Literature Study GuidesTear Down This Wall Speech

Tear Down This Wall Speech | Study Guide

Ronald Reagan

Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "Tear Down This Wall Speech Study Guide." Course Hero. 22 Aug. 2018. Web. 6 July 2020. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2018, August 22). Tear Down This Wall Speech Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 6, 2020, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2018)



Course Hero. "Tear Down This Wall Speech Study Guide." August 22, 2018. Accessed July 6, 2020.


Course Hero, "Tear Down This Wall Speech Study Guide," August 22, 2018, accessed July 6, 2020,



Ronald Reagan

Year Delivered



Primary Source


Argument, Speech

At a Glance

  • Reagan's speech, formally the "Remarks on East-West Relations at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin," addresses a divided Europe. Eastern Europe embraced communism, a political system where citizens live under state control. Western Europe embraced democracy.
  • The United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies engaged in a military standoff known as the Cold War from 1945 to 1989. Each side threatened to use nuclear missiles.
  • After World War II Germany split into Soviet-run East Germany and democratic West Germany.
  • To stop East Germans fleeing to the West, in 1961 East Germany built a wall along its border with West Germany and another wall entirely encircling West Berlin. The Berlin Wall became a global symbol of division and conflict.
  • The speech could be heard on both the eastern and western sides of the wall. Listeners were exhilarated, although Communist leaders criticized the remarks.
  • Reagan's speech was a turning point in the Cold War. It reflected the wishes of Eastern Europeans living under Soviet rule but longing for democracy. Two years later the Berlin Wall fell, allowing free movement between the two Germanys, and communist control collapsed in Europe.


This study guide for Ronald Reagan's Tear Down This Wall Speech offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

Buy this book from
Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about Tear Down This Wall Speech? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes