This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Reagan's Changing Views On The Soviet Union

2030 words - 8 pages

Seven American presidents over the course of 44 years engaged the Soviet Union in cold war prior to Reagan’s election in 1980. They used policies such as containment and Détente to contain Soviet aggression and win the Cold War. Ronald Reagan came to power at the pinnacle of the Cold War, following, what he saw, as the failures of Détente. Reagan was a tireless cheerleader of American patriotism in a time when America had lost faith in its national institutions and its position on the world’s stage. An ardent anti-Communist, Reagan often invoked anti-Soviet rhetoric, calling them an “Evil Empire” and challenging Soviet leadership to “tear down” the Berlin Wall. More than any other American president, Ronald Reagan took saber-rattling to a whole new level. Many at the time of his administration viewed him as a warmonger; he restarted weapon system projects previously canceled, carried out a massive military buildup, and deployed American intermediate range nuclear missile in Western Europe. This paper will seek to answer the following question; how and why did Ronald Reagan’s views of the Soviet Union change from his early days in politics to his last day as president of the United States? By 1985, after Mikhail Gorbachev's rise to power in the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan's anti-Communist views of the 1970s and early 1980s changed to focus on a new era of friendship and cooperation between the two superpowers. This change in rhetoric led to policies that resulted in Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks. Mikhail Gorbachev’s openness with the United States and America’s position of military strength were the most important factors in this change of policy. Reagan's distrust of the Soviet Union and its leadership did not diminish, but was less prevalent.
“I’ve often wonder how our lives are shaped by small and inconsequential events, how an apparently random turn in the road can lead you a long way from where you intended to go” wrote Reagan in his memoir, An American Life. Who would have predicted a man who came from humble beginnings, a Midwesterner born in Tampico, Illinois, on February 6, 1911, would become one of the most revered and respected presidents in recent American history. Prior to 1964, Ronald Reagan had described himself as a Truman Democrat, a man who was staunchly anti-communist but embraced New Deal like programs at home. By 1964, however, Reagan had undergone a political transformation and came out for Barry Goldwater in a televised speech that was titled, “A Time for Choosing” but is more often known as, “The Speech.” It was Reagan’s political introduction to the American people. Though he had been an actor and spokesman for General Electric, he was not considered a politician.
October 27, 1964 changed Reagan’s image for good. “A Time for Choosing” focused on the nation’s domestic ills and the results of a social-welfare state created by President Johnson. Though not a speech on...

Find Another Essay On Reagan's Changing Views on The Soviet Union

Collapse of the Soviet Union Essay

1001 words - 4 pages The Soviet Union was a global superpower, possessing the largest armed forces on the planet with military bases from Angola in Africa, to Vietnam in South-East Asia, to Cuba in the Americas. When Mikhail Gorbachev succeeded Konstantin Chernenko as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in March 1985, nobody expected than in less than seven years the USSR would disintergrate into fifteen separate


885 words - 4 pages independence and thus diverging their resources and attention to rebuild their newly formed states. At some point, the US president Ronald Reagan termed USSR as an evil empire. On December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved with a declaration nullifying its existence forthwith. Selected Website The website that has been selected to complement the text book is BBC History. This website provides a lot of insights about the fall of the Soviet State

The Collapse of the Soviet Union

998 words - 4 pages The Collapse of the Soviet Union The Soviet Union was a global superpower, possessing the largest armed forces on the planet with military bases from Angola in Africa, to Vietnam in South-East Asia, to Cuba in the Americas. When Mikhail Gorbachev succeeded Konstantin Chernenko as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in March 1985, nobody expected than in less than seven years the USSR would

The Effects of the Perestroika Reforms on the Dissolution of the Soviet Union

2959 words - 12 pages on its promises, the people became angered, which ignited the political unrest. Some history writers also believe that the Communist Party was eventually what led to the downfall of the Soviet Union ( The Communist Party attempted to remove Gorbachev from power by staging a coup ( After the attempted coup, the country was in disarray and another political figure, Yeltsin, had to step in and create a new nation

Conflicts After the Break Up the Soviet Union: The Conflict on the Territory of Georgia

682 words - 3 pages As one of many conflicts precipitated by the breakup of the Soviet Union, the 1992-93 conflict between Georgia and the region of Abkhazia distinguishes itself as one of the bloodiest, most consequential and most unresolved. It caused tens of thousands of casualties and led to the displacement of about 250,000 people. (Oksana, 2005) The conflict on the territory of Georgia began as a result of declaration of independence of Abkhazia by

