• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Cold War. What were the reasons for Dtente 1962-1979?

Free essay example:

What were the reasons for Détente 1962-1979?

Détente is a French word that means ‘A relax in tensions’ and it is a period of time that occurred between the USSR and The USA 1962-1979.

        The start of détente in 1962 was triggered by the Cuban Missile Crisis. Here, U2 spy planes from the USA spotted nuclear missile sites and freight ships carrying nuclear missiles from the USSR to Cuba. These missiles would be in striking range to the majority of the USA. Russia pulled back just in time after the USA threatened to sink any ships and destroy any base with their naval blockade surrounding Cuba. Neither side wanted nuclear war; détente was born.

        Each superpower had their own reasons for détente. These ranged from economical factors to political factors. Both sides, however, had a couple of shared motives; the first being that both leaders needed to decrease defence spending. The USSR was spending 20% of their annual budget on defence. This money needed to be used to improve living conditions and improve industrial efficiency in particular. The USA also needed to improve living conditions for their poor citizens and had to deal with added inflation also.

        The USSR and the USA also needed détente for their own reasons. As détente progresses, the USSR could improve much needed trade links with the USA. The USA would provide the USSR with cheap surplus crop.

        With détente, it allowed the USA to concentrate more on relations with China and with Vietnam. Russia was selling weapons to the Vietnamese people to fight the USA.

        With the USA in negotiations with China, the USSR needed détente for a more serious reason. The USSR had recently fallen out with China, and as the war continued, it may turn into a ‘2 on 1’ situation; USA and China Vs the USSR.

        As détente progressed, relations seemed to improve for both sides, peaking in the early ‘70s. The USSR received their cheap trade and the USSR allowed the first American president into the country since the end of WWII.

        Talks and agreements were made which allowed each side to decrease defence spending. These talks included SALT I and SALT II. These were agreements to limit missile production of all calibre of missiles. This allowed more money to be spent on living conditions for citizens and for the USSR to modernise their industry. Meanwhile, the USA had lost the Vietnam War, so could concentrate on their economy.

        The Helsinki agreement of 1975 introduced the Declaration of Human Rights acts and the USA accepting communist borders of Eastern Europe. This delighted the USSR especially.

        Other agreements included the ban of nuclear tests in space and banning small countries arming themselves with their own nuclear weapons.

        However, throughout the Cold War, the USSR had been aiming to spread communism regardless of agreements. The Capitalist defeat in Vietnam only boosted Communist appeal. This aim only collapsed détente as the USA and the USSR were forced back into the reality of the Cold War. Détente had been broken; the USSR had angered the USA by invading Afghanistan.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 1945-1991 section.

(?)
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Related GCSE History Skills and Knowledge Essays

See our best essays

Related GCSE International relations 1945-1991 essays

  1. Are any of these reasons more important that the others is causing some Palestinians ...

    In 1967 the 6 Day War resulted in Israel gaining half of Egypt due to Nasser's completely obvious tactics. Not only did they gain half of Greece but also Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Heights. They also gained Palestinian areas of land in Palestine.

  2. The Cuban Missile Crisis: Was President Kennedy the Saviour of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

    Turkey was a NATO ally. Kennedy would not accept a 'trade-off' of Cuban missiles for Turkish missiles. But if America attacked Cuba, might Russia do the same to Turkey? This letter sent EXCOM reeling. Khrushchev's previous proposal had not mentioned Turkey.

  1. Why did the Cold War End?

    the lives of workers were also harmed because there was now less income available. Apart from technology issues there were other major economic flaws in the Soviet Union. In April 1986 a nuclear power plant exploded in Chernobyl, killing hundreds of civilians and causing damage which was worth around a billion dollars.

  2. How the vietnam war affected america

    The soldier on Source A lives in the forests of the Washington Olympic peninsula, meaning that he is living in an isolated area, all by himself. Another reason as to why the Vietnam War affected US soldiers so much as because they were so frustrated and angry.

  1. Discuss the reasons why Germany was central to Cold War rivalry between 1945 and ...

    Further suspicions of Russian policy in their zone arose from the USA when the political parties the SPD and the KPD were forced into union to create a party that would obey Moscow. When a poll was conducted to find out the reaction of this union, after much interrogation, imprisonment

  2. Cold War Summary, quotes and revision notes.

    * June 1950 - National Security Council Memorandum 68 (NSC 68) called for a build up in US conventional forces and a 300% increase in defence budget * US concern seemed justified when Korean War broke out few months later.

  1. Cold War Short Essays - Questions and Answers.

    However, the most significant reason was because of the atomic bomb. This was what posed a real threat to Stalin and triggered the rest of the events. Without the atomic bomb, Stalin may have attacked the USA instead of blockading Berlin.

  2. Edexcel Cold War 1943-1991 Revision (Detailed)

    Stalin was trying to force the Allies to pull out of their sectors and abandon plans for separate development in their German zones. June Western powers announced plans to create a West German State and introduced a new currency (Deutschmark).

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work