Text of The End of the Cold War - soc and the End of the Cold War Detente: French word meaning, ease of...
The End of the Cold War
Detente and the End of the Cold War
● Detente: French word meaning, ease of tensions
● Refers to a time period, starting around 1970, when there was a lessening of tensions
between the United States and the Soviet Union
● Cuban Missile Crisis/the reality of a nuclear war threat helped each country GET A GRIP
and realize the magnitude of this conflict
● Nixon and National Security Advisor Kissinger favored a “multipolar world”: one in which
the Super Powers of the U.S. and Soviet Union could COEXIST. Gasp!
● Two Big Moments:
○ February 1972: Nixon visits China
○ May 1972: American-Soviet Summit
Nixon Visits China/
American Soviet Summit 1972
● Richard Nixon visits Communist China in 1972
● Ended several decades of wary relations between the US and China that had seen
the two countries spar in the Korean and Vietnam war
● Began the long process of opening up China to the outside world after years of
During a week of summit meetings in Moscow the U.S. and the USSR reached a
number of agreements: including…
● One that laid the groundwork for a joint space flight in 1975
● Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT): limited the U.S. and the USSR to anti
● Slowly but surely, U.S.S.R. begins to lose reigns over eastern bloc countries.
○ Gorbachev wants to reform nation as combo communism/democracy
○ Radical policies abandoned and people favored more moderate approach
○ Younger generations want change!
● Eastern bloc countries begin to rebel
○ Independence movements (Lithuania, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia, Armenia, etc.)
○ Fall of Berlin Wall
● 1989 and 1990, borders opened, and free elections ousted Communist regimes in
● Late 1991 the Soviet Union itself dissolved into its component republics