Nuclear Arms
The 1980's would usher in a new era of politics for both the USA and the USSR. The decade begins with the election of Republican Ronald Reagan to the White House. Reagan brings a new type of energy to the administration and new fears about escalating Cold War conflict with the Russians (he refers to the Soviet Union as the 'evil empire'..). In the middle of the decade, however, an even greater change will take place within the Soviet Union. Read through the powerpoint and answer the questions related to the slides.
Brezhnev cartoon.jpg
New Soviet Leadership
After 18 years as Soviet General Secretary, Leonid Brezhnev (1906-1982) will die, leaving the Soviet Union with several interim successors until Mikhail Gorbachev emerges as the new leader in 1985. This decade will begin with the two superpowers at increasing odds with one another (it started with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan), and ends with the demise of one of them. British troops in Afghanistan The Russians
War in Afghanistan Part 1
War in Afghanistan Part 2
War in Afghanistan Part 5

Ronald Reagan and 'Star Wars'
Reagan and SDI

Th e Effects that the renewed Cold War had on the USSR Glasnost and Perestroika
Gorbachev, as the new Soviet leader, is faced with an increasing set of problems, which he hopes that Glasnost and Perestroika, will alleviate. Complete the Gorbachev Glasnost and Perestroika tasks, in order to see what choices he will have to make to try to ensure the survival of the USSR.

Lesson on Reagan and the Cold War: Vision and Diplomacy?

Debate: Be it resolved that U.S. President Ronald Reagan was instrumental in ending the Cold War conflict with the U.S.S.R. and also played a pivotal role in bringing about an end to Soviet Communism in 1991.

Be prepared to argue the debate based on the reading that you have been given.

The Polish Solidarity Movement
Here are some sites which provide pictorial and point form notes with regard to the Solidarity Movement in Poland in the late 1970's and early 1980's. 17 Moments in Soviet History

In answer to the question, 'How important was the Solidarity movement as an instigating factor in the fall of Communism?', base your response on the class readings, video, and powerpoint presentation.

The End of Communism in Eastern Europe
What was daily life like in a communist country? How did people cope with the shortages of basic every day goods? What were some of the positive aspects of life behind the 'Iron Curtain'? Just as it is important for us to understand and appreciate the Communist system in the Soviet Union and Eastern European bloc countries, it is also necessary for us to try and appreciate how life was lived for the average individual so that we can further anticipate how dramatically life will change for many of them in the momentous year of 1989.
Exam style questions: Using your textbook, class notes, powerpoint presentations, prepare to answer one of the following questions:
1. Evaluate the impact of Gorbachev's policies on two countries between 1985 and 1989?
2. To what extent was the Cold War over by 31 December 1989?
3. Examine the importance of summit diplomacy to the end of the Cold War.
4. Compare and contrast the contribution of two leaders, each chosen from a different region, to the end of the Cold War.

Life in Eastern Europe The Soviet Empire in photosCommunist Bloc photos 1989-90 Making the History of 1989
The Fall of the Berlin Wall Revolution in Romania
November 9, 1989 'Tear Down That Wall'