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The Entire History of the Cold War Explained | Best Cold War Documentary

Jun 06, 2021
At the end of the Second World War the Cold War had begun the global division between two great superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, it would not be a conventional war in which the two sides would never fight directly, but it would be an ideological battle between communism. and capitalism, east against west and the resulting struggle for ideological influence and power, this struggle would be seen throughout the world with small regional conflicts turning into proxy wars where the two sides would back opposing groups to promote their own agendas and both sides would accumulate reserves.
the entire history of the cold war explained best cold war documentary
Nuclear weapons, with questions about how to use, control and eliminate them, become central to the conflict. Espionage propaganda and psychological warfare would become the norm, with a rivalry for technological superiority culminating in the space race from Stalin to Reagan, from the CIA to the KGB and from Berlin. wall to hiroshima and chernobyl this is the story of the

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war in the 19th century a great industrial revolution had spread throughout the world introducing steam machine tools and new manufacturing processes that would transform western nations into the most powerful in the world For those able to control these technological advances, wealth and prosperity were expected, but they would often come at the expense of workers who faced poor health, terrible working conditions, and poverty.
the entire history of the cold war explained best cold war documentary

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the entire history of the cold war explained best cold war documentary...

Taking note of the growing divide between rich and poor was the philosopher of German origin Karl Marx who believed that this economy inequality could only lead to revolution workers long exploited by the rich would rise up to replace capitalism with communism a system where the means of production would be common property and the extremes of wealth and poverty would disappear their theories would become known as marxism communism would eventually appear in russia, where decades of discontent and horrendous failures in the first world war would lead to the bolshevik revolution of 1917 led by vladimir lenin the bolsheviks would establish a one-party state or dictatorship of the proletariat With Lenin at the head this dictatorship safeguarded the revolution with all possible means, including propaganda, military action and terror, the economy was nationalized, political opponents were outlawed and the communist party soon had absolute control over the country in 1922. , the union of soviet socialist republics was created from the remains of the russian empire and would be commonly known as the ussr or the soviet union communism would find an ideological opponent in the west where capitalism was still the dominant system but capitalism was failing the markets were hampered by price fixing and protectionism great empires denied their subjects political freedom and the worst conflict the world had ever experienced the great war that had just been fought between the world's major capitalist powers american president woodrow Wilson would see these flaws and try to fix them by encouraging political self-determination, economic liberalization, and the creation of a collective security organization, the league of nations that could deter aggressors and prevent the outbreak of another war, but Wilson's grand vision would soon would go bankrupt with its own nation, the united states refused to join the league, the colonial empires continued undeterred, the world economy fell into turmoil during the great depression, and the league of nations failed.
the entire history of the cold war explained best cold war documentary
To stop the aggression of the fascist regimes in Italy, Germany and Japan when the Second World War broke out in 1939, the Soviet Union, on the other hand, seemed to have been much more successful in its objectives, Lenin's successor, Joseph Stalin, had ensured its role purging his political rivals and had successfully transformed the nation from a backward agricultural society to a modern industrial superpower, the human cost of this was great with a massive expansion of gulag labor camps, the use of slave labor, the murder of dissidents and a largely man-made famine that would kill more than 10 million people, but the outside world knew little of this, what was seen was a state that had maintained full employment during the great depression , industrialized quickly enough to withstand a Nazi invasion and end World War II with control over nearly half of Communist support in Europe was growing throughout the Western world and for many a future built on democracy and capitalism was anything but secure, despite their differences, the Soviet Union would be forced to ally with both the British and the Americans during World War II to fight the Axis powers, but as the war progressed , very different wartime experiences would lay the foundation for a future conflict, the USSR would fight a largely defensive war with a brutal Nazi invasion that wiped out

entire

towns, infrastructure and industry were destroyed, vast portions of agricultural land were Devastated and Soviet casualties numbering nearly 27 million, Stalin would pressure his British and American allies to open a second front in Europe, but they would continually delay the task, leaving the Red Army to hold up to 80 German divisions in check until the invasion. of Normandy in 1944 for Stalin.
the entire history of the cold war explained best cold war documentary
There was evidence that the West cared little about Soviet lives. The United States would have a very different experience of war. Only four hundred thousand Americans would die. Less than two percent of Soviet losses, with the only major attack on American soil being the Japanese assault on Pearl. Harbor, the American economy would prosper during the war, with unemployment falling to two percent and GDP nearly doubling, but the attack on Pearl Harbor had caused a significant change in the American psyche as a traditionally isolationist nation. The attack had shown that they were no longer safe. Hostile states armed with modern technology, therefore, a greater international presence was needed to protect the United States and its interests as the war drew to a close.
Both powers would seek to increase their own security against future attacks on the United States. This meant establishing a collective security organization. united nations to deter future aggressors the revival of the global economy was also key to creating a more stable future with the establishment of the world bank and the international monetary fund president franklin d. Roosevelt would invite Stalin to these three organizations, but the Soviet leader would only accept membership in the United Nations, viewing the other two as attempts to preserve and promote capitalism for the Soviet Union. Postwar security could only be achieved by installing pro-Soviet governments throughout Eastern Europe, creating a buffer zone against the West, also required stripping Germany of its military and autonomy, as well as forcing it to pay enormous reparations so that they would be too weak to start another war, but when Roosevelt died on April 12, In 1945, he would be succeeded by his vice president, Harry S Truman, who was much less willing to respond to Soviet demands.
Stalin's actions in Europe had shown him to be a tyrant, particularly his occupation of Poland, which had encouraged the local army. Polish, a potential rival, to rise up in Warsaw against the Nazis only to sit back and watch them be massacred, only then did he allow the Red Army to attack, ensuring that little political opposition remained at the Potsdam conference of July 1945, Germany It would be divided into four occupation zones and the capital, Berlin, would be divided in the same way that each occupier would be entitled to receive reparations from their own zone which gave Stalin the funds he needed while protecting the valuable industrial areas of West Germany, but by resorting to such a blatant division of the country rather than agreeing to a unified approach, the Allies had ensured the future division of Europe, as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill put it.
I would say that an iron curtain has descended on the continent during the Potsdam conference. Truman had received the news that American scientists working on the Manhattan project had been able to carry out the first successful test of a nuclear bomb. Truman revealed to him the Stalin had known about the Manhattan Project since the early 1940s thanks to an extensive spy network within the United States, but the bomb presented Truman with a unique opportunity with which he could now wage war. . japan to a quick end denying stalin the opportunity to expand his influence in the east the decision was made to bomb the japanese cities of hiroshima and nagasaki and the japanese surrendered shortly after while stalin made some gains in east asia he was denied any role in the occupation of Japan, unlike Germany, this meant that Japan's future would be exclusively shaped by the United States, because it now seemed that the growth of communism had stopped in Asia after the war ended.
The attempt at cooperation would quickly stop. Stalin had tried to secure his southern border by delaying the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Iran and pressuring Turkey to give him control over the Turkish Straits, but with the war over, Truman had no reason to give in to Soviet demands. The United Nations was called in to deal with the crisis and Truman sent in the Americans. sixth fleet to the eastern mediterranean as a warning stalin backed down but truman was now willing to take preventive measures against future soviet expansionism he would announce truman's doctrine by sending military aid to greece and turkey it was based on the policy of containment of the idea that if the Soviet expansionism could be contained long enough then the inherent flaws of the Soviet system would cause it to collapse the

