Final outline #5_Outline - Essay #5 Historians generally...

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Essay #5 Historians generally abhor the idea of attributing a vast, complex phenomenon such as the end of the Cold War to a single cause. But merely listing x number of causes will not do either. In considering the end of the superpower conflict, how would you assess the relative importance of human agency (e.g. the role of Reagan and Gorbachev) as compared to impersonal, structural factors (e.g. the systemic Soviet economic problems, and the “soft power” advantage enjoyed by the West)? Human agency was a key cause of the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, but structural and impersonal factors are also important in understanding the whole picture. It is impossible to say that the Cold War would not have ended without the agency of Gorbachev and Reagan, but the impact of these two personalities on the policy decisions is undeniably substantial in bringing about the end of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev - 1985 in power - 1990, wins Nobel Peace Prize - Glasnost (social reforms) o Openness to public debate o Transparency of government activities
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This note was uploaded on 02/20/2009 for the course HIST 3140 taught by Professor Logevall, f during the Spring '08 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Final outline #5_Outline - Essay #5 Historians generally...

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