From Cold War to Post-Cold War:
After the Cold War, America and the Soviet Union had entered a state of improved relations also called détente. We began selling consumer goods to the soviets again, and things were back to normal again. Until 1979, The détente had obviously collapsed.
The Cold War Intensifies:
The end of the détente was official when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979. The goal of this invasion was to establish a pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan. The United States viewed this as an act of expansion and cancelled the US participation in the 1980 Olympics. An embargo was placed on shipments into the Soviet Union. But, the Cold War took an even bigger step when Ronald Reagan was elected president. He was openly hateful towards the Soviets, calling them an evil country. He even took steps to aid the Afghan Rebels.
End of the Cold War:
The Cold War came to a dramatic end with the accession of Mikhail Gorbachev to power. Gorbachev promoted a “New-Thinking” policy. He made an agreement with the United States to end Intermediate-Range Nuclear Missiles. On the other hand, The United States went from one of the worlds biggest creditor Country to one of the many debtor nations. ‘Merica! Gorbachev also took steps to stop military support to Communists which led to the complete (and peaceful) overthrow of the communists and the reunification with Germany.
The Brezhnev Era:
Leonid Brezhnev emerged as the dominant leader of the Soviet Union in the 1970’s. Brezhnev was not very interested in reform, though he was interested in intervening with the communist parties if they were threatened. His way of ruling was much more relaxed than other leaders. Heavy industry was emphasized. There were, however, two main problems that weakening the Soviet economy. These two main problems were the farmers that had no incentive to work hard and the government’s central planing was faulty. The country began to fail. Reformers started to emerge in groups.
Gorbachev and Perestroika:
Gorbachev was among these reformists. His ideas were more centered around radical change. He began with starting a market economy. He soon realized that this was going to fail and switched to a new idea. He established a new Soviet parliament. He also increased his power by creating a new state presidency. In March 1990, Gorbachev became the president of the Soviet Union.
The End Of The Soviet Union:
A major problem for Gorbachev in his presidency was the multi ethical nature of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev began to loosen the iron grip that the Communist Party used to have on the ethnic groups. When he had loosened the grip, ethnic tensions came to the front of his problems.The KGB began to get worried about the Soviet Union collapsing. So, a group of conservatives in the Soviet U. tried to arrest Gorbachev. After a long battle with the rebel group that had emerged to take down Gorbachev, Gorbachev resigned. The Soviet Union had officially dissolved.
The New Russia:
Boris Yeltsin took power after Gorbachev had resigned. He introduced a free market economy. There was a period of social disarray that began a rise to organized crime. After fighting a loosing battle with these criminals, Yeltsin resigned. Vladimir Putin took his place as the next president. Putin adopted a more assertive international rule. Putin also established reforms that slowly let the economy grow.
Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911. Before serving as president, he was actually involved in the film business. He appeared in over 50 hollywood films. He did not actually become involved in politics until 1964. He was elected president in January 1981. He helped expand America’s economy and contributed to the end of the cold war.
Mikhail Gorbachev was born on March 2, 1931. He did not have a very good childhood. He was a young boy during the Soviet Famine. During that time, most of the people in his village and even some family starved to death. He went to university in Stavropol. There he began to get involved on Communism. He began to get involved with real-world politics in 1970. He finally rose to the communist throne in 1985. Eventually, Gorbachev was forced to resign and officially resigned in 1991.
Boris Yeltsin was born on February 1, 1931. He went to college at Ural Polytechnic Institute and graduated with a degree in construction. He joined the Communist party in 1961, after being appointed by Mikhail Gorbachev. In an attempt to overthrow the Gorbachev’s policy of “glasnost”, Yeltsin led a coup to the Russain Parliament building and rallied mass opposition, eventually leading to a presidency for Yeltsin. He is often blamed for the downfall for the Soviet Union, poverty, and the ruining of the economy. Others see him as a hero for ending the reign of Communism after 70 years.