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war had begun since the end of the second world war the communist ideology had gained millions of followers in the western world in britain the communists had won two seats in the 1945 general election and the Italian Communist Party reached 2.3 million members in 1947.
Even the American Communist Party was successful, boasting 32,000 members in 1950, Communism was seen as posing a very credible threat to the Western world. It seemed possible that Stalin could gain control only through popular support. Paranoia began to spread in the United States, especially after several high-profile Soviet spies were discovered in western Wisconsin. Senator Joseph McCarthy would begin an anti-communist crusade in the 1950s, claiming that there were spies and traitors within the US government itself. In the trials that followed, hundreds were investigated and interrogated on weak evidence and those accused were Often losing their jobs and being blacklisted for future employment alongside McCarthy, many would use anti-communist crusades to launch their political careers, including future ones.
President Richard Nixon's McCarthyism soon became a nationwide phenomenon, with American institutions, including Hollywood, blacklisting suspected communists. It was here that another future president, Ronald Reagan, would take a leadership role by providing names of potential communists as an FBI informant to help stop the spread of communism. The CIA was created in September 1947 and would operate on the basis of plausible deniability, this meant that operations could be carried out in such a way that senior officials could deny all involvement, allowing the US to carry out actions in abroad that would be considered unacceptable at home, one of the CIA's first missions was to prevent the election of the very popular Italian Communist Party in 1948.
They would secretly finance the Christian Democrats and other non-communist parties and at the same time organize a campaign massive anti-communist propaganda that would involve 10 million letter books and radio broadcasts to the communists. They were wiped out at the polls and the CIA continued to influence Italian politics for the next 24 years to address the growth of communism in Europe. The Marshall Plan was introduced in 1948 by sending financial aid to aid post-war reconstruction, thought to improve the Economic situation in Europe people would be less likely to adopt communism. The plan provided nearly $13 billion in financial aid, the equivalent of $130 billion today, encouraging economic integration and promoting free markets.
Stalin fears that the aid will loosen his control over Eastern Europe. prohibit its satellite states from participating. American policymakers quickly realized that reviving Germany was key to sustaining economic growth in Europe, but this was in direct contrast to Soviet objectives, as they hadmade it clear that Germany had to remain weak and divided so that it could never pose another threat knowing that the Soviets would never allow German rehabilitation. In early 1948, the United States, the United Kingdom, and France began making plans for an independent state of West Germany, with the west uniting against communism stalin would make attempts to secure control in eastern europe, an area that would soon be known as the eastern bloc, he would establish the communist information office or common form in september 1947, this organization would give him a greater control over satellite states, as well as the ability to enforce compliance and uniformity within the international communist movement in February 1948, Stalin.
He would also sponsor a communist coup in Czechoslovakia eliminating the last non-communist government in Eastern Europe. It was the first of many times that the Soviet Union would resort to force to maintain control over the Eastern bloc by retaliating against Western plans to create an independent West. The German state Stalin would begin the blockade of Berlin on June 24, 1948, stopping all land access to the city in an attempt to expel the British and French Americans, but Truman quickly responded by initiating the Berlin Airlift delivering supplies to the city. for 15 months and forcing Stalin. To end the blockade with high tensions, the United States and its allies established an independent West German state, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Soviets responded the following month by creating the German Democratic Republic in the East to create a united front against the Soviet expansionism in the North of NATO.
The Atlantic treaty organization was created in 1949 and brought together the United States, Canada and most of Western Europe in a defensive pact against the Soviet Union. World War II had fundamentally changed the power dynamics in Asia. The European colony. The powers economically exhausted and militarily weakened by the Japanese had lost all prestige and credibility in the region, which caused a wave of nationalist movements. Japan itself underwent drastic changes during its seven years of American occupation under General Douglas Macarthur. A new Japanese constitution was drafted. who formally renounced war banned the maintenance of armed forces and laid the foundations of parliamentary democracy the economy was subjected to a program of rapid recovery in the hope that it would reduce the appeal of communism education was improved for women they were granted equal rights and labor laws Every measure was enacted to stimulate the region's economic growth, but the situation would change drastically when the Chinese communist revolutionary Mao Zedong took power in 1949 and the People's Republic of China was established.
Mao would soon sign a defensive pact with Stalin, the Sino-Soviet treaty, communist victory had arrived. as a complete surprise to both superpowers and would quickly bring the Cold War to Southeast Asia with several post-colonial independence movements soon to feel the consequences initially Truman had worked to support these movements in line with American ideals of self-determination Truman had granted independence to the America's own colonial possession, the Philippines in 1946, Truman would encourage his European allies to do the same; Britain granted independence to India, Pakistan, Burma, and present-day Sri Lanka in the late 1940s, although reluctantly the Dutch would also bow to American pressure. grant independence to Indonesia in 1949 but the French colony of Indochina would be a problem for the United States the French refused to hand over the colony and the leader of the Vietnamese independence movement one of the main regions of Indochina was a communist veteran named Ho Chi Minh After attempts at neutrality, Truman promised military aid to the French puppet regime in Vietnam in the hope that this would allow France to spend more on its domestic postwar in the face of the daunting prospect of American military intervention.
Ho Chi Minh traveled to Beijing and Moscow and received recognition from both communist powers, Mao had been especially interested in helping by sending weapons and providing advice so that he could be seen taking a leading role in the anti-colonial struggle, as Korea, a former Japanese colony, had been divided along the 38th parallel since the end of World War II with the Soviets occupying the north and the Americans occupying the south, while both sides had pledged to work toward an independent and unified race, any attempt Cooperation had stopped once the cold war had begun to escalate, both sides had oppressive dictators in power.
Kim Il Sung to the north and Singman Re to the south were both desperate for Korean reunification, but Korea was simply too strategically unimportant for either side to devote significant attention to resources, and the United States withdrew its forces in the late 1940s to strengthen its position. in Japan and the Philippines, but things would suddenly change in January 1950 when Stalin, encouraged by the victory of the Chinese communists, gave his approval for Kim Il-sung to invade the south. The attack was taken as a great challenge to American authority. , completely ignored the The 38th parallel was a border established by the United Nations and the Soviets were correctly suspected of being behind the attack and although the term domino theory would not become popular for a few years, American politicians were already worried about that asia would experience a series of communist revolutions if they failed to stop the spread of communism in korea after the initial defeats of the south koreans, a united nations task force led by american general douglas macarthur managed to push the north koreans to the border with china, but this would provoke a response from mao. which sent 300,000 chinese troops to assist the north, pushed back macarthur's forces and led to a stalemate that would last the rest of the war, the conflict would drag on for three years and the armistice of july 1953 left things without a clear solution. victory for both sides the border between the two koreas had barely moved at all with the loss of life totaling over two million but, most importantly, the korean war would demonstrate that communism could be contained the idea behind Future conflicts, especially in Vietnam, also set an important precedent that No matter how serious proxy conflicts had become, the use of nuclear weapons would never be justified despite pressure from the military, Truman refused to consider their use and When it became clear that General McCarthur had different ideas, Truman fired him.
This precedent would become especially important as the size and number of nuclear weapons began to grow. The Cold War was a war like no other as both sides possessed the destructive power to wipe out humanity the united states began the cold war with a nuclear monopoly and harry truman remains to this day the only man to have ever ordered a nuclear attack despite this, truman was interested in regulating the use of nuclear weapons and in 1946 he would propose that all such weapons along with their means of production should be handed over to the united nations, but this plan soon failed.
August 29, 1949 The Soviet Union managed to test its own atomic bomb using research stolen from the West Truman responded by accelerating the production of atomic weapons as allowing the Soviet nuclear program to catch up would be a severe psychological blow January 31, 1950 announced the development of a super bomb later known as a thermonuclear or hydrogen bomb, it would theoretically be a thousand times more powerful than those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but it would soon become obvious that there could never be a rational use for such weapons, as it became clear On March 1, 1954, when the most powerful American nuclear device ever tested, codenamed Castle Bravo, was detonated in the Pacific, the yield of the explosion was 15 megatons, triple that predicted, and the radioactive fallout was It spread for hundreds of miles, contaminating 23 members of a Japanese fishing boat. set off radiation detectors around the world, raising serious questions about the ecological impact of a nuclear war, while the test shocked leaders around the world.
The new American president, Eisenhower's war hero Dwight, was willing to make good use of the American nuclear arsenal, unlike Truman had looked for ways to use nuclear weapons during the final months of the Korean War and when Mao began to attacking the islands of Kamoy and Matsu in 1954, Eisenhower used nuclear threats to end the conflict in 1955, he would declare in any combat when these things can be used against strictly military targets and for strictly military purposes. I see no reason why they shouldn't be used exactly as a bullet or anything else would be used during his presidency.
Eisenhower would insist on preparing only for an all-out nuclear war, as for him, this was the

best

way to ensure that a nuclear war would never occur; Limited wars could escalate, but no rational person would ever initiate total destruction, but it was a disturbing sight for many, including his successor, John F. Kennedy, who was surprised to discover that the only war plan that Eisenhower had left him consisted of the simultaneous use of more than 3,000 nuclear weapons against all communist countries. Eisenhower would find his rival in Nikita Khrushchev, the new Soviet leader who had come to power after Stalin's death in 1953.
He soon created the Warsaw Pact to counter the growing power of NATO, an alliance between the USSR and its European satellites. This secret police little more than organized thugs came under the control of a new, professional intelligence agency the KGB whose role was to manage internal security as well as conduct espionage abroad, but it soon appeared that Khrushchev would be a more progressive leader than his predecessor. In February 1956 he gave a revolutionary speech at the 20th party congress in which he revealed and denounced Stalin's crimes. He would implement a de-Stalinization policy that he promised. To decentralize power and reduce the use of terrorism, statues of Stalin were torn down across the empire, giving hope to Eastern European reformers who believed his voices would finally be heard.
Nationalist riots would break out in Poland, with Khrushchev Lauin Vladislav Gamulka as Stalin's victim. Purges to return to power and would grant the Polish government greater autonomy Inspired by this success riots soon broke out in Hungary and its Prime Minister announced Hungary's plans to abandon the Warsaw Pact to become a neutral country and ask the United Nations for help. , but this was too much for Khrushchev, who would show that he was not as progressive as he seemed by sending the Red Army to crush the rebels. Twenty thousand Hungarians would be wounded or killed, and the prime minister and other rebel leaders would be arrested and then executed.
Khrushchev would soon prove to be a provocative and unpredictable leader, claiming that the USSR was churning out missiles like sausages and was known for his emotional outbursts, allegedly slamming his shoe against a table during the 1960 UN General Assembly, his reign would see a breakthrough. Continuing development of the Soviet nuclear arsenal despite being far behind the United States in military technology, the USSR would manage to launch the world's first ICBM or ICBM on August 21, 1957, later that year on October 4 , they would use a modified intercontinental ballistic missile to launch Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite. massive psychological victory and would cause panic in the United States, leading to the creation of NASA the following year and starting a decade-long space race to land a man on the moon, feeling confident that Khrushchev would try to solve The problem of Berlin having a capitalist city deep in Soviet territory was a major problem as the higher standards of living it displayed were causing discontent in the East.
In 1958, Khrushchev would give an ultimatum to the Western powers demanding that they withdraw their forces. of West Berlin allowing the German capital. becoming a demilitarized free city if they did not do so within six months would allow the East German government to control access to the city, potentially forcing the Americans to leave

