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Describe Ronald Reagan's Impact On The End Of The Cold War

989 words - 4 pages

Ronald Reagan:Catalyst to the Dissolution of the Soviet Union"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." With that epic statement Ronald Reagan forcefully ordered that the Berlin wall be torn down. The destruction of the wall was symbolic of the elimination of the Soviet Union's strangle hold of Eastern Europe. Ronald Reagan's role in cementing the victory of the United States over the Soviet Union during the Cold War cannot be overstated. The pressures placed upon the Soviet Union by Ronald Reagan's administration, through economic blockades, a fevered arms race, and through constant pushes towards freedom and democracy, resulted in the implementation of many democratic reforms by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which eventually caused the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union suffered from several mortal flaws that when strained by the policies of Reagan administration caused the eventual demise of U.S.S.R., important among these were certain inherent flaws in their agricultural system.Rather than have individual, private farms, the Soviet Union had a communal farming system in which community land was cultivated and farmed by the people. However, the inherent flaw here was that the farmers did not benefit from their own hard work, regardless of how hard they worked, they never received anything in return. This resulted in inefficiency in the harvest of the food. According to Frank Smitha , creator of the World History site, "...as much as forty or fifty percent of a crop might rot in the fields." Due to the inefficiencies in the harvest and transportation of the crops, there resulted an inability to get the crops to market. The resulting shortage of food from Soviet farms, forced the Soviets to import food for the people. Further, because of the desperate need for food in the U.S.S.R., Reagan was able to maneuver the United States into a position from where it could dramatically increase the cost of grains to the point that the Soviets were forced to redistribute its spending to account for the dramatically higher food prices. Money that had previously been used in other sectors had to be redirected. A direct result of this was that the Soviet Union, already spread thin, was forced further, moving them closer and closer to the breaking point.The 1980's saw the continuation of the arms race between the Soviets and the United States. Though the United States had been first to build a nuclear weapon, the Soviets soon had their own nuclear devices. From that point on, the two sides worked furiously to ensure that their respective sides were equally matched in terms of nuclear firepower. In this seesaw like distribution of power, equilibrium was achieved through each side's equal capacity to ensure the demise of the opposing country. This system of mutually assured destruction ensured that neither side obtained the upper hand. However, upon his election as president, Ronald Reagan made a commitment to defense spending and development. He...

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