GOV312L Take Home Essay

GOV312L Take Home Essay - Bouthilet 1 Robert Bouthilet...

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Bouthilet 1 Robert Bouthilet UTEID: rjb2385 Professor Michael Dennis Government 312L 5 August 2011 Ending the Cold War: Reagan’s Triumph over the Soviet Empire Spanning over four decades after the end of World War II, the Cold War marked an era of intense political and ideological conflicts, proxy wars in the third world, economic competition, and military tension between the United Sates and the Soviet Union. These two lone superpowers struggled to control international affairs, preserve their own political ideology, and maintain their sphere of influence. However, along from the domino-effect spread of communism, the most pressing issue of the Cold War was the nuclear arms race between the Soviets and the United States, paired with the threat of mutually assured destruction. As history proceeded, the Cold War ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union into fifteen states, securing its demise on December 25 th , 1991. With nearly twenty years of hindsight, there are now four distinct arguments debating the source responsible for the conclusion of the Cold War: Ronald Reagan with his foreign and domestic policies paired with a timely correlation of events ended it. Gorbachev’s reorientation of the Soviet Union through unorthodox policies and new thinking led to its collapse. The United States’ containment policy successfully stopped the spread of communism; or communism as a system of government failed, causing the end of the Cold War. Granted, each argument has its assortment of valid points, but in my opinion, only one predominate factor stands clear. President Ronald Reagan’s relationship with Gorbachev and his well-executed and
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Bouthilet 2 timed plan to not simply contain communism, but to tactically dissolve the Soviet Union, ended the forty-five-year-long tension known as the Cold War. Mikhail Gorbachev came into power on March 11 th , 1985 as the sixth General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in an attempt implement younger leadership. Author Raymond Garthoff believes “the mere appearance of the new first secretary, descending on the stage of history like some deus ex machine, changed everything” (Pipes 158). Upon witnessing the dire straits in which the Soviet Union was in socially and economically, Gorbachev pushed radical foreign and domestic reform policies. He institutes “Perestroika,” which domestically reforms the Soviet economic system, allowing more freedom to business managers. This paralyzes the public, for the state previously handled all choices in what to
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2011 for the course GOV 312L taught by Professor Madrid during the Summer '07 term at University of Texas.

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GOV312L Take Home Essay - Bouthilet 1 Robert Bouthilet...

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