entire

ly. Khrushchev was sure that the United States would not risk nuclear war over the city and neither were many of America's NATO allies with British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan warning that the British were not prepared to face the destruction for the sake of two milliongermans in berlin, but that the city had great symbolic importance and eisenhower was willing to fight for it, reading a response in case west germany would be attacked krushchev saw no option but to miss his deadlines, but in the negotiations that followed He managed to score a personal victory: an invitation to visit the United States in September 1959.
The trip was a strange spectacle with Khrushchev flying in his huge new Tu-114 plane in an attempt to impress and intimidate the Americans. He would visit Hollywood. He met people like Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. He argued politics with Eisenhower. He argued with hecklers on the street and became grumpy when his trip to Disneyland was canceled while there was nothing substantial. Agreements emerged from the visit, giving hope for a future of cooperation, but the feelings of optimism did not last. On May 1, 1960, Russian air defenses shot down an American U2 spy plane flying over Soviet territory. The United States attempted to cover up the incident. claiming that the plane had been on a NASA weather research mission, but the lie would be shamefully exposed when Khrushchev revealed that he had captured the pilot alive along with surveillance equipment and photographs of Soviet military bases.
Eisenhower was forced to admit his involvement, leading Khrushchev to dramatically withdraw from a Paris summit later that year, where the two leaders were scheduled to discuss Berlin when Eisenhower left office the following year. Soviet-American relations had reached an all-time low beginning in the 1950s. Western observers would begin to classify the world into three groups. The United States and its allies would comprise the First World and the Soviet Union, China and their allies, the Second World. Third world would refer to non-aligned countries, although it quickly became a general term for any poor, underdeveloped country. or a former colony with the Cold War reaching a stalemate in Europe, both powers would look to the third world to expand their influence and power, often with disastrous results for those caught in the crossfire, it was important for the United States to maintain these resource-friendly developing nations, especially in the Middle East, where oil was needed to fuel economic and military needs, to deny the United States these resources.
Khrushchev began diplomacy and trade campaigns to gain support in the developing world and, to make matters worse for the United States, he would be aided by a deep-seated Hatred of the West in many countries that had been subject to centuries of Western colonialism. The CIA would play an important role in aligning these countries with American interests. The organization had grown rapidly after its creation between 1949 and 1952. CIA personnel had increased tenfold. Its 7 to 47 overseas bases and annual budget of $4.7 million to $82 million would often be used to depose or kill leftist leaders who threatened American interests or looked like they might fall under Soviet influence in 1953 The CIA would orchestrate a coup against the Prime Minister of Iran who had nationalized the British-owned Anglo-Iranian oil company, a pro-Western autocrat Shah Mohammed Reza Pallavi would be installed in his place and the Prime Minister would be imprisoned for three years and then placed under Under house arrest until her death, she was buried in her living room to avoid public outcry, but this would come back to haunt the United States as her continued support for the Shah would reinforce anti-Western sentiment in the region.
The Shah would be overthrown in 1979 and replaced by a radical anti-Western Islamic government With 52 American hostages taken during the chaos, a similar story would unfold in Guatemala, where President Jacob Arbenz had attempted to nationalize the American-owned United Fruit Company. The CIA would initiate a coup in 1954 to remove our Benz from power and install a highly unpopular army. Instead, the dictatorship was so paranoid that it sometimes attacked leaders who posed no threat to American interests in the Republic of the Congo. The former prime minister of a Belgian colony, Patrice Lumumba, would be targeted for assassination in 1960 after accepting Soviet help to suppress a mutiny.
While the assassination would fail, pro-American forces would depose and assassinate a Mumba in 1961, installing in his place a pro-Western military dictator, despite the obvious contradiction with American ideals of democracy and self-determination, the CIA would continue supporting pro-Western dictators. For American officials around the world, the containment of communism was important enough to suspend these ideals; The CIA continued to operate with a near-total lack of congressional oversight until the 1970s, but despite the overwhelming power of the two Cold War giants, some Third World leaders found ways to make gains by pitting the First and Second World against each other. world with each other.
Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser was able to do this in the mid-1950s, convincing the Americans to finance the construction of the Aswan High Dam project and at the same time purchasing weapons from pro-Soviet Czechoslovakia. but the czechoslovakian arms deal would trigger anxieties in the united states, as would nasser's recognition of the people's republic of china, when the united states decided to stop funding the dam entirely, but nasser was quickly able to obtain funding from the soviet union and retaliated against the West by nationalizing the Suez Canal, an internationally owned waterway that allowed travel from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, fearful of losing access to the Middle East, Britain and France joined Israel in launching a military invasion of egypt, but to his surprise, eisenhower would condemn the attack and threaten economic sanctions since he had not been consulted and the attack risked offending the entire arab world.
Khrushchev also condemned the invasion by threatening the invaders with rocket weapons under pressure from both sides Britain and France were forced into a shameful retreat ending their role as major world powers. In the end the only winner was Nasser. He managed to maintain the channel by protecting his country from colonial powers and securing his place as the leader of Arab nationalism, all while both superpowers fought for his approval. The Suez Crisis would prompt the United States to take a greater role in the Middle East with the establishment of the Eisenhower Doctrine the following year formalizing what had already been happening for years by promising military and economic aid to anti-communist regimes in the Middle East.
It legitimized the sending of American troops to Lebanon in 1958 with both powers continuing to interfere around the world in 1961 a new president John F Kennedy would come to power wanting to take advantage of Kennedy's inexperience Khrushchev would meet with him in Vienna that same year and in another attempt After taking control of Berlin he reissued his 1958 Ultimatum that gave the president six months to leave the city, but like his predecessor Kennedy was unwilling to allow American credibility to be questioned, he rejected demands calling on the Congress increase the defense budget by $3.2 billion and another $207 million to create consequences. shelters in preparation for a nuclear attack, but the meeting with Khrushchev would be difficult for the new president, who later recalled that it was the worst of his life.
He attacked me, but Khrushchev's provocation masked his own insecurities. There had been a staggering number of East German defections since 1949 - around 2.7 million people, most of whom had escaped via West Berlin - securing the city was therefore vital to the survival of the Republic. German Democratic Party, with defections generally of highly trained and educated people who were growing day by day and the Americans were not willing to give in. Khrushchev saw no option but to authorize the construction of the Berlin Wall on August 12, 1961, creating a physical barrier between East and West Berlin. It started as a barbed wire fence and soon became a massive concrete block wall 12 feet high and nearly 100 miles long. with armed guards and minefields, it was a shame for communists everywhere, as Kennedy would say in 1963, freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put up a wall to keep our people in and prevent them from abandoning us, but Kennedy.
Cuba was having its own difficulties. Cuba had been taken over by communist revolutionaries in 1959 led by Fidel Castro. The revolutionaries began to free Cuba from its economic and political dependence on the United States by nationalizing American-owned banks, oil refineries as well as coffee and sugar plantations. , but they would eventually turn to the Soviet Union for help. Khrushchev was quick to offer his help, much to the distress of then-President Eisenhower, who imposed a trade embargo on Cuba, organized CIA plots to kill Castro, and began training a group of Cuban exiles to use them. As an invasion force, Kennedy would use CIA-trained exiles in the Bay of Pigs invasion, which aimed to remove Castro from power, but it would prove to be a disaster, as the invaders surrendered after only three days.
It was a shame for Kennedy. and convinced Khrushchev that he needed to protect Castro by sending nuclear missiles to the island in 1962. Khrushchev thought that the Americans would have little ground to oppose him, since they had sent Jupiter missiles to Italy and Turkey in the late 1950s, all of which were aimed at the soviet union would learn that khrushchev said what it feels like to have enemy missiles pointed at you, we would do nothing but give them a taste of their own medicine, but for kennedy the move was a dangerous and unacceptable provocation. It at least doubled the number of Soviet missiles capable of reaching the United States and was estimated to cause 80 million American casualties when an American reconnaissance plane detected the missiles in October 1962.
Kennedy responded quickly by creating a special security council. com to To deal with the crisis there were calls for an immediate invasion of Cuba, but Kennedy was reluctant to do so. It was later discovered that Khrushchev had secretly stationed 42,000 Soviet troops on the island equipped with short-range nuclear weapons for use in the event of a full-scale nuclear war. If Kennedy had invaded, he would almost certainly have followed the president in his Instead he authorized a naval blockade of Cuba to prevent further Soviet shipments from arriving two days later, on October 24, Soviet ships approaching the blockade would push back the first sign that Kennedy's plan had borne fruit, but the crisis would continue as the missile sites were nearly completed. 140,000 US invasion troops were stationed in Florida and, for the first time in

