Gorbachev And The Soviet Union Essay

Gorbachev And The Soviet Union Essay

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Interestingly, it took three decades for the Soviet Union to become a superpower, becoming the main challenger of American supremacy. Though, it only took three years for Soviet power to collapse. But why, many historians argue that Mikhail Gorbachev underestimated President Ronald Reagan. Historian, Vladislav Zubok’s, A Failed Empire, brings to life an analysis of the Cold War from the perspective of the Soviet Union. Zubok explores the Soviet’s experiences from a wide array: international calculations, interplay of foreign politics, and lasting consequences of de-Stalinization. It is from these experiences that we can gain an understanding to Gorbachev and the fall of the Soviet Union. Additionally, we will see how Gorbachev’s actions altered relations between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (hereafter USSR).
First let us start at the beginning, with a brief look at Josif Stalin. Zubok states that it was the struggle between the East and the West that shaped the relations of the people from 1945 to 1991. “The conflict was a geo-political and ideological struggle, which not only involved armies and resources, but ideas and values.” Zukok claims that Stalin used his people for conflict using ideological rhetoric, but his ultimate goal was to control various regions surrounding the USSR. Stalin’s plan was to build a security buffer as he gained control of Eastern Europe. “For Stalin, security and regime-building were two sides of the same coin.” Stalin’s wanted to expand his empire into Europe without provoking the United States – thus was impossible. Zukok writes, “Soviet policy was the main factor which contributed to the origins of the Cold War.” Continuing, Zubok states that it was because of ...

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...to state that he did not regret his nonviolence beliefs.
In turn, I do not believe that there was any underestimating between Gorbachev and Reagan, what there was, was an agreement between two leaders to bring the Cold War to an end. Gorbachev wanted a de-Stalinized Russia, did he go about it in a correct manner, well that is another question. What he did do, as previously stated is he ended the Cold War. He brought the Soviet Union to a stop as President Reagan credits him. But, ultimately, the collapse of the USSR came from within. Economic problems had eroded the once strong revolutionary-imperial paradigm and the power of the Soviet Union. In terms of today, Gorbachev (as stressed by Zubok) “did not have nor did he even seek to obtain any written agreement with the West to preserve Soviet interests in the region; such as preventing NATO expansion to the East.”

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