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What was President Carter's policy towards the Soviet Union?

Carter continued the focus on détente and signed a second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty with the Soviet Union.

The treaty failed to pass the Senate when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1980. In response to the Soviet invasion, Carter announced an embargo on grain and high technology shipments to the U.S.S.R., also boycotting the 1980 Moscow Olympics.


In 1982, war arose between Great Britain and Argentina over what island group?

In 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, claiming that they were sovereign Argentine territory. Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dispatched the British Army and Navy to restore the islands to British control.

In a short campaign, Britain regained control over the islands, giving a significant boost to British pride in the process.

As recently as March of 2013, 90% of Falkland Islanders voted to remain under British control.


What action did Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher take to revitalize the British economy?

Thatcher began to privatize many of Britain's government-run industries. Although her actions led to high unemployment, it also spurred the British economy, which emerged from a period of long decline to a new period of growth.


What was the Reagan Doctrine?

As part of the Reagan Administration's hard-line stance against communism, under the Reagan Doctrine the U.S. provided aid to anti-communist resistance movements in an effort to supplant Soviet-backed communist governments in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.


In contrast to his predecessors' focus on détente, President Reagan took a hard-line stance on the Soviet Union. What term did he apply to the U.S.S.R. in 1983?

Reagan called the Soviet Union the "Evil Empire," while making the case for deploying U.S. nuclear missiles to NATO countries, after the U.S.S.R. had done the same in Eastern Europe.

Reagan's rhetoric and actions marked an intention to match aggressive Soviet behavior. Arguing that the Soviet Union would shortly fall, Reagan stated "I believe that communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written."


In 1983, President Reagan announced support for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), which pundits dubbed "Star Wars." What was the SDI?

SDI called for using ground and space-based systems to protect the United States from nuclear attack. 

Underlying the concept was a break from the policy of mutual assured destruction, since the policy proposed to ensure that the United States could survive a nuclear attack. It also put pressure on the Soviet Union to match the U.S. effort, which the Soviet Union could ill afford.


Who became the General Secretary of Russia's Communist Party in 1985?

Mikhail S. Gorbachev

In 1986, Gorbachev announced glasnost (greater political freedom) and perestroika (moderate economic freedoms).

To achieve these twin goals, Gorbachev had to severely curtail military spending and remove Soviet troops from Afghanistan.


Starting in 1986, Gorbachev began to offer significant concessions to the United States on nuclear weapons levels, conventional force size, and policy in Eastern Europe. Why?

The Soviet military had become an unsustainable burden on the Soviet economy, which was in shambles.

Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost required him to redirect Soviet resources from costly Cold War military commitments to more profitable areas in the civilian sector. 


In 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan gave the most famous speech of his Presidency, stating "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Where was Reagan speaking?

In Berlin, where the Berlin Wall had divided the city for decades. Three years later, the Wall fell as the Warsaw Pact disintegrated. 


In 1987, President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. How did this treaty differ from previous nuclear arms agreements between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.?

Rather than limit the number of nuclear weapons, the INF Treaty reduced the number of nuclear weapons by banning nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with intermediate-range nuclear warheads.


In Eastern Europe, where did the collapse of Communism first begin?

Beginning in the early 1980s, the Polish trade union Solidarity emerged as an anti-bureaucratic rival base of power to Poland's Communist Party. Headed by Lech Walesa, Solidarity fielded candidates in a free election in 1989. In 1990, Walesa was elected President.


How did the Soviet Union react to the emergence of a non-Communist government in Poland in 1989?

The Soviet Union did not invoke the Brezhnev Doctrine, and instead let Poland chart its own course. Poland became the first Warsaw Pact country to break free from the Warsaw Pact, and the nations of Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Romania followed.

In Berlin, it was not Gorbachev but Berliners themselves who tore down the Berlin Wall.


Where did the Velvet Revolution take place in late 1989?

The Velvet Revolution broke out in Czechoslovakia in 1989, and was marked by its non-violence, hence the name "Velvet."

Within a few days, the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia had dissolved, and the country held democratic elections in December 1989, electing democracy advocate Vaclav Havel as President.

In 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved into Slovakia and the Czech Republic.


What country reunified following the fall of the Berlin Wall?

In 1990, East and West Germany were reunified. For the next decade, Germany would be preoccupied with efforts to assist the former East Germany to reorientate itself into Germany proper.


What was the effect of the 1989 Eastern European revolutions on the Soviet Union?

Several of the constituent republics which made up the Soviet Union began advocating for independence. In March 1990, Lithuania declared independence, followed by Estonia and Latvia. 

By late 1991, the Soviet Union had dissolved into the Commonwealth of Independent States, comprised of the 15 former Soviet Republics, and Gorbachev had resigned.


Who emerged as the leader of Russia after Gorbachev's resignation?

Boris Yeltsin

Yeltsin had become popular after his efforts put down a coup aimed at restoring hard-line Communist Party control in Russia. Yeltsin was initially popular, but corruption during his tenure and a stagnant economy contributed to his replacement by Vladimir Putin in 2000.


The disintegration of the former Yugoslavia led to what conflict?

The disintegration of Yugoslavia led to the Yugoslav Wars, as the Republic of Serbia attempted to prevent Croats and Bosnians from gaining freedom from Serbian control.

The war saw massive genocide, as the Serbian forces sought to "ethnically cleanse" Bosnia.


The Dayton Accords, signed in 1995, resolved what conflict?

The Dayton Accords put an end to the three-and-a-half year-long war in Bosnia, which arose out of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

U.S. President Clinton was instrumental in organizing the Accords and serving as mediator. NATO had previously conducted bombing raids to halt the conflict. In 1999, war again broke out in the region, and NATO conducted a second set of raids.


The Good Friday Agreement, reached in 1998, was an attempt to resolve what conflict?

President Clinton had dispatched George Mitchell, a former Senate Majority Leader, to Ireland to broker a resolution to the fate of Northern Ireland, contested by Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

An agreement was reached on Good Friday, 1998. Although years of stalemate followed the Good Friday Agreement, it marked the start of a peaceful resolution of the Northern Ireland question.


What did the Maastricht Treaty establish?

Signed in 1992, the Maastricht Treaty established the European Union, a supranational organization comprised of various member states, such as Germany, Portugal, and Greece.

The Maastricht Treaty also established a single currency for the Unions' member states (except Britain), the euro.