history

, the US alert system was raised for defcon 2.
Preparation for nuclear war. American bombers were placed on continuous high alert and nearly 150 ICBMs were prepared to fire. 23 nuclear-armed B-52 bombers were deployed from where they could directly attack the Soviet Union, with the threat of total destruction looming over the USSR. Kennedy began to take advantage. In negotiations with the help of his brother Robert F Kennedy, the president was able to make an offer to Khrushchev if the Soviet missiles were removed, the United States would agree not to invade Cuba and the Jupiter missiles in Italy and Turkey would be voluntarily removed afterwards, but More Later that day, a confrontation in the Atlantic nearly started a nuclear war.
American ships had used signaling depth charges to alert a Soviet submarine that had strayed too close to the blockade thinking they were under attack. The submarine captain ordered nuclear torpedoes to be launched. But the decision required the approval of the three officers on board, one of the officers, Vasily Arkipov, refused to carry out the launch single-handedly, preventing the outbreak of nuclear war, the next day, October 28, Khrushchev accepted Kennedy's terms, ending the crisis. It was the closest the world has ever come to a nuclear war and significantly impacted the prospects of both powers with the installation of a hotline between the White House and the Kremlin to provide better communication if another crisis occurred after having been so close. close to nuclear war. defense robert mcnamara would come to the same conclusion that eisenhower had planned only that total war was the surest way to ensure that no war would break out mcnamarawould develop the policy of mutually assured destruction or get angry, each side would ignore attacks on military installations planning to cause the maximum number of casualties possible by directly attacking enemy cities, the policy required both sides to ban anti-missile defenses so that each would be equally vulnerable, the Soviet Union would eventually agree to this and in 1972 both powers would sign the anti-ballistic missile.
Treaty prohibiting long-range missile defenses Although the United States had pledged not to invade Cuba, the CIA would continue to attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro by launching more than 600 assassination attempts, the last of which took place in 2000. The plots They would become more ridiculous over time He continued to use exploding cigarettes, a tuberculosis-infected diving suit, and numerous attempts to poison a plot He even attempted to destroy Castro's public image by using thallium to destroy his beard if surviving assassination attempts was an event. Olympian Castro once said he would win the gold medal on The next major crisis would occur in Vietnam, where the United States had been supporting the south in its fight against the communist north for almost a decade.
The country had been divided along the 17th parallel after the French surrendered in 1954 and the United States was sending increasing amounts of aid. to the southern regime of President Aseam, but Ziem would quickly become an embarrassment to the United States. He was an incompetent and oppressive dictator with a North Vietnamese-backed insurgency that soon emerged. The CIA would organize ZM's ouster in 1963, an operation that ended with his assassination Kennedy himself would be assassinated three weeks later, leaving his vice president Lyndon B. Johnson in charge of the rapidly deteriorating situation in Vietnam. The domino theory was now an accepted fact by American politicians;
Johnson chose to quickly increase US military involvement, but the Americans still did not do so. The Tet Offensive of 1968 was a particularly low point during which over a hundred South Vietnamese towns and cities were attacked as well as the US embassy in Saigon showing that the North Vietnamese were much stronger than the American public. The public had been led to believe that the Vietnam War was the first television war in which on-site coverage from the front lines was brought into the American living room. The public had been told that the Tet Offensive was the war. was almost over the North Vietnamese were so depressed that victory was in sight, so when the offensive was launched it contradicted what the American people had been told and broke their trust in the government the term credibility gap soon developed.
The difference between what was really happening and what the government told the public in 1968 protests would break out throughout the Western world, the largest would be seen in the United States, where a politicized youth demonstrated against a war they considered unjust and impossible. win, the scale of discontent was also evident. much for johnson who decided not to seek re-election, but the political situation would continue to worsen in a week martin luther king jr was assassinated and protesters took to the streets again the nation had not been so divided since the civil war to make things worse when robert kennedy ran for president and campaigned to end the war, he too, like his brother was murdered, the nation was torn apart, johnson's successor richard nixon came to power facing an unwinnable war and The authority of his government was being challenged at every turn.
Desperate to make progress in Vietnam, Nixon would announce the invasion of neighboring Cambodia on April 30, 1970, but this would lead to a new wave of protests and the loss of life on May 4 when Ohio National Guardsmen shot and killed four students. from Kent State University. They finally decided to withdraw American forces and the last left the country in 1973, but the conflict soon resumed and in just two years the communist north had taken over the south. By the end of the war, more than 58,000 Americans had died and 250,000. South Vietnamese soldiers, more than a million North Vietnamese soldiers and Vietnamese gorillas had also died, as well as more than 2 million civilians from both the North and South.
While containment had worked in Korea, it had proven ineffective in Vietnam. Neighboring Laos and Cambodia would also be taken. by the communists with thousands dead in the pol pot conflict the communist leader of cambodia would carry out numerous atrocities over the next four years a period known as the cambodian genocide would force hundreds of thousands into prisons and labor camps where they would be tortured and experimented on and executed up to two million people are believed to have died in the genocide almost a quarter of Cambodia's population Khrushchev's destalinization policy had severely strained relations with China Mao had been dismayed by Khrushchev's speech calling it dangerous revisionism Chinese dictator was modeled on his own government after Stalin carried out campaigns of industrialization and collectivization, purging his political opponents and creating a cult of personality centered on himself, Mao would continue his Stalinist path by launching the Hundred Flowers Campaign In 1957 to purge the intellectuals, he let a hundred flowers bloom.
He said that a hundred schools of thought would compete but in reality anyone who dared to speak their mind was arrested. Mao's attempts to accelerate the process of industrialization and collectivization would produce disastrous results. He had little knowledge of agricultural techniques and relied heavily on the ideas of the latter. The discredited Russian agricultural expert Lysenko Trophy would announce the four pests campaign in 1958, which encouraged people to kill sparrows and other wild birds, while the campaign was massively successful and led to rapid growth of the fermín, which ate much of the crop. He also launched the backyard furnace campaign that encouraged citizens to smelt down their possessions to create as much steel as possible.
The campaign was extremely popular and by October 1958 almost a quarter of the population had given up their jobs to take part, but the steel produced was often of unusable quality and put unsustainable pressure on food production, leaving many fields abandoned. . These policies, combined with a period of drought and floods, produced the largest famine in recorded

