The Cold War: Brinkmanship & Collapse

Nuclear Arms Race
US Uses A-Bomb in 1945
•Soviets test A-bomb in 1949
•Each side wants more than the
•Brinkmanship-Two Countries going to
the edge of War
•M.A.D-Mutual Assured Destruction
•A dual purpose
•ICBM (Intercontinental
Ballistic Missle)
• Sputnik (1957)
•Yuri Gargarin
(1961)-Soviet Hero
•Soviet victories
embarrassed the
Revolution in Cuba
• Batista was leader of Cuba and backed by the U.S.
• Fidel Castro started a revolution in 1956, in Jan. of
1959 Batista fled Cuba and Castro took over.
Bay of Pigs
U.S.A. President Kennedy wanted to overthrow Castro’s
The CIA trained Cuban exiles (nationalists) to invade Cuba.
Apr. 17th, 1961 1,300 exiles (with US weapons) landed at
the Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs).
They were captured by Castro’s Army.
Cuban Missile Crisis
• Cuba was afraid of a 2nd invasion so Castro agreed to
let Khrushchev (the Soviets Premier) place Soviet
missiles aimed at the U.S. in Cuba.
• A spy plane took pictures of the missile silos being
• Kennedy began to prepare for War if the ICBMs were
not removed.
U.S. Soviet Stand-off
Kennedy decided to surround Cuba to stop the Soviets from
send the missiles by placing a Quarantine.
The Russian ships were coming, the U.S. Navy was not
going to let them through…..
WWIII was about to happen.
This is called brinkmanship = the willingness to the edge of
End of the Cuban Missile Crisis
Thankfully, war was avoided. (the Soviets agreed to send
their ships back to the U.S.S.R.)
The Soviets agreed to not put missiles in Cuba.
The U.S. took missiles out of Turkey and promised not to
invade Cuba.
But tensions remained between USSR & USA
The Cold War Thaws
Growing cooperation between the U.S. and
•The ‘hot line’
•Increased trade
•Tourism and cultural exchanges
The Cold War Thaws
Emergence of Detente
• Nixon (U.S.) and Brezhnev (USSR)
• Period of decreased tension
• Reversal from brinkmanship
• High point: Nixon’s visits to China and the USSR
• Results:
• SALT I treaty limited number of nuclear missiles
• Helsinki Accords: promise of cooperation
The Cold War Heats Back Up
Reagan abandons détente
• Star Wars (SDI) becomes a symbol of American antiCommunism
• Increased military spending antagonizes USSR
New Leadership
1985: Gorbachev in power
• Reformer
• No connection to Stalin/old ideas
Social reform through openness: Glasnost
• Increased freedom
Economic reform through restructuring: Perestroika
• communism more efficient/productive
Political reform through democratization
• Parliamentary elections
Foreign Policy
• End arms race (can’t afford)
Spirit of Reform Spreads
• 1989: government agrees to free elections
• 1980s: economic reforms
• 1989: new constitution
• Communist party disbanded
Spirit of Reform Spreads
Oppressive government arrests dissidents in 1989
Leads to popular protest and government crackdown
Huge protests in Prague force government to resign
Most oppressive, last to reform
12/25/89: Ceausescu overthrown
and executed
Spirit of Reform Spreads
East Germany
• 1989: leave through Hungary’s open borders
• 11/9/89: the Wall is opened
• Communists voted out
One Germany
• 10/3/90: Germany is
• reunited
Collapse of the USSR
Lack of economic progress under Gorbachev
• June 1991: USSR holds free elections
• Boris Yeltsin elected President
• Gorbachev critic, popular mayor of Moscow
Coup attempt
• Hard-liners afraid of reform capture Gorbachev, order army to
attack Parliament
• Failure, Communist Party collapses
• Republics declare independence
• Gorbachev resigns, Commonwealth
Independent States (CIS) formed
Collapse of Yugoslavia
Ethnic conflict creates problems
• 6 ethnic groups, religious differences, mixed populations
Milosevic makes Serbia dominant
• Croatia, Slovenia declare independence
• Bloody civil war, but succeed
• Bosnia: most ethnically mixed
• Independence leads to war and ethnic cleansing of Muslims
Problems continue

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