The End of the Cold War and The Fall of the USSR

  • Pope John Paul II

    First Polish Pope - catholism is a huge part of Polish national identity.
    This caused a sharp rise in Polish nationalist sentiments, Pope John Paul II encouraged anti-communism and placed moral power and pressure on the communist government. Since communism does not allow for religion, when religion and nationalism rises, it signifies the fall of communism, as they cannot exist together.
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    Reagan's Military Buildup

    5 year $1.5 trillion defense program, which included the MX ICBM and the Trident II SLBM. It also included the funds for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). The SDI would make the Soviet's nuclear missiles obsolete.
    -> This forced Gorbachev to acknowledge the impossibility of matching such a programme with the soviet Economic decline and to look for other ways to ensure security (diplomacy)
    --> however, this was not initiated by Reagan, but a continuance from the Carter administration
  • Gorbachev came into Power

  • Gorbachev's stop on nuclear testing

    Gorbachev's sincerity in establishing relations with the US is highlighted by his unilateral announcement of a temporary molatorium on nuclear testing upon coming into power.
  • Reykjyavik Summit

    Gorbachev's willings to end the nuclear arms race is underlines by the sweeping concessions he made in the summit. He accepted Reagan's 'zero-option' plan and even proposed the abolishment of all nuclear weapons within 10 years.
    However, Reagan's obduracy in refusing to scrap the SDI acted as a stumbling block, thus making this summit a failed turning point.
  • Reagan's Brandenburg Gates Speech

    'But we must remember one crucial fact: East and West do not mistrust each other because we are armed; we are armed because we do not trust each other'
    the arms race is a cause of the breakdown in co=op, due to ideological differences.
    Ideological differences holds the most weightage.
  • INF Treaty

    Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty was a drastically asymmetrical reduction (which relfects Gorbchev's willingness to reduce more than the US, making USSR weaker) of theatre nuclear weapons - destructions of 851 Soviet Launchers and 1836 missiles compared to 283 American Launchers and 867 missiles. Whereas the Salt treaties in 1973 and 1979 had imposed limits on the future deployments of strategic weapons, the INF Treaty decreed the total elmination of an entire class of nuclear weapons.
  • Effects of Glasnost

    Glasnost -> Open discussion/democratisation
    Supreme Soveit was repaced with a new Congress of Poeple's Deputies, 2/3 were chosen through direct elections, while 1/3 were selected by official organisations.
    Proceedings wer broadcasted, giving Soviets an unprecedented experience in democratic polirics as spokesperson for 'liberal' and 'conservative' factions criticised Gorbachev and his govt.
  • Gorbachev's Speech at the Un

    Gorbachev announced that international relations would now be 'free of ideology'. He endorsed the principle of 'freedom of choice' and reduction in the soviet military presence in Eastern Europe. --> this implies the End of ideological conflict
    --> also signifies that the USSR was willing to let go, which means that nationalist sentiments and movements will grow in the eatern european region and would mean that the division in europe will end.
  • Solidarity wins Polish Elections

    Solidarity --> anti-communist trade union in Poland
    First round of elections: 160 out of 161 contested Sejm seats and 92 out of 100 Senate seats.
    Second round of elections: virtually every seat: 161 in Sejm and 99 in the Senate. --> them winning leads to the first non-communist government in Eastern Europe, influencing other countries to do the same and thus ending the divide in europe.
  • Fall of Berlin Wall

    East German government announced that all GDR citizens could visit west Germany and west Berlin. -> extremely publicised
    --> signified the end of division in europe
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    Effects of Perestroika

    Prestoika -> Economic reconstruction.
    -> often blamed for the dissolution of the Soviety Union, the ride of nationalism in Eastern Europe and the end of the Cold War.
    -> 2% decline in GDP
    --> Govt. foreign debt skyrocketed
    --> National Budget and Foreign trade defecit widened.
    --> Corruption occured
    --> Shortages in basic commodities --> rationing
    -->Black market flourished.
    Growing discontentment with Gorbachev.
  • Union Treaty

    -> this entailed giving more autonomy to the soverit republics.
    to prevent the secession of the soviet republic and hence a collapse of the USSR.
    -> The Baltic Satest wanted nohting to do with the treaty,while the other republics had reservations. While a March 1991 referendum recorded 76% approval, it did not include voters from the 6 republics.
    -> Conservatives saw it as an unacceptable sacrifice of central authrity and further ecidence that Gobachev's policies were underming the dominace.
  • August Coup

    -> Yaltsin used telecommunication facilities to rally domestic and foreign support, further cementing his political position at the expense of Gorbachev's political credibility.
    Why hardliners carry out:
    -> saw that Gorbachev's actions amde him and the ussr weak and undermine the dominance.
    --> felt the treaty and glasnost and perestroika were destroying the SU.
    The coup revealed the division within the USSR ad encouraged constituent republics to secede.
  • Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe

    This treaty was signed by both countries in the NATO pact as well as countries under the Warsaw pact, including US and USSR.
    This treaty sets equal ceilings for each bloc on key armaments essential for conducting surpirce attacks and initiating large-scale offensive operations. --> this implies the end of the arms race
  • Soviet Union Fell