history

, with deaths estimated at between 30 and 50 million people that lasted only between 1958 and 1962. They made the situation worse by continuing to requisition grain from starving peasants. during this time. He would deliberately worsen the situation in Tibet, whose cultural identity he had been trying to destroy since 1950, resulting in the death of a quarter of the Tibetan population.
The famine was kept hidden from the outside world only by the Chinese government in 1980, but relations with the Soviet Union had continued to deteriorate and would reach a low point in March 1969, when a massive border conflict broke out between the two that lasted seven months. . It seemed possible that the two communist superpowers might actually go to war with each other, seeing an opportunity to gain influence over the Soviet Union. Nixon would visit China in February 1972, meeting with Mao and promising future cooperation. The United States and China would slowly stabilize relations with the Soviet Union as It was predicted that in 1964 the Soviet Union would become deeply unstable.
The Soviet Union had been going through several internal difficulties. Khrushchev had been deposed and replaced by Leonard Brezhnev, who immediately began to reverse the most radical aspects of destalinization. Power was recentralized and Khrushchev's limits on tenure in office were removed. The bureaucracy grew. Substantially like corruption and nepotism, party members were kept in their positions indefinitely and many died of old age, while in office, Brezhnev's 18-year rule became known as the era of stagnation, with the economy suffering from a complete lack of innovation in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union. command economies were failing to meet some of the basic needs of their citizens living standards were deteriorating and many were losing faith in the communist system they were spied on by the kgb and house searches and arrests became much more frequent when the Attempts at reform were quickly crushed by the Soviet army in Czechoslovakia.
In a brief period in 1968 known as the Prague Spring, a series of liberal reforms were carried out under the leadership of Alexander Dubachek, but Brezhnev feared change and would respond by sending 250,000 Warsaw Pact troops to end the reforms would herald the Brezhnev doctrine which promised to intervene in any socialist country believed to be falling into the hands of capitalism, but the invasion of Czechoslovakia had gone wrong. It took the Red Army eight months to break the Czech resistance that the invasion had also received. international condemnation even from communist countries such as yugoslavia, romania and china discontent was so great that there was even a demonstration in front of lenin's tomb the cold war had the opposite effect on western society europe had experienced a time of peace and prosperity without precedents thanks to the Marshall Plan the revitalization of West Germany and continued economic integration the European Coal and Steel Community was formed in 1951 bringing together France Italy Belgium the Netherlands Luxembourg and West Germany in an economic alliance these six countries would lead the boom Economic Europe which saw better wages, higher education, improved healthcare and low levels of unemployment, when the alliance became the basis of the European Union, the difference in living standards between East and West became increasingly obvious and, unlike the beginning of the cold war, support for the communist parties of western europe was almost non-existent. -existing, many began to question whether communism was still a threat that needed to be contained and began to consider the morality of the proxy conflicts that led to the antiwar protests of 1968.
In the face of these protests, a severely overstretched and the Vietnam War seemingly unwinnable, President Nixon would seek a more stable Soviet-American relationship in 1969 he would begin talks with Brezhnev about a strategic arms limitation treaty or salt Brezhnev was receptive to the idea because he believed that relief of Cold War tensions could allow it to focus on the numerous problems of this bloc the Salt 1 treaty would be signed in May 1972 freezing the existing number of intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles on both sides a basic agreement would also be reached that would outline superpower relations in the future both promised to show restraint and agreed to do everything possible to avoid military confrontations and prevent the outbreak of nuclear war was the beginning of a period of détente (a French term referring to the easing of tensions between nations) the intense competition of the Cold War would lead to some of the most important technological advances of the 20th century breakthroughs the space race would begin on October 4, 1957 after the Soviets used a modified ballistic missile, the R7, to launch Sputnik , the world's first artificial satellite, but this small metal ball only 23 inches in diameter would cause panic in the United States, it was not Sputnik itself.
That was worrying but rather the technology behind this could be used to launch nuclear missiles against targets in the United States. There were also fears that a technological gap was opening up between the two superpowers with the United States on the losing side. These fears were apparently confirmed. When just a month later Sputnik 2 was launched, on board there was a dog named Leica, the first animal to be sent into orbit. Four months after the launch of Sputnik 1, America would respond by sending Explorer 1 into orbit. Eisenhower would then approve the National Aeronautics Law and space creating NASA and the organization began a serious effort to catch up with the USSR, but the Soviets would score another victory when they sent Yuri Gagarin into space on April 12, 1961.
He would become the first human to orbit the Earth and was hailed as a hero in the soviet union the following month the united states was able to send its own man into space alan shepard although it would be nine more months before they could reach orbit with the launch of john glenn realizing the importance of the space race kennedy committed to landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade, but the Soviets would continue to lead the way. On June 16, 1963, Valentina Tereshkova would become the first woman in space and two yearsLater, Alexei Leonov would complete the first spacewalk in history.
But the tide would soon turn with NASA investing heavily in the Apollo program. In 1968, the Apollo 8 crew would become the first humans to orbit the moon and on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong would become the first man to place a standing on the moon with the American flag planted on the moon the space race would quickly die out the Soviets would cancel their own plans for the moon landing and instead focus on creating the first salute to the space station, but with Soviet-American relations At its highest point, the two sides decide to cooperate in the Apollo Soyuz test project in which an American and a Soviet spacecraft came together, the crew would shake hands and exchange gifts, the ultimate symbol of love and a definitive end. to the space race.
The political scandal would also shape the course of the cold. Nixon still acted as if communism had to be contained at all costs, although the public had begun to think otherwise. He would authorize the bombing of Cambodia while it was still neutral in 1969, attempting to destroy North Vietnamese bases and supply lines, but he would not do it. hide the truth from the public by fabricating air force records in October 1970 the Marxist government of Salvador Allende would be democratically elected in Chile Nixon publicly declared that he would not interfere in these free elections while secretly using the CIA to support Allende's opponents he organized A failed coup to prevent his takeover and destabilize his government for the next three years would eventually be carried out in a successful military coup in September 1973, leaving Alende dead and General Augusto Pinochet in power, while he was never established. the direct involvement of the CIA nixon welcomed pinochet with open arms as an oppressive dictator who would carry out thousands of murders and numerous human rights abuses in june 1971 classified documents on the vietnam war known as the pentagon papers were would be leaked to the New York Times in response, Nixon created a group known as the Plumbers, made up of retired detectives and former CIA and FBI agents aimed to prevent the release of further classified information and carried out a series of illegal thefts. , wiretapping and surveillance operations over the following year, but on the morning of June 17, 1972, several of the plumbers would be arrested after the men working for them were arrested.
