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United States vs. Soviet Union: 1980's

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Introduction

Caleb Radomile Modern America Pd. 7 Mr. Grodz May, 10th 2010 United States-Soviet Union Relations (80's and 90's) The Cold War has clouded the relationship between the United States and Soviet Union pretty much since the creation of the Soviet Union. During the 1980's, relations were shaky at first, but soon they improved until the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Great successes for the U.S. in the combating of Communism during this time paved the way for the U.S. to become the lone superpower in our world today. After World War II, two major superpowers emerged from the ashes of war, the United States of America and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR), or the Soviet Union. These two countries fought one another indirectly, and this became known as the Cold War, as there was no direct confrontation between the two. They went through numerous conflicts and competitions such as the arms race, the U-2 incident, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. The leader for the sixteen years beforehand into 1980 was a man by the name of Leonid Brezhnev. ...read more.

Middle

The Solidarity Movement was a non-communist controlled trade union located in Poland, and it gained support when Pope John Paul II visited his native land. The communist suppressed this movement though, and the U.S. Sanction Poland for doing so. In addition, Regan controversially supported the Contras Revels in Nicaragua who were fighting the communist government. In 1983, an airplane flight headed for Seoul, South Korea was shot down by the Soviet Union when it flew into the Union's airspace due to a technical error. All 269 people on board were killed, including the sitting U.S. Congressman, Lawrence McDonald. At first, the Soviets denied the incident ever occurred, but later proclaimed that it was thought to be a spy plane from the United States. This was one of the tensed moments during the Cold War, as the Soviet Union was blaming the United States for trying to provoke a war. Until Brezhnev was removed from office, the arms and economic race heightened. The Soviet's had a larger stockpile of nuclear weapons and a larger military overall. ...read more.

Conclusion

With Regan leaving office, George H. W. Bush took office, and continued most of Regan's policies when dealing with the Soviet Union. Bush and Gorbachev started the START I (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) program, which reduced military stockpiles even further. At this point, the communist regime ban to falter, as the Soviet Union proclaimed that it would not interfere in its Eastern Bloc allies' affairs. Soon, countries in the Soviet Union began having mostly peaceful revolutions, and the communists were losing power. Gorbachev even consented to the re-unification of East and West Germany. There was a coup attempt to remove Gorbachev from office, but it failed, although it did greatly weaken the regime. Russia, the main proprietor in the Union threatened to secede. The Soviet Union officially dissolved on December 25th, 1991. In it's place, the Commonwealth of Independent States was formed. It was a loose alliance, and countries kept their sovereignty. The Cold War defined most of the twentieth century, and affected people in all corners of the world. Most of all, it affected how the United States and the Soviet Union handled one another when it came to diplomacy. Ultimately, communism fell, and the United States reigns supreme (sort of) today. ...read more.

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