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Assess the role of Mikhail Gorbachev in bringing the Cold War to an end

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Par   •  26 Mars 2023  •  Étude de cas  •  499 Mots (2 Pages)  •  356 Vues

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Mikhail Gorbachev : last Soviet Leader, elected in 1985 & resigned → 25th of December 1991⇒ fall of the USSR

implemented social & eco. reforms

goal: improve relations between 2 superpowers → belief that without change USSR would collapse

‘New thinking’ = major changes (internally & internationally)

What was the role of Mikhail Gorbachev in bringing the Cold War to an end ?

Revolutionary goals

✧ demilitarize Soviet foreign policy to fix broken eco

✧ radical ≠ direction away from the Big Lie & a command eco

2 important domestic policies :


= economic policy of reconstruction ⇒ huge ideological impact

↳ move towards: liberalization of eco, free market, w/ – state-owned businesses ⇒ resembling a capitalist system

→ ideological conflict (capitalism VS communism) initially started Cold War = strong meaning in the eyes of inhabitants of both blocs ⇒ seen as a communist regime admitting DEFEAT to the capitalist eco model

⇒ USSR (& communism) lost credibility w/in the bloc and internationally

Glasnost (openness)

= policy of free expression which allowed inhabitants of both the USSR and the Eastern European countries to voice their opinion

↳ adopting free speech ⇒ seen as one step away from the controlling Soviet dictatorship and towards the Western model set by the “land of the free”

political level ⇒ wide-spread criticism of the USSR and communist regimes in general

↳ revealed opposition to communism in the satellite states

⇒ revolts & wars for independence eg. uprisings in Hungary or Poland

Sinatra Doctrine (Gorbachev’ abandonment of the Brezhnev doctrine)

→ satellite states could make changes within their territory w/out expecting the USSR to intervene

For the West → seen as ø strict Soviet intervention

⇒ reduced the fear of Communist expansionism and lessened the need for Containment

⇒ communist regimes began to be overthrown eg. Czechoslovakia - Velvet Revolution of 1989

⇒ collapse of the Soviet sphere

Arms reduction talks w/ Reagan btw 1985 and 1990

After Reagan’s ⤴ in arms spending, Gorbachev’s negotiations with the US (⇒ Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 87) → hinted at Soviet weakness and inability to sustain defense spending and keep up with the US



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