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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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the cold war thaws

The Cold War Thaws

Changes in US/Soviet Relations & Global Conflicts from the Cold War

the end of the stalin era
The End of the Stalin Era
  • In 1953 Stalin died, and shortly after that Nikita Khrushchev took over as leader of the Soviet Union.
  • The Soviet Union went through a period of destalinizationwhen many of Stalin’s harsh policies were eliminated under Khrushchev’s rule.
khrushchev makes changes
Khrushchev Makes Changes
  • Khrushchev said that the Soviets needed to have “peaceful competition” with capitalist countries.
  • He gave people in the Soviet Union more freedoms, but satellite nations were still under strict control.
backing down on brinkmanship
Backing Down on Brinkmanship
  • After the Cuban Missile Crisis both US and USSR started to back down on their nuclear development programs.
  • Khrushchev wanted to explore more peaceful ways to compete with capitalist countries.
  • Under the leadership of President Richard Nixon, US would make changes to their nuclear policies too.
lessening containment efforts
Lessening Containment Efforts
  • After the Vietnam War the US wanted to avoid foreign military involvements.
  • President Nixon encouraged tried to work with communist countries to come to agreements and avoid conflicts.
soviets split with china
Soviets Split with China
  • In 1950 Mao and Stalin signed a 30 year friendship agreement.
  • Mao decided he didn’t want to follow the same kind of communism that the Soviet Union did.
  • In 1959 when Khrushchev refused to share nuclear secrets with China Mao ended the friendship treaty.
soviets struggle with satellite nations
Soviets Struggle with Satellite Nations
  • Many of the satellite nations wanted more independence and freedom from the Soviet Union.
  • In Czechoslovakia tried to ease up on Soviet censorship policies and give people more freedoms – this time period was known as the Prague Spring.
  • The USSR responded by sending Warsaw Pact nations to invade Czechoslovakia.
  • This created a lot of anger amongst the satellite nations.
nixon encourages d tente
Nixon Encourages Détente
  • President Nixon would be the first president to visit China since they became communist and the first to ever visit the Soviet Union.
  • In 1972 Nixon and Soviet leaders began SALT – strategic arms limitation talks, or discussions about limiting the number of nuclear weapons each country produced.
soviet leaders
Soviet Leaders

During the Cold War

josef stalin
Josef Stalin

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.

nikita khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev

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.

leonid brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev

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.

mikhail gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev

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.

american leaders
American Leaders

During the Cold War

harry truman
Harry Truman

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.

dwight d eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower

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.

john f kennedy
John F. Kennedy

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.

lyndon b johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson

1963 – 1969

Johnson became president after Kennedy’s assassination. He continued America’s involvement in Vietnam which made him unpopular with the public.

richard nixon
Richard Nixon

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.

gerald ford
Gerald Ford

1974 – 1977

Ford continued Nixon’s policies towards communist countries. He continued the SALT talks and working towards peaceful relationships with the Soviet Union.

jimmy carter
Jimmy Carter

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.

ronald reagan
Ronald Reagan

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.