Ib Hl History Ia

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HL History Internal Assessment

Was President Ronald Reagan the reason for the Cold War’s conclusion?

Word Count: 1,634

Was President Ronald Reagan the reason for the Cold War’s conclusion?

A.Plan of Investigation
This investigation focuses on the impact that President Ronald Reagan had on ending the Cold War between the United States of America and the Soviet Union during the 1980’s. The use of historian argumentation, primary sources, such as Ronald Reagan’s Address to the Nation on Defense and National Security, and analytical essays by well known professors, such as John Gaddis’s excerpt from Major Problems in American History Since 1945 – titled “Ronald Reagan’s Cold War Victory” – will be utilized. The origins, purposes, values, and limitations of those two pieces will be provided within the investigation. In order to analyze his impact, the psychological tactics of President Reagan are regarded. Finally, the investigation shows how Ronald Reagan is the ultimate reason for the conclusion of the Cold War.
B.Summary of Evidence
Ronald Reagan showed political interest as an actor in Hollywood during the 1950’s – a skill important to his presidency. •Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the fortieth president of the United States on January 20, 1981. •Reagan aimed for fiscal fitness and a leaner federal government. oRonald Reagan said his policy toward the Soviets was the following: "My idea of American policy toward the Soviet Union is simple, and some would say simplistic. It is this: We win and they lose. What do you think of that?" oReagan faced a House of Representatives and a Senate looking to decrease the federal budget by making cuts to defense spending. The United States fell far behind the Soviet Union in the strategic arms race of the 1960’s due to Vietnam, and the USSR continued its arsenal enhancement through the presidents up to, and including, Ronald Reagan. •To make up for the gap between the United States’ and Soviet Union’s arsenal numbers, President Ronald Reagan called for massive defense spending, saying that “decreasing defense spending is dangerous to the national security,” as well as stressing that while the arithmetic argument for spending cuts appears to make sense, “numbers don’t reflect what America needs.” •Accomplishments of President Reagan that impacted the Cold War oEstablishment of self-confidence within America, and stressing that time is on their side. Reagan always portrayed an appearance of optimism and strength. “Strength is peace” and “weakness is aggression” A problem facing America was “poor morale in [the] armed forces” and a “difficulty recruiting the young and the bright.” After Reagan became president, “encouraging results” such as “quality recruitment and retention [were] up” and “more high school graduates [were] choosing military careers.” oReagan and his team convinced the Kremlin that time was not on their side, providing, among others, these examples: “Solidarity” in Poland – an open rebellion; as well as economic stagnation within the USSR. , oReagan announces that there will be a buildup of American weaponry, citing that “we need to modernize…to keep the peace.” Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) is started to put fear in the Kremlin. oMarch 1985 – Mikhail Gorbachev becomes leader of Soviet Russia. President Reagan realized that in Gorbachev there was the opportunity for real change, as he was making changes to originally held views for the USSR in terms of weaponry. By the final year of the Reagan administration, not only was an Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty that contained unprecedented Soviet concessions on asymmetrical reductions and on-site verifications established, but substantial progress toward agreement on deep cuts in long-range strategic systems was accomplished. •“The INF will reduce the number of weapons on both sides” •Historian Points of View:

o“History will...
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