The Cold War Ends


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The Cold War Ends

  1. 1. The Cold War EndsThe Fall of the USSR
  2. 2. The Cold War: India’sRole• As the Cold War progressed, countries inall corners of the world chose sides.• India, the second largest country in theworld, under its Prime Minister IndiraGandhi, decided to move more distantform the US and closer to the USSR.• However, India never officially joinedeither side’s alliance and tried to assertitself as an independent country.• Under Indira Gandhi, India also started anuclear program due to their rivalry withPakistan.
  3. 3. Margaret Thatcher: The “Iron Lady”• Under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, theUnited Kingdom became a closer ally of theUS.• Thatcher reformed the British government tomake it more capitalist by reducinggovernment controls on businesses andallowed more free trade.• She took certain services that weregovernment run and turned them over toprivate businesses.• Thatcher also strengthened and asserted theUK’s military power by purchasing missilesystems from the US.• Her strong leadership earned her thenickname the “Iron Lady”Thatcher is known asone of Britain’sgreatest leaders, forstrengthening hercountry’s economyand military.
  4. 4. Contributors to the fall of theUSSR:The Arms Race• The Cold War theory of deterrencesuggested that each countryneeded to show great strength inorder to deter its enemy fromthinking it could successfully attackthe other.• Throughout the Cold War, bothsides spent huge amounts ofmoney on their armed forces. TheUS was able to afford the militaryspending, while the USSR’sspending put a serious burden ontheir economy.These things aren’tcheap
  5. 5. The Failure of Communism• Communism proved to be a failedeconomic theory and communistcountries lagged far behind the Westin economic growth.• State controlled industry was capableof producing military supplies but wasinefficient when it came to producingregular consumer goods.• People in Communist countries didnot enjoy the standard of living ofthose in Western Democracy.• This caused many within communiststates to reject the philosophy.Communism could producegood products for themilitary, but not for theregular consumer.
  6. 6. Nationalism in the Iron Curtain• People in the Iron Curtaincountries became upset withthe communist system andindirect rule by the USSR.• A number of nationalistmovements took place ascountries wanted to rulethemselves under a differentsystem.• Up until the 1980s, the USSRwould swiftly crush anyrevolution.However, nationalistmovements and protestscontinued to weaken theircontrol.The Prague Spring Movement wasCrushed by the USSR. Othernationalist movements that followedwould see more success
  7. 7. A new leader: Gorbachev• In 1985 a new leader, MikhailGorbachev was given control ofthe USSR.• Gorbachev was a youngerleader, the first leader who hadnever lived under Tsarist Russia.He saw that the USSR was indrastic need of reform andstarted programs to try andimprove the country.• Ultimately, Gorbachev’s reformswould lead the USSR to collapse. Gorbachev represented adeparture from the oldercommunist leaders
  8. 8. Gorbachev’s reforms• Glasnost: Openness. Gorbachev wanted to lessen thestrict control of the Communist party. Heencouraged people to think of new ways to improvethe USSR.• Perestroika: Restructuring. Gorbachev also changedthe USSR’s economy to try and make it moreefficient. He would allow for some aspects ofcapitalism (ex. small private businesses).• Democratization. Gorbachev also allowed for somefree elections to take place that did not just includemembers of the Communist party.
  9. 9. USSR’s new Foreign Policy• Gorbachev realized that theSoviet union could not keep upwith the USA in an arms race.• He met with US PresidentReagan and signed treaties tolimit nuclear arsenals.• Gorbachev also pulled his Sovietforces out of a costly war inAfghanistan.• He encouraged E. Europecommunist leaders to look forways to improve theireconomies rather than to rely onaid from the USSR.Gorbachev and US PresidentRonald Reagan. Theirfriendship helped ease thetensions of the Cold War
  10. 10. 1989: Nationalism in E. EuropeWithout aid from the USSR, the IronCurtain started to lift and communistregimes fell.• Poland 1989. Free elections were heldand the communist party was voted outof office in favor of members of theSolidarity party.• Hungary 1989. Hungarian communistreformers took control and dissolvedtheir own party.• Czechoslovakia 1989. Demonstratorsdemanded an end to the communistregime and forced their leaders toresign.• Romania 1989. Military leadersoverthrew Romania’s brutal dictatorand established a new government.Uprising in Romania, thistime there would be nosupport for the IronCurtain Countries
  11. 11. German Unification• The East German government hadresisted change and reform, but theEast German people were hungry forchange.• Late in 1989, they staged hugedemonstrations and forced theCommunist leader to resign.• The new communist leader decidedto tear down the Berlin Wall andallow people to leave E. Germany.The exposure to democracy andcapitalism made people unwilling towant to continue life under acommunist dictatorship.• The communist leaders would beforced to resign and Germany wouldreunite as a capitalist country thenext year.People Dancing on top of theBerlin Wall on the day it is torndown
  12. 12. The USSR dissolves• In August 1991, hard-line oldcommunists tried to regain control ofthe country in a military coup. Theywanted to end Gorbachev’s reforms.• However, the Russian people resistedthe coup and members of the militaryrefused to participate. The coup was afailure.• Gorbachev was dedicated to theCommunist Party, but was stillunpopular after the coup.• The 15 Republics of the USSR alldeclared independence. The SovietUnion was no more and the Cold Warwas totally over.• Boris Yeltsin, already elected asPresident of Russia’s republic now hadfull control of Russia. Russia wouldinherit the nuclear arsenal of the USSR.
  13. 13. NATO’s new role• By the end of the Cold War theWarsaw Pact had dissolved.However, NATO continued to existand sought a new role.• NATO expanded to include morecountries, some of whom hadformerly belonged to the WarsawPact.• NATO continues to exist as analliance, and has organized militaryaction in the former Yugoslavia andAfghanistan.• NATO is now committed tomaintaining cooperation and peacein different regions of the world.