The Cold War Thaws. Changes in US/Soviet Relations & Global Conflicts from the Cold War. The End of the Stalin Era. In 1953 Stalin died, and shortly after that Nikita Khrushchev took over as leader of the Soviet Union.
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Changes in US/Soviet Relations & Global Conflicts from the Cold War
During the Cold War
1920’s – 1953
Under his leadership he tried to expand the power of the Soviet Union and create as many satellite nations as possible. He used censorship and propaganda to limit the rights of his people.
1953 – 1964
When Khrushchev became leader he eased up on some of Stalin’s harsh policies on censorship and gave people more freedoms. He became very unpopular after the Cuban Missile Crisis, and was viewed as a weak leader.
1964 – 1982
Brezhnev was put into place after Khrushchev because he was more of a traditional Soviet style leader, similar to Stalin. Even though Brezhnev was strict with the satellite nations (especially Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring) he did negotiate with President Nixon, President Ford, and President Carter for the SALT agreements.
1985 – 1991
Gorbachev was the youngest leader to come to power in the Soviet Union. He allowed the Soviet people new freedoms and made changes to the traditional communist system. These changes were one of the factors that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and communism.
During the Cold War
1945 – 1953
Truman was the president who made the decision to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima & Nagasaki. He was president during the Berlin Airlift, and creator of the Truman Doctrine. His goal was to contain the threat of communism and do his best to prevent other countries from becoming communist.
1953 – 1961
Eisenhower continued many of Truman’s policies. He initially got America involved in Vietnam and was the president in office during the U-2 Incident.
1961 – 1963
President Kennedy continued the policies of containment from the previous presidents. Under his leadership the US continued their involvement in Vietnam. President Kennedy was responsible for the Bay of Pigs Invasion failure, and the successful ending of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
1963 – 1969
Johnson became president after Kennedy’s assassination. He continued America’s involvement in Vietnam which made him unpopular with the public.
1969 – 1974
Seeing how unpopular the Vietnam War was Nixon withdrew American troops and decided to take a different approach to communism. He was the first president to visit China since they became communist and the first president since World War II to meet with a Soviet leader. He was responsible for détente and beginning the SALT treaties.
1974 – 1977
Ford continued Nixon’s policies towards communist countries. He continued the SALT talks and working towards peaceful relationships with the Soviet Union.
1977 – 1981
President Carter continued working towards peaceful relations with communist countries. However, under Carter’s leadership the Iranian hostage crisis occurred, which made American’s want tougher foreign policy.
1981 – 1989
Reagan took a tough stance on communism and refused to continue any kind of diplomatic relationships with communist countries. He ended the SALT treaty negotiations and refused to meet or talk with communist leaders.