Which of These Two Reasons Was More Important in Bringing About the Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe? • the Policies of Us President Reagan • the Policies of Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev

Topics: Cold War, Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet Union Pages: 2 (543 words) Published: September 3, 2012
The policies of Ronald Reagan greatly contributed to the collapsed of communism. The period following the soviet invasion of Afghanistan is often described as the second cold war. Ronald Reagan took a tough approach against the USSR. He described them as the “evil empire” and rejected the idea of peaceful co-existence. He also thought Detente had been a disaster, therefore he introduced policies to roll back communism. Reagan’s most controversial policy included “Star Wars”, this was a strategic defence initiative which was intended to be a satellite anti missile system that would orbit the Earth and protect the USA from any soviet missiles. Reagan’s Policies were important because it was a new approach to the cold war. Previously both sides accepted the principles of mutually assured destruction, meaning that if one side attacked another then the other would retaliate with the same force and inevitably they would both face destruction. However Reagan’s ideology changed and believed a limited nuclear war could be fought and this became known as Nuclear utilization target selection. The soviet economy could not produce enough wealth to finance development of this advanced defence system and also did not have the essential technological computers to even develop the programme. This meant that the USA had a huge advantage and posed as a threat to the USSR. Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev also contributed to the collapsed of communism. He became the leader of the USSR in 1985 and immediately set about reforming the old Soviet system. He started to improve relation with the USA, developing very good relation with President Reagan. Gorbachev realised that the USSR could not afford an arms race with the USA and he made several changes within the Soviet Union. His first policy was perestroika, which changed the economic approach and allowed more competition and incentives to produce goods. Gorbachev wanted to change the government controlled economy in place since...
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