The End of the Cold War

and the

Revolutions of 1989


1) Why did the superpowers abandon détente and move toward a new policy of confrontation in the late 1970s and early 1980s?

2) How did the 1980s resemble the early Cold War in the United States?

2) What factors contributed to the collapse of communism?  What role did Gorbachev play?  Reagan?


Key Terms

1) Helsinki Accords

2) SDI (“Star Wars”)

3) Mikhail Gorbachev

4) Glasnost and Perestroika

5) Solidarity

6) “Reagan Won the Cold War”

7) “Mr. Gorbachev’s Revolution”


I. The End of Détente and The “New Cold War”, 1979-1985


Nixon, Kissinger, and Brezhnev

Š     The Helsinki Accords (1975)



o  SS-20s, Pershing Missiles, and Anti-Nuclear Protests

o  From M.A.D. to “Winnable Nuclear War”

o  SDI (1:20) (Star Wars)

o  The Day After” (1983), “Testament” (1983), “War Games” (1983)

o  Red Dawn” (1984) and “Amerika” (1987)

o   Threats in Our Backyard:  Nicaragua, the “Contras,” and the New Domino Theory



II. Communism in Decline and Détente Renewed




o  Reforming Communism at Home

o  Glastnost and Perestroika

o  Ending the Brezhnev Doctrine


Š     Ending the Cold War: The Return of Détente

o  Summit Politics and IMF Treaty (1987)

o  START (1991)



III. The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe

Solidarity in Poland


Reformers Take Control


Free Republic of Hungary Declared


Revolution in Czechoslovakia






IV. The End of the Soviet Union










V.  The End of the Cold War and the Politics of History