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Analysing the Reasons for the End of the Cold War

Complete this table to help you analyse the reasons for the end of the Cold War or any other event you have been studying.
Description of
Cause

Effects

Content

Timing

Role

Importance

Vocabulary

Explain the
impact of this
cause on events
i.e. what did it
lead to, whether
intentional
and/or
unintentionally?

Explain the
type of cause
in relation to
what it was
about i.e.
political,
economic,
social,
ideological,
individual
action,
military,
religious,
psychological

Explain the
period of time
over which
this cause
played a role
in causing the
event i.e.
long-term,
Short-term,
Immediate

Explain the role


this caused
played in causing
events i.e.
Trigger, Catalyst,
Pre-Condition,
Contributory

Explain whether
the cause was
absolutely or
relatively
Necessary or
Merely Sufficient
for the event to
happen? i.e.
Consider whether
the event would
have happened
how and when it
did without this
cause having
occurred

Which words would


you use to help
describe and
explain the
importance and
impact of this
cause on events?
Refer to the
vocabulary list on
the website for
help

Military Failures

War in Afghanistan:
-The war in Afghanistan
was costly and also
ineffective, it caused the
USSR to spend billions
of dollars into the war, by
the time they withdrew it
showed the weakness of
the USSR as a nation.
The Afghanistan war is
often used as a
comparison to the USs
war in Vietnam.

Military and
Economic:
-Military cause as it
was the wrong
military decision to
invade Afghanistan
as the USSR were
constantly being beat
by guerilla warfare
and costing lots of
money

Immediate and
Short:
-Although it was the
build up of constant
money being spent
by the USSR in
order to fight the
Afghan war, the end
of the Afghan war
had an immediate
effect in stopping
the Cold War as it
was seen as the
USSR was backing
away from their
reign of dominance.

Economic Trigger:
-The Afghan war made
USSR spend over billions
of dollars and the draining
of resources prompted
Gorbachev to introduce
new reforms in order to
battle the economic
collapse

Economic Importance:
-The economic
importance of the Afghan
war by the USSR is key to
the end of the cold war as
it rapidly depleted the
USSR resources and
prompted Gorbachev to
introduce reforms

Summit Meetings

Geneva:
Reagan and Gorbachev
agreed a nuclear war
cannot be won and must

Political and
International:
-The political
importance of summit

Geneva:
Short-long term as
the agreements by
both countries

Give this cause a label or


title and briefly describe
the key features of this
cause i.e. facts, dates,
statistics, what happened
feel free to rename,
delete or add causes

Geneva:
The importance of the
Geneva summit was that
it showed that both sides

Economic Stagnation

not be fought
Reykjavik:
Disagreements over SDI
discussed possible arms
control
Washington:
INF treaty signed and
abolished land based
nukes
Malta:
New president HW Bush
announced that the
superpowers had buried
the Cold War at the
bottom of the
Mediterranean

meetings allowed
both sides to agree
on what was needed
in order to end the
Cold War and for
better international
relations

hinted at an
eventual end to the
Cold War in the
future

were able to compromise


and understood the
importance of preventing
a nuclear war and move
towards peacefulcoexistence

Cuba:
-The USSR gave $4
billion to Cuba every
year to support its
communist movement
Vietnam:
-The USSR was also
giving $6 billion annually
to Vietnam
E. Europe:
-$3 billion to E. Europe
and neighbouring allies
Nuclear Parity:
-USSR achieved nuclear
parity with the US but at
the expense of their
economy

Economic &
Political:
-The expenditure in
helping other
countries financially
caused the USSR to
severely deplete its
monetary resources.
-The obvious
collapse in the USSR
grasp of control on
other communist
countries and the
Eastern Bloc showed
that they were
slowing losing their
power in the world

-The long term


effects of USSR
supplying monetary
resources to
communist allies
was detrimental to
their economic
collapse as helping
others was costing
the USSR billions
and billions of
dollars

Economic Trigger:
-The economic failures for
securing military and
nuclear security was
costly to the USA and by
1982 the USSR economy
was near collapse, which
caused Gorbachev to
introduce reforms and end
the arms race in the first
place.

Nuclear Parity:
-Although under Brezhnev
the USSR achieved
nuclear parity with the
USA, it was at a cost of
spending 25% of USSRs
GDP while the US was
only spending 4-6%.

-The speech had an


immediate effect on
people around the
world as it showed
the USSR
beginning to reform
under Gorbachev.
-It showed the
USSR being slowly

-The reforms made by


Gorbachev against the
ways of Brezhnev showed
the people of Eastern
Europe that significant
changes were coming,
such as the right of free
elections and no longer
being oppressed by their

-The announcement that


the USSR were to cut its
troop commitments
significantly was a
complete overturn of the
Brezhnev Doctrine (using
force to rule Eastern
Europe)
-Gorbachevs reforms

Social Dissatisfaction
Nationalist Movements

-In Dec 1988, Gorbachev


gave a speech in the UN
that announced the
USSR would cut its troop
commitments to the
Warsaw Pact by 500,000
men.

Role of Reagan

-Reagan was a known


communist hater, willing
to compromise
-New Cold War started
by Reagan in 1982, with
introduction of SDI
programme

Psychological:
-The personality of
Reagan as a strong
willed communist
opposition was key in
securing
compromising
agreements between
the USSR and USA

Role of Gorbachev

-Gorbachev introduced
the 2 reforming ideas:
Glasnost (called for more
democracy within the
USSR) and Perestroika
(changes to the
economy of USSR)

Political:
-Gorbachev knew
that the USSR
couldnt compete with
the USA in the arms
race
-Chernobyl disaster
in 1986

Events of 1989

-The Hungarian
government stopped
patrolling its Austrian
border.
-The Solidarity union
movement in Poland
-Breakdown of Berlin
Wall
-Free elections in
Hungary
-Velvet Revolution in
Czechoslovakia
-Fall of Romanian
President Ceausescu

out of power and


their reluctance to
allow a universal
principle of freedom
of choice that was
never seen
previously.

government and the


USSR

were to instead
encourage free elections
in the Eastern Bloc and
promote democracy as
the new political ideology

Long Term:
-The role of Reagan
mainly posed as a
long term reason for
the end of the Cold
War because his
ideology allowed
him to slowly
negotiate with the
USSR through
multiple
conferences and
eventually being
able to find
solutions.

-The New Cold War


increased USAs military
spending by 13% and
introduced SDI which
pushed the USSRs
economy to the breaking
point as they could not
keep up and triggered
their downfall to the end
of the Cold War

-Being a well known anti


communist leader,
Reagan could negotiate
from a position of strength
against the USSR

-The collapse of other


communist regimes in
Eastern Europe
encouraged other
countries to gain
independence and
remove itself within the
republics of the USSR
-In 1991, countries such
as Estonia, Latvia and
Lithuania all declared
independence from USSR
and caused the collapse
of the USSR which

became the Russian


Federation
Ideological Failures