COLLAPSEOFCOMMUNISMHOW DID THECOLD WAR END?VUS.13d
Both internal andexternal pressurescaused the collapse ofthe Soviet Union
The collapse of the Soviet Unionbrought an end to the Cold Warthat had dominated Americanforeign policy for forty years!
Role of Ronald Reagan: Reagan turned theCold War into a moralissue for manyAmericans. During speeches, hecalled the SovietUnion the “EvilEmpire”. Reagan also increasedeconomic pressure onthe USSR.“Mr. Gorbachev, teardown this wall” was hiscall to unite Germany.
Role of Ronald Reagan• Reagan’s defensebuildup forced theSoviet Union to tryto compete,hastening(quickening) itsinternal collapseand the end of theCold War. Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative(dubbed “Star Wars”) was to protectagainst a nuclear attack. Satellites would“zap” missiles before they could hit us.This plan out-spent the Soviets!
Internal problems of theSoviet UnionCommunism as aneconomic policyfailed!
Reasons for Soviet Collapse Political Dissidents(those speaking outagainst thegovernment)challenged authorityof Moscow Nationalism of theRepublics as manysought to break fromthe Soviet Union tobecome independent.Source: www.geographic.org, used with permission
Internal Problems of the Soviet Union Economic inefficiency; therewere too many layers ofbureaucracy Government mismanagement;economic planners could notkeep up with needs. Corruption at all levels ofgovernment End of the “Stalinites”(those loyal to Stalin diedoff)- and a birth ofreformers
Policies of Mikhail Gorbachev Demokratzia; freeelections betweencompeting communists Glasnost; openness ofgovernment Perestroika; allowanceof some capitalism(market economy)-economic restructuring Establishment ofindependent states“Gorby” became theSoviet Premier in the mid-1980’s and broughtsweeping reforms!
PARALLEL TRENDS/ EVENTS Soviets stopped influencein Eastern Europe- theWarsaw Pact dissolved Non-totalitariangovernments wereestablished in EasternEurope Fall of Berlin Wall (1989)meant the Re-unificationof GermanyThe fall of theBerlin Wall, thesymbol of Soviettyranny, onNovember 9, 1989
TheEnd? As the SovietUnion split apart,theCommonwealth ofIndependentStates wascreated. The collapse ofthe Soviet Unionopened the doorfor many morenew problems!Boris Yeltsin became the president ofRussia after Gorbachev resigned. Hecontinued the spirit of reform.
As the sole superpower, theU.S. struggles to establish aconsistent policy in a rapidlychanging and increasinglyinterdependent world.
Forces for globaldisunityEthnic and religious factionalism…Economic disparity…Nuclear Proliferation…Terrorism...
What role should the U.S.play in this newworld order?Source: www.geographic.org, used with permission