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Explain Why the Cold War Came to an End.

  • Date Submitted: 01/10/2016 03:02 PM
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Explain why the cold war came to an end. (13marks)
You may use the following to help you in your answer, the internal weaknesses of the USSR and the role of Gorbachev. 
A fundamental cause as to why the Cold War came to an end was the internal weakness of the USSR. This is because around 1975, the Soviet Union entered a period of economic distress, and never managed to emerge from this. The USSR looked to Europe, first and foremost West Germany, in a bid to convince them to provide large financing through colossal loans, meanwhile all of the US industries were thriving and the US became a major supplier of grain. The USA and Western Europeans managed to maintain good trade relations with the near bankrupted Soviet Union, which had to dip into its gold reserves in order to increase the availability of their consumer goods. However, foreign trade and small economic reforms were not enough to overcome the inefficiencies of the Soviet economy which was full of corruption. The USSR tried to employ many economic planners who were frequently unable to diagnose and find remedies for the problems, and this was because they were given false reports by officials who only pretended to be productive. As well as this Soviet living standards remained poor by Western standards, by 1980, only a small 9 percent of Soviets had automobiles. The internal weakness of the USSR in the form of the economic crisis is a key cause for the ending of the Cold War as they could not afford to go on.
In addition, another compelling reason as to why the Cold War ended would be the role Gorbachev. Many historians would say that it is undoubtable that when Gorbachev was elected by the Politburo and Central Committee, he inherited a state that was crumbling economically already. In 1991 a group of powerful people in the Communist Party feared the collapse of the Soviet Union and so attempted to remove Gorbachev from power. Gorbachev was imprisoned on house arrest in his holiday home and so...

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