He was caught breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate building. Nixon desperately tried to cover up his own involvement, but the truth was soon exposed and his credibility was virtually destroyed as he faced conviction and removal from office. Nixon decided to resign on August 9, 1974. The only president to ever do so, the consequences of Nixon's conduct would be significant, as Congress moved to reclaim his powers over national security prompted by Nixon's secret bombing of cambodia congress passed the war powers act in 1973 that imposed a 60-day limit on all military deployments implemented without congressional consent nixon's successor gerald ford would suffer the consequences of being unable to act when north vietnam invaded and conquered South Vietnam in 1975 the CIA also came under intense scrutiny three commissions were created to investigate CIA abuses with many of its secrets revealed its repeated attempts to remove the democratically elected government of Chile caused The increased outrage combined with the recent failure in Vietnam had significant repercussions in Angola, a former Portuguese colony, had been granted independence and was in the midst of a three-way crisis.
Two-way power struggle in 1975 with the United States, the Soviet Union and China being contacted for help, but with the recent failure in Vietnam there was no chance of Congress approving American military intervention. The CIA wanted to secretly finance the two anti-communist parties, but once. This was discovered to be met with significant resistance and Congress eventually voted to ban the secret use of funds in Angola. It was a significant change in US Cold War policy unlike previous decades the public was taking a critical view on the measures. to contain communism with American officials began to be held responsible as the 1970s progressed, tatant would begin to suffer in 1973, a war broke out in the Middle East after Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Israel in an attempt to recover lands that they had previously lost early in the conflict.
It attracted the Cold War powers with the United States supporting Israel and the Soviets supporting the Arab states. Brezhnev would call for the deployment of a joint Soviet-American peacekeeping force, threatening to act independently if they refused, but Nixon , which was in the middle of the Watergate scandal, did not. Taking the threat well by stating that independent Soviet action would have untold consequences and putting US nuclear forces on global alert while the conflict was resolved within a month. Both sides began to question the future of détente, but the Soviet Union was still suffering from internal discontent with Brezhnev.
For Tatant to continue, on August 1, 1975, he would sign the Helsinki Accords with the United States and 33 other nations. It gained Western recognition of its existing European borders, but would have to agree to respect human rights, but the agreements would prove to be a political agreement. disaster brezhnev thought he could continue ignoring human rights but the reformers within the soviet camp did not allow him to forget his commitment in the summer of 1976 the moscow helsinki group was created for this purpose and several similar organizations appeared throughout eastern europe the agreements of helsinki had provided the platform through which soviet citizens could oppose the communist regime president ford would also be criticized since by signing the agreements he was thought to be ignoring soviet injustices in eastern europe the term tante would become so unpopular that Ford would ban his administration from using the word during his 1976 presidential campaign, but it was too late when Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter assumed the presidency in 1977.
Carter would initially attempt to revive Tatant but a series of contradictory actions would confuse and alienate Soviet leaders. to whom he asked for cooperation and at the same time by meeting with Soviet dissidents and suggesting that greater limits should be imposed on nuclear weapons, but by this time Brezhnev had developed serious health problems with the Soviet military gaining power, they would begin to put into jeopardize the arms control process and in 1977 they would begin deploying SS-20 missiles. against targets in Western Europe this would provoke a response from NATO, which began counter-deploying Pershing 2 and cruise missiles in 1979.
Despite these setbacks, a second Soviet-American Salt 2 arms treaty was signed that year, but criticism to the treaty were widespread, especially in America where it was argued that the treaty did nothing to reduce the nuclear danger and that the Soviets would continue to act as they pleased, but it was a series of events in the Middle East that finally brought about the end of the tatant in February of 1979 Islamic. Revolutionaries took power in Iran by deposing Mohamed Reza Palavi, a former ally of the United States. The situation would escalate when militants stormed the US embassy in Tehran in November, taking 52 Americans hostage.
The crisis would last 444 days during which negotiations failed, as did Operation Eagle Claw. rescue mission while the hostages were finally freed in January 1981, the situation had damaged the international prestige of the United States and destroyed any chance of Jimmy Carter's re-election, meanwhile in neighboring Afghanistan a Marxist coup had occurred and the USSR sent He immediately helped, but in March there was a violent rebellion. would explode in Herat, near the Iranian border, leaving thousands dead, including 50 Soviet advisers and their families, Afghanistan's pro-Soviet prime minister was also arrested and executed, as the country moved closer to civil war over fears that Washington would Taking advantage of the Soviets deciding to launch a full-scale invasion was the nail in the coffin for detente, with Carter calling Brezhnev on the Moscow-Washington hotline to tell him that the invasion date could mark a fundamental turning point. and lasting in our relationships with which he would back up his words. action in January 1980 would withdraw the Salt 2 treaty from Senate consideration embargo shipments of grain and technology to the USSR announce a boycott of the Moscow Olympics and call for a drastic increase in defense spending for fear that the invasion would an attempt to isolate the united states from middle east oil the president would also announce the carter doctrine which would use force if necessary to prevent any outside power from gaining control over the oil rich persian gulf the cold war had reignited again In November 1980, former actor Ronald Reagan would win in a landslide victory over Jimmy Carter.
Reagan was a fierce opponent of the mockery of an indefinite extension of the Cold War to break the stalemate. Reagan attempted to reassert American strategic dominance over the Soviet Union to To achieve this, Reagan needed to convince the American public that the Soviet Union was no longer in a position to continue fighting by initiating a campaign of public speeches to discredit the Soviet Union's status as a superpower in the modern world. Let us be aware that while they preach the supremacy of the State, declare their omnipotence over individual man and predict their eventual domination of all the peoples of the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world, but despite their provocative speeches, the Reagan's vision on nuclear weapons was clear: he wanted to see a world where they did not exist and where nations were free of the threat. of total annihilation, the only way he saw to achieve this was to force the Soviets into a new arms race that they would lose, pressuring them to accept an arms reduction agreement, as Reagan said, his option is to break his back to keep up or accept reductions.
This policy would be called peace through strength. It would begin by further increasing Carter's defense spending and the Pentagon budget almost doubled between 1980 and 1985. 100 new intercontinental range missiles were manufactured, new aircraft carriers were deployed, and new Trident nuclear submarines equipped with improved missiles Reagan also managed to convince Saudi Arabia to triple its oil production, causing its price to plummet on the international market, as oil made up a significant amount of Soviet exports, would experience a massive drop in their income, which would destabilize their already fragile economy, but the cornerstone. One of Reagan's strategies would be the Strategic Defense Initiative or SDI, dubbed Star Wars by the media.
The project aimed to create a radical new missile defense system using lasers and space missile systems that could defend against a nuclear attack while Reagan was aware that the US was possibly decades away from developing such technology, he knew that the Soviets They were far behind in information technology and a convincing bluff could force them to the negotiating table. The bluff worked, but it would produce some unexpected results when Soviet leaders panicked fearing that the United States was preparing for a first strike. The new Soviet leader Yuri Andropov would begin a two-year intelligence alert with Soviet agents around the world searching Evidence of US attack preparations The USSR was on such alert that when a South Korean civilian airliner accidentally flew into Soviet airspace on September 1, 1983, it was shot down, all 269 passengers were killed, including 62 Americans, the situation worsened by The complete lack of remorse on the part of the Soviet side, with Andropov first denying the incident and then claiming that the plane had been over an American spy mission, negotiations were temporarily halted and Reagan denounced the event as an act of barbarism.
