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University of Maryland HIST The Major Causes of the end of the Cold War2/26/2017
The Major Causes of the end of the Cold WarIntroductionThe last half of the twentieth century was a clash of very different beliefs and ideologies. After World War II, United States and Soviet Union emerged as the two superpowers. Each side had very different beliefs and ideas on how a government should be ran and how to handle international affairs. In 1947, tensions between the two powers had split Europe into two and the start of the arms race would be known as the Cold War. The Cold War was a battle of ideology between United States and their western allies against Soviet Union and their Eastern Bloc allies.Although there was never any direct fighting between the two nations, proxy wars took place who fought for their beliefs on their behalf. By 1985, the Cold War seemed to be nowhere close to be ending. Yet in a short period of time, dramatic changes occurred throughout Eastern Europe that lead to the end of the Cold War in 1991. The decline in Soviet Union economy during the 1970s and 1980s was creating a domino effect throughout their nation and satellite states. The loss of communist control throughout the Eastern Bloc, and the reform movement throughout the Soviet Union were major events that took place towards the end of the Cold War. These major changes eventually lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union which marked the end of the Cold War in 1991 (Castellano, 2011). Economic Decline of the Soviet UnionDuring the 1970s, the Soviet Union entered a period of economic stagnation in which they would never recover from (Castellano, 2011). The Soviet system had deep secrecy of its political system and handing out information to its people were lacking. The Soviet Union did not advance in new technology like the western nations, and the economists in their country was
full of corruption. The exposures of Stalin’s crime in 1956 and the repression in Hungary in 1956caused many people to lose faith and confidence with the Soviet system. This led to a problem inwhich people lacked motivation to work. The Soviet economy was starting decline because the workers were not working. According to a Grigory Yavalinsky, a Russian Economist during its time, visited a coal mine and found many of the miners were not working due to no incentives (Watkins, 2006).