike (both illegal in Poland’s Communist government).• Solidarity grew in popularity in Poland and would win some initial reforms from Poland’s government.• The USSR did not crush the Solidarity movement, but in 1981 allowed Poland to arrest Walesa and ban his activities. They initiated military rule.• Poland’s economy failed to recover under military rule, and the Polish people who resisted Communism gained attention from the rest of the world. Discontent continued in Poland.
A new leader: Gorbachev• In 1985 a new leader, Mikhail Gorbachev was given control of the USSR.• Gorbachev was a younger leader, the first leader who had never lived under Tsarist Russia. He saw that the USSR was in drastic need of reform and started programs to try and improve the country.• Ultimately, Gorbachev’s reforms would lead the USSR Gorbachev represented a departure from the older to collapse. communist leaders
Gorbachev’s reforms• Glasnost: Openness. Gorbachev wanted to lessen the strict control of the Communist party. He encouraged people to think of new ways to improve the USSR.• Perestroika: Restructuring. Gorbachev also changed the USSR’s economy to try and make it more efficient. He would allow for some aspects of capitalism (ex. small private businesses).• Democratization. Gorbachev also allowed for some free elections to take place that did not just include members of the Communist party.
USSR’s new Foreign Policy• Gorbachev realized that the Soviet union could not keep up with the USA in an arms race.• He met with US President Reagan and signed treaties to limit nuclear arsenals.• Gorbachev also pulled his Soviet forces out of a costly war in Afghanistan.• He encouraged E. Europe Gorbachev and US communist leaders to look for President Ronald Reagan. ways to improve their Their friendship helped economies rather than to rely ease the tensions of the on aid from the USSR. Cold War
1989: Nationalism in E. EuropeWithout aid from the USSR, the Iron Curtain started to lift and communist regimes fell.• Poland 1989. Free elections were held and the communist party was voted out of office in favor of members of the Solidarity party.• Hungary 1989. Hungarian communist reformers took control and dissolved their own party.• Czechoslovakia 1989. Demonstrators demanded an end to the communist regime and forced Uprising in Romania, their leaders to resign. this time there would be no support for the Iron• Romania 1989. Military leaders Curtain Countries overthrew Romania’s brutal dictator and established a new government.
German Unification• The East German government had resisted change and reform, but the East German people were hungry for change.• Late in 1989, they staged huge demonstrations and forced the Communist leader to resign.• The new communist leader decided to tear down the Berlin Wall and allow people to leave E. Germany. The exposure to democracy and capitalism made people unwilling to want to People Dancing on top of the continue life under a communist Berlin Wall on the day it is torn dictatorship. down• The communist leaders would be forced to resign and Germany would reunite as a capitalist country the next year.
The USSR dissolves• In August 1991, hard-line old communists tried to regain control of the country in a military coup. They wanted to end Gorbachev’s reforms.• However, the Russian people resisted the coup and members of the military refused to participate. The coup was a failure.• Gorbachev was dedicated to the Communist Party, but was still unpopular after the coup.• The 15 Republics of the USSR all declared independence. The Soviet Union was no more and the Cold War was totally over.• Boris Yeltsin, already elected as President of Russia’s republic now had full control of Russia. Russia would inherit the nuclear arsenal of the USSR.
NATO’s new role• By the end of the Cold War the Warsaw Pact had dissolved. However, NATO continued to exist and sought a new role.• NATO expanded to include more countries, some of whom had formerly belonged to the Warsaw Pact.• NATO continues to exist as an alliance, and has organized military action in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.• NATO is now committed to maintaining cooperation and peace in different regions of the world.