Why did the Cold War End?

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Why did the Cold War End?

Tauseef Ahmed United States History May 13th 2004 Why did the Cold War End?

One of the main events of the war-filled twentieth century was the Cold War – a state of tension between the United States of America and the Soviet Union from nineteen forty five, at the beginning of the Soviet expansion of communism in newly formed countries after Word War II, opposed by the United States to nineteen eighty nine with the fall of the Berlin Wall. The main focus of this research will be to state the reasons as to why this hugely acknowledged war comes to an end. It was the most unexpected event that happened and the credit must be given to the leaders on both sides. The Cold War eventually came to an end in 1989 as a result of Gorbachev’s Glasnost (openness) and Perestroika (reconstruction) policies; the Soviet’s declining communist economy, the costly arms race, and the freedom issues among Baltic Republics, Poland, and East Germany within the Soviet bloc itself.

When Mikhail Gorbachev became the General Secretary of the Soviet Union in 1985, he was determined to end corruption in the Soviet economy and get the U.S.S.R. back on its feet. To achieve this goal he announced two new policies Glasnost and Perestroika. Glasnost or openness was the policy that ended the strict censorship, allowed Soviet citizens to speak openly about their society’s problems and issues, and abandoned the ban of books and foreign radio broadcasts. The significance of this new policy was that it helped Soviet Union become a more open society and the media freedom brought many issues in front of the government. The second policy, Perestroika or reconstruction was introduced to help reform the Soviet economy by ending inefficiency and corruption in the system. The policy also promoted private enterprise, according to which the production prices and costs became more efficient. Planning was decentralized so local factories had more power of making decisions. According to this policy multi-candidate elections would be held, although each participant had to be member of a communist party. These were major steps to reform the Soviet Union and eventually this movement toward openness helped end the Cold War.

The all new Sinatra Doctrine was also introduced by Gorbachev in 1989 renouncing the Brezhnev Doctrine. Introduced by Alexander Dubcek in 1968, the Brezhnev Doctrine declared that every socialist country in Soviet bloc belonged to the Soviet Empire. It was only the Soviet Union that could make decisions for the socialist republics and no self determination would be allowed in any of these republics. Sinatra Doctrine was named after Frank Sinatra’s song “My Way” because the purpose of this doctrine was to let the people in the Soviet republics go their own way. It declared that Soviet republics had no right to get involved in each other’s internal affairs. Soviet Union also withdrew and stopped supporting countries, including Cuba, to spread communism. The Sinatra Doctrine signifies the end of the Soviet Empire in 1989, just the opposite of what Gorbachev wanted to achieve from this policy by introducing it.

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The declining economy of the Soviet Union from 1960’s to 1980’s was also one of the main reasons that the Cold War ended peacefully in 1989. Due to the less money spent on technology the Soviet Union became weaker. As it was now illegal to censor information and communication networks and hard to control what came from fax machines and to jam radio and TV signals, more and more people got to know about the free West. By this, the personal expectations rose especially concerning the freedom rights and economic systems. So, the economic declines also resulted in political unrest ...

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