The Collapse of the Soviet Union

1014 words - 4 pages frustrated over the lack of consumer goods which resulted into the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Also, the Soviet Union’s quest to remain a world superpower cost it dearly, as they were hard pressed to keep up with US defense spending under Ronald Reagan. The “Soviet Union was spending a large percentage of its GNP on the military because of the expansion of US spending” ( This put a tremendous strain on the

The Beginnings of the Soviet Union

1482 words - 6 pages somewhat traced back to his childhood and upbringing as it was too very demanding. Another interesting character was the peasant who traveled for two weeks on foot with his cow. His story exemplifies the struggles that were taking place in both Europe and Asia. He, like John Scott but for different reasons, left his home, the famine, and unemployment to set out for the Soviet Union where jobs and food could be attained. Unfortunately, the

The Soviet Union During the Cold War

1031 words - 4 pages received quickly.” In the daily life, a router basically operates the same way as post offices. Both receive packets, analyze the addresses and then send them forward to the correct destinations. All of this process makes the transportation of information faster and secure on a wide network. There are speculations whether the Internet was a product of military defense against the Soviet Union during the Cold War or was just a development of an idea

Leveraging the Soviet Union's Economy for Cold War Success: Reagan's Impact, 1981 - 1989

3184 words - 13 pages increasing the burden on the Soviet Union, because of the enforced tariffs. All this led to legalizing Solidarity in 1989 and the Soviet's fear of freedom spreading.Fifth, Reagan's "Evil Empire" speech* had a tremendously negative effect on Gorbachev's level of confidence. It gave Gorbachev a sense that he was not dealing with a president who was taking the same path that preceding United States presidents had walked. Reagan's wording of speeches was

Adolf Hitler and The Soviet Union

1376 words - 6 pages On June 22, 1941, the Adolf Hitler launched a ruthless attack on his so-called ally, the Soviet Union. In December 1941, after a short five months, Operation Barbarossa, induced by the Nazi’s, failed. The Nazi Party ultimately fell to its demise, through the fail of Operation Barbarossa, from a combination of Hitler’s arrogance towards the Soviets as well as the Soviet response, but most importantly, Hitler’s greatest mistake: spreading his

Stalin's Power in the Soviet Union

1558 words - 6 pages Stalin's Power in the Soviet Union The above were all important reasons why Stalin was able to hold on to power in the Soviet Union. In the 1930s Stalin consolidated his position as "Supreme Dictator" of the Soviet Unionand he maintained this position using many different methods, the main two were controlling the people by terror and having control of and manipulating their ideas. Also Stalin's economic policies were

Similar Essays

The Great Soviet Union Essay

1103 words - 5 pages . Often time’s people may conceal their true self by changing who they are in order to appeal better to the general public, whether that be friends, family, or a large group of unfamiliar people. People of higher rank are expected to look and sound like the generalized part they play and if they are not it may come as a shock to viewers. As Horsey portrays in his political cartoon about “The Great Soviet Union”, which debuted in 1981 around the time

Soviet Union: The Collapse Essay

579 words - 2 pages nearly impossible. The economy had a high production rate but a low productivity rate (Roskin & Berry 99).The Soviet Union's technology was also very behind for its time. The economy would not have been at such a loss if they had a greater strength in technology. The United States had ten years of technological advances on the Soviet Union (Hoffman). The economy could have strived off better equipment which would have helped their efficiency.The

The Soviet Union Essay

3642 words - 15 pages munitions.Great Britain led by Churchill had an economy which was totally and effectively mobilized. They did rationing and set heavy taxes on war profits.The Soviet Union led by Stalin had strength. The Red army was well supplied and led. Stalin drew on the massive support and heroic determination of the Soviet people.The Grand Alliance were not alone. They had resources of much of the world at their command. This was aided by a growing resistance movement

The Soviet Union Essay

640 words - 3 pages The Soviet Union The Soviet Union sparked its first paths of development towards a communist economy through a five-year plan in 1938. The plan called for government controls and government regulation for their workers. This planned also controlled prices and wages for the workers to control the standard of living and to keep the needs of the common man minimal. The government wanted control of all private industries so that they can push