End of the Cold War - The collapse of Communism Flashcards Preview

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1

The End of the Cold War

1980 - 1991

 

Describe the actions of Ronald Reagan towards the USSR in the early 1980s [5]

  • Reagan became President in 1981 and he is said to have started a 'second cold war' (after a period of detente in the 1970s)
  • He was a hardline anti-communist - who thought detente was weak and just like 'appeasement' He felt the Cold War could be won (and he would win it)
  • He appointed and followed the advice of a group of advisers called - the Committee on the Present Danger
  • He supported the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan and anti-communist forces in Nicaragua
  • He increased defence spending in the first two weeks by over $35 billion
  • He embarked on the Strategic Defence Initiative (Star Wars) - escalating the arms race in order to win it.
  • He verbally attached the USSR, describing it as 'an evil Empire' (1984)

2

The End of the Cold War

1980 - 1991

 

Outline the problems facing the USSR by the 1980s [5]

  • Political problems: The Soviet Union was led by an aging POLITBURO.
  • It had four leaders in quick succession (Brezhnev - died in '82 / Andropov - died in 84 / Chernenko - died 85 / Gorbachev (still alive).
  • The Soviet system had become corrupt and out of date - instead of dealing with problems, the government just covered them up (eg Chernobyl, 1986)
  • Economic Problems: The economy was in stagnation/expense war in Afghanistan / locked into an expensive arms race against the USA.
  • The Soviet economy was backward - factories and mines were decrepit and out of date.

  • Social Problems: Widespread crime, alcoholism, and drugs in Soviet towns.

3

The End of the Cold War

1980 - 1991

 

Describe the changes that Gorbachev brought about in the  1980s. [5]

  • Gorbachev was a REALIST  he could see the USSR needed reforming
  • He introduced two key policies:
  • GLASNOST: (Openness) Lifted censorship/state controls, provided the Soviet people with more information for example about the war in Afghanistan and problems with the economy (which had been hidden)
  • PERISTROIKA: (Restructuring) This relaxed state control over the economy and allowed people to trade for profit (incentive)
  • To make Peristroika work he needed to cut government expenditure and quickly - so he reduced military expenditure, left Afghanistan and engaged with the USA in arms reduction talks in various SUMMIT meetings - in 1987 they both USA and USSR reduced their stockpiles

4

BBC BITESIZE

 

Collapse of Communism

VIDEO

Why not take the bitesize TEST

5

The End of the Cold War

1980 - 1991

 

Outline how communism collapsed in the late 1980s. [5]

BBC VIDEO

  • A decade of political and economic problems caused the new leader (Gorbachev) to make important reforms.
  • He relaxed economic and political controls.
  • Easter Europe Countries no longer had to feel threatened by Soviet tanks (as they had in Hungary '56 and Czechoslovakia '68)
  • in 1988 he told the Warsaw Pact countries he was withdrawing Soviet troops from other communist states
  • In Poland elections were held and Poland had their first non-communist leader - Lech Walsea.
  • Hungary and Czechoslovakia opened their border with Austria - 1000's fled across
  • Demonstrations in East Germany  in November '89 saw the Berlin Wall (the symbol of the Cold War) demolished.
  • By 1991 the USSR had torn itself apart - (this is not what Gorbachev had intended) but the effect was to end communism - with communism at an end the was no cold war.

6

End of the Cold War

What caused the Cold War to end in 1991 [10]

 

Note there are only TWO points -

but if you provide precise supporting detail this will be enough.

(Starter 1) Some would argue that the Cold War came to an end because of the actions of Ronald Reagan.

  • Reagan became President in 1981 and he is said to have deliberately started a 'second cold war' (after a period of detente in the 1970s)
  • He put the USSR under enormous political and economic pressure
  • He assumed a hard-line anti-communist stance – and he felt the Cold War could be won (and he would win it)
  • He appointed and followed the advice of a group of advisers called - the Committee on the Present Danger.
  • He placed pressure on the USSR by supporting the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan,  increasing defence spending by over $35 billion and most famously he embarked on the Strategic Defence Initiative (Star Wars) - escalating the arms race in order to win it.

(Starter 2) Others would argue that it was more to do with the actions of Mikhail Gorbachev and the fact that the USSR was politically and economically unstable and his reforms modernised the USSR leading to its political collapse.

  • As a realist, Gorbachev could see the USSR needed reforming and he introduced two key policies, Glasnost and Perestroika.
  • It was GLASNOST that was most important as it led to a lifting of censorship and state controls, across the whole of the Eastern Bloc. As Gorbachev did this he also confirmed that Soviet troops would not be used against the Eastern bloc countries to maintain their ‘obedience’. As a result, a rise in Eastern European nationalism saw Soviet control diminish and free elections were held in Poland, borders were brought down and freedom of movement was permitted; even the Berlin wall came down.
  • Gorbachev had unleashed powerful forces and was unable to prevent the collapse of the Soviet Union itself which broke up into separate Republics – he was forced to resign in 1991.