The End of the Cold War

Topics: Soviet Union, Cold War, Mikhail Gorbachev Pages: 4 (1411 words) Published: October 24, 2006
It's early morning. Everybody is waking up getting ready for work and kids are going to school. Today, one would usually hear casual chatter about how the day is going to be or something funny a child saw on television. Now, imagine waking up and being afraid, the same question running over and over through your head," Is my family going to perish in a nuclear explosion, are we going to war with America today?" This is what it was like for many people living in the Soviet Union, a.k.a the USSR, or present day Russia, around 1985 during the Cold War. The Cold War was a period of tension and, on many occasions, near-war conflicts mostly between the Soviet Union and the United States. It was basically started after so-called diplomatic relations between the USA and the USSR started to dissolve after World War II. The war ended in 1991,leading to the downfall of the Soviet Union. Many factors brought upon the end of the Cold War. One major thing that led to the end was the internal problems the Soviet Union was facing. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, also contributed in more ways than most to the end of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan, the American president at the time, was considered one of the greatest factors. One of the less frequently mentioned issues leading to the end was communism itself. The Cold War, by the late 1980's, had been going on for about forty years. The Soviet Union was racing against the United States to develop better weapons and more of the weapons they already had. This cost the Soviets a pretty penny. In fact, they were spending an estimated fifty percent of their national product on building weapons and trying to be better than the United States. All of this wasted effort eventually came back to ruin them, causing severe economic decline. People were not living like they lived in a country with a superpower status. Living conditions were terrible. Persons in the lower class, which was everyone not in or related to...
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