President Reagan And The Soviet Union Essay

President Reagan And The Soviet Union Essay

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On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan visited the Brandenburg Gate in Germany’s capital of Berlin. In 1987, Berlin was celebrating its 750th anniversary and was host to the most dramatic symbol of the cold war, the Berlin Wall. After World War II, the Allies divided Germany among the victors, the western half under democratic control and the eastern half under communist control. Berlin too was divided just as Germany into east and west sectors and the Soviet Union erected a physical barrier in 1961 in order to quell the rampant migration of defectors to the democratic West. From the 1940’s to the 1980’s the United States and the Soviet Union had been staunch political adversaries embraced in a contest for democracy and communism (History.com Staff, 2009). When President Reagan visited Berlin in 1987, the Cold War was reaching a point of stagnation and declination as the Soviet Union was experiencing economic and political collapse. President Reagan and his administration observed an opportunity to stand before the world and deliver the message of freedom in the face of its opposition (Robinson, "Tear Down This Wall" How Top Advisers Opposed Reagan 's Challenge