Reagan's Impact On The Cold War

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Reagan became president in 1981, which means that he was president of the U.S. during a time in which the Cold War began to draw to a close. (Fischer, 1997, p.477). Whereas his predecessors used détente, a more relaxed approach in order to reduce tension between the U.S. and USSR, Reagan and his advisers rejected this strategy (Authors, People and a Nation, p.833). This led to a turning point in the Cold War. Even though the Cold War ended in 1991, two years after Reagan’s presidency, Reagan is still known to have made a huge influence on ending the Cold War. This essay will investigate his actions and how they might have influenced the ending of the Cold War, by looking at how Reagan expressed his distrust toward the Soviet Union and communism, the ways in which Reagan expanded the arms race in order to bankrupt the USSR and other ways in which he tried to sabotage the Soviet economy, but also…show more content…
He used some of the outspoken anti-Soviet speech used by an American president since the early 1960’s, he, for example, said that Soviet leaders “reserve unto themselves the right to commit any crime, to lie, to cheat” (Schulzinger, 1994, p. 16). This hostile opinion led to him giving up on détente, an approach his predecessors had used in dealing with the Cold War. Détente is a term used for trying to establish better relations between countries that dislike and distrust each other. At his news conference on January 29, 1981, Reagan said: “Well, so far détente has been a one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its own aims” (Reagan, 1981). This quote shows Reagan’s radical approach in ending détente and his feelings; he did not want to continue steady relations with the Soviet Union. Reagan felt like the U.S was the only one trying to create a better relationship and therefore did not see any use in continuing
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