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End of the Cold War. Arms Race Gets Crazy!. US President Reagan increases funding for arms (example: “ Star Wars ” missile defense system) USSR, going broke, throws more $ into nukes US & USSR arms build up again! USSR economically, begins to unravel

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arms race gets crazy
Arms Race Gets Crazy!

US President Reagan increases funding for arms (example: “Star Wars” missile defense system)

USSR, going broke, throws more $ into nukes

US & USSR arms build up again!

USSR economically, begins to unravel

Could not sustain weapons build up AND make consumer goods (centrally planned economy= communism)

1985 gorbachev comes to power
1985 - Gorbachev comes to power

Gorbachev ushered in an era of reform (change).

Once the door to criticism was cracked open, it couldn’t be cut off again

Glasnost (openness)

allowed greater free expression and criticism of Soviet policies

Perestroika (restructuring)

Economic reforms (more market based – could suggest improvements, etc.)


Gorbachev\'s reforms led many Soviet citizens to demand more freedoms and an immediate move to capitalism.

  • Throughout the late 80\'s Eastern European nations had movements against the Communist governments. The Soviet Union did not stop them.

Velvet Revolution 1989



Gorbachev and President

George H. Bush held a summit

meeting at Malta

and negotiated important

reductions in intermediate range

Nuclear weapons

*Late in 1991 there was a coup

in the Soviet Union. Hardcore communist Soviet leaders held

Gorbachev hostage.

  • Parliament elects Yeltsin President.
  • Gorbachev resigns as President of the

USSR, a country that ceased to exist.

74 years
74 years
  • 1917, a successful coup toppled Czar Nicholas II and established a communist Russia (U.S.S.R).
  • 1991, the communist party collapsed due to a failed coup.
1989 berlin wall falls
1989 - Berlin Wall falls

The Berlin Wall came down signaling the end of the Cold War.

Hungary opened its border with Austria, allowing East Germans to flee to the West.

Massive public demonstrations; East Germany and Eastern Europe;

The Berlin Wall fell on November 9.

end of the ussr
End of the USSR
  • Various Soviet republics protested to be free of the system
  • The Soviet and home nations’ armies were unwilling to fire upon citizens any longer
  • The power of the Soviet political elites crumbled.
  • 1992 – USSR officially ceases to exist.

The forty years of the Cold War were costly in resources.

We spent 3.5 trillion, and for what?

We spent 5.5 trillion dollars on nuclear arms, and we won!

How much is a trillion dollars?

Michail Gorbachev

George H.W. Bush

A trillion dollars is enough to give each family in the U.S. $100,000.