Why did the Cold War end?


International Relations, Section 6: Why did the Cold War end? The invasion of Afghanistan to the collapse of the Soviet Union, 1979-91.
Mind Map by E A, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by E A over 8 years ago

Resource summary

Why did the Cold War end?
  1. 6.1: The collapse of Détente
    1. 1970s → associated with Détente


      • Détente = relaxing of tensions/hostility
      1. More contact between leaders
        1. Number of agreements made
        2. Détente
          1. = General easing of tension in relations between the superpowers
            1. SALT I, 1972


              • SALT = Strategic Arms Limitations Talks
              1. Negotiation talks to control arms race began in 1969
                1. USA + USSR agreed keep number of nuclear weapons within strict limits + begin further talks
                2. Co-operation in space, 1975


                  • Throughout 1960s, USA and USSR had been rivals in "space race"
                  1. American and Soviet cosmonauts docked spacecrafts together in orbit around the Earth
                    1. One of most visible signs of Detente in action
                      1. Gave further impetus for superpower co-operation
                    2. The Helsinki Conference, August 1975
                      1. 4 agreements made:
                        1. Western powers recognised frontiers of Eastern Europe + Soviet influence in that area
                          1. West Germany officially recognised East Germany
                            1. Trade agreements between USA + USSR
                              1. All countries agreed to improve human rights throughout the world
                          2. Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, 1979
                            1. Relations damaged – important turning point: end of Détente + resumption of Cold War
                              1. REASONS
                                1. USSR concerned about Muslim revolution in Iran, could have spread to Muslim areas in USSR
                                  1. Political situation in Afghanistan very unstable – USSR want to maintain influence
                                    1. Afghanistan close to Middle East oil reserves – USSR wanted to develop their interests in area
                                    2. CONSEQUENCES
                                      1. Soviet troops being killed by Mujahidin rebels


                                        • Mujahidin rebels = Afghan muslim freedom fighters
                                        1. USA sent shipments of money, arms + equipment to Pakistan for the Mujahidin
                                          1. Unwinnable for USSR + severe drain on finances
                                        2. The Carter Doctrine
                                          1. Carter's actions
                                            1. Pulled USA out of Moscow Olympics
                                              1. Told senate not to ratify SALT II treaty


                                                • SALT II was to limit number of nuclear weapons.
                                                1. Cut trade with USSR
                                                  1. Alliance w/ China + Israel, support Mujahidin
                                            2. 6.2: President Reagan and the US reaction
                                              1. Period following invasion of Afghanistan = "Second Cold War"
                                                1. The "evil empire"
                                                  1. Reagan succeeded Carter as US President
                                                    1. Saw Détente as disaster, rejected idea of peaceful co-existence
                                                  2. "Star Wars"
                                                    1. SDI, Strategic Defence Initiative
                                                      1. Intended to be anti-missile system – 'nuclear umbrella' against Soviet missiles
                                                        1. Turning point in arms race – USA in advantage, USSR couldn't compete
                                                          1. Not enough wealth to finance dev. of space weapons
                                                            1. Well behind USA in computer science
                                                      2. The Olympic Games
                                                        1. Olympics of 1980 and 1984 further worsened relations
                                                          1. USA boycotted Moscow Olympics, 1980, 60 countries did the same
                                                            1. USSR + 14 other Communist countries retaliated at LA Olympics, 1984
                                                          2. 6.3: President Gorbachev and the end of the Cold War
                                                            1. March 1985, Gorbachev new USSR leader
                                                              1. Internal reforms
                                                                1. PERESTROIKA: change in economic policy – people could buy and sell at profit
                                                                  1. GLASNOST: openness in gov. – people allowed to say what they believe in more open debate
                                                                    1. The fall of the USSR
                                                                      1. Gorbachev seen as weak within USSR
                                                                        1. Promised reforms had not improved living standards + appeared to have simply allowed collapse of Soviet influence in EE
                                                                          1. Some in USSR did not want reformed Communism, but abolition
                                                                          2. 1991, East + West Berlin reunited
                                                                            1. Era of Communism in EE was over
                                                                          3. Ending the Cold War
                                                                            1. Gorbachev was able to improve relations with USA + end Cold War
                                                                              1. Weaknesses of USSR
                                                                                1. Expensive war in Afghanistan – economy could not sustain increased defence spending
                                                                                  1. USA ahead in computer technology + arms race (SDI)
                                                                                    1. Growing discontent in satellite states against Communism + Soviet control – solidarity trade union movement in Poland
                                                                                    2. Gorbachev and Reagan
                                                                                      1. Met in Geneva, November 1985 – talked face-to-face, although no formal agreement on arms limitations
                                                                                        1. Met at Reykjavik, October 1986 – no formal agreement, Reagan refused to drop SDI project
                                                                                          1. SALT developed into START (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks)
                                                                                            1. Visit Washington 1988, Gorbachev proposed deep cuts in USA + USSR forces
                                                                                          2. INF Treaty, 1987
                                                                                            1. Removed all medium-range nuclear weapons from Europe
                                                                                              1. Gorbachev signed because
                                                                                                1. Would increase popularity in West
                                                                                                  1. Soviet economy couldn't recover due to amount being spent on nuclear weapons
                                                                                                    1. Reagan told Gorbachev he had no intention of invading the USSR
                                                                                                  2. The break-up of Eastern Europe
                                                                                                    1. 1989: END OF COLD WAR
                                                                                                      1. Communist countries became increasingly discontented during the 1980s, gradually became clearer that USSR had neither will or power to prevent changes in these nations' govs.
                                                                                                        1. Fall of Berlin Wall, 9th November 1989
                                                                                                          1. Symbolic of end of the Cold War
                                                                                                          2. POLAND: free elections + Walesa, 1st non-communist leader in Eastern Europe, since 1945
                                                                                                            1. CZECHO.: anti-communist demonstrations + new leader Havel + free elections 1990
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