The End of the Cold War

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The End of the Cold War. The Cold War (the period 1985-1991) was triggered by the ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev as the Soviet leader and Ronald Reagan as the President of the United States of America. History recognizes the period as involving increased arms competition as well as issue-based confrontations. The cold war error came to a halt because of internal political and economic challenges facing the government of Mikhail Gorbachev. These problems put pressure to implement political reforms, decentralization of the economy and severe economic challenges. These problems necessitated the need to shift focus to pay closer attention to issues at home. In the outset, Gorbachev, compared to his predecessors, was more of a reformist. He is the name behind Glasnost as well as that of perestroika in USSR. These policies required accommodation of specific western ideas into USSR and control incentives offered to citizens by the government. Gorbachev introduced these changes with the hope that they would stimulate the economy to grow. These reforms became unpopular and were resisted by the people and led to a coup (Leffler 221). Economically, the prices of oil and oil products went down because of massive production in Saudi Arabia. The economy of USSR was getting weak because of over-reliance on oil by USSR. President Reagan then took advantage to strengthen the US military. USSR could not increase the military budget, like the U.S, because of other sectors of the economy, agriculture and manufacturing required more focus. This led to the signing of the Union Treaty which gave independence to Soviet Republics (Gaddis 112). These internal factors put a strain on the USSR

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