An even more dangerous crisis would begin in November when NATO held one of its regularly scheduled military exercises in Western Europe codenamed Abel Archer 83, but this time the exercise would involve several heads of government and radio silence to simulate realism even in a state of high alert these events led andropov to believe that the United States was using the exerciseAs a front for a nuclear attack the Soviet nuclear forces were prepared and air units were put on high alert in Eastern Europe, while the Soviets soon realized their mistake and backed down. It was one of the most dangerous situations since the Cuban Missile Crisis, but Reagan's aggressive anti-Soviet policies would also put him in conflict with his NATO allies. was still alive and well in much of Europe, the two sides of the continent had benefited enormously through mutual contact with almost half a million West German jobs linked to trade with the East in the early 1980s in response to the increase From the tensions and the deployment of missiles on both sides, large movements for peace would be organized in Europe in the United States, the nuclear freeze movement was born, calling for the freezing of the nuclear arsenals of both superpowers.
The movement was incredibly popular with a million supporters gathered in central park on june 12, 1982 in one of the largest political demonstrations in american history reagan would call 1984 a year of opportunity for peace and would state that he would be willing to resume negotiations with moscow after his re-election ; In November the Soviet leaders would agree to negotiate, but when talks began in 1985, there would be an incredibly significant change in the Soviet leadership. Andropov had died in February 1984 after only 15 months in office and was replaced by Constantin Chinenko, a chain smoker. 72 years old who had succumbed to his illnesses after only 13 months in his position upon realizing that they were in desperate need of change the Soviet politburo would elect mikhail gorbachev as general secretary at the age of 54 gorbachev was a new face among the aging Soviet leaders were willing to acknowledge the failures of the Soviet system, embrace reforms and negotiate openly with the West, unlike his predecessors.
He had great personal charisma and Reagan immediately liked him, but after years of mismanagement, discontent and economic stagnation, Gorbachev faced an almost impossible task to make matters worse, china had begun to adopt capitalist elements after mao's death in 1976, deng xiaoping had emerged as leader a chinese dissident who had been purged from the party twice for his capitalist sympathies, One of those times Mao even tortured Deng's son and threw him off a three-story building, permanently paralyzing him, but Deng would retaliate by declaring that Mao had been right seventy percent of the time and wrong 30 percent. He criticized the terrible implementation. of a command economy and began experimenting with capitalism.
The introduction of these capitalist elements worked wonders for the Chinese economy: per capita income tripled between 1978 and 1994. When Deng died in 1997, the Chinese economy was one of the largest in the world, this would only put more pressure on the decaying Soviet economy, which had stagnated during the 1970s and had actually contracted in the early 1980s to revive the Soviet economy. Gorbachev would introduce Perestroika or restructuring allowed for the introduction of limited market mechanisms with the opening of the first McDonald's in Moscow in 1990. Gorbachev also realized that the ongoing arms race was crippling the Soviet economy and was diverting resources from his reforms.
Negotiation with the West was the only option Gorbachev had. He met with Reagan five separate times between 1985 and 1988, and each meeting generated a level of trust and respect between the two. Gorbachev was more open and conciliatory than his predecessors had been willing to engage in arms deals, offering unilateral concessions on armed forces and being prepared. to withdraw Soviet troops from Afghanistan in the face of such cooperation Soviet leader Reagan happily negotiated with the two signing the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty on December 8, 1987 banning all short and intermediate range missiles within three years the treaty had led to the destruction of more than two thousand five hundred nuclear weapons and each party allowed access to its nuclear facilities to verify compliance.
It was a momentous agreement. Being the first time that both sides committed to eliminating an entire class of nuclear missile, it would soon become clear that perestroika was not working. As the economy remains stagnant, Gorbachev's other major policy, glasnost, or openness, would also cause problems. The policy attempted to address Brezhnevia corruption and reestablish a connection between the party and the people. The party would be more honest about their mistakes and encouraged. open debate paving the way for reform was largely inspired by the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in April an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant had released a large amount of radioactive fallout which began to float over the USSR and Western Europe the government Soviet would try to cover up the incident to delay the evacuation of those living in toxic zones this would lead to more cases of leukemia and congenital deformities Gorbachev would later claim that the disaster revealed the disease of our system the concealment or silencing of accidents and other bad news irresponsibility and carelessness, slippage, work, wholesale drunkenness, Chernobyl made me and my colleagues rethink many things, but glasnost did not work as expected.
The open debate soon turned into widespread criticism of the party and Gorbachev himself, and uprisings soon broke out across Eastern Europe. Gorbachev had also started. the move toward democratization by allowing multi-candidate elections and announcing that it would reduce the Soviet military presence in Eastern Europe by half a million men noting that the Brezhnev doctrine would no longer apply realizing that they would not be crushed by Soviet military reformers would emerge. throughout Eastern Europe and in 1989 a series of democratic revolutions would break out in which almost all communist governments were overthrown from power, while most would develop peacefully, some would be met with violence.
Romania's leader, Nikolai Ciao Cesco, ordered the army to fire on protesters, and hundreds died in the chaos Ceausescu would soon be hunted down and executed on Christmas Day bringing a violent end to communism in Romania on November 9 the most symbolic monument of the cold war the berlin wall would fall and germany itself would reunite the following year gorbachev would gain admiration abroad by receiving the nobel peace prize in 1990, but would be greeted with a much colder reception at home, despite his

best

efforts, the Soviet economy had remained stagnant and his actions had led to the dissolution of all Soviet power abroad in March 1990. he abolished Article 6, ended the communist party's monopoly on power, allowed the opposition to formalized soon, the individual states that formed the USSR were ready to make their own bid for independence, even Russia, the home of the revolution, was hit by a wave of nationalism with Boris Yeltsin being President-elect Yeltsin began a mission to dissolve the Soviet Union, quickly becoming Gorbachev's main rival, but Gorbachev would also have to face opposition within the communist party itself, believing that his reforms were destroying the Union.
Senior officials in the government army and the KGB would stage a coup in August 1991. Gorbachev was placed under house arrest and tanks were sent to the streets of Moscow, but the coup would be widely denounced even by Boris Yeltsin, whose opposition would help end it. In just three days, while Gorbachev would return to power it was now clear that the USSR could not be saved. On December 25, 1991, 74 years after the Bolshevik Revolution, Gorbachev would resign and officially end the existence of the Soviet Union that afternoon. At 7:32 in the afternoon, the Soviet flag would be lowered from the Kremlin for the last time that the USSR would divide into 15 independent states, definitively ending the Cold War, a conflict that had dominated international relations for more than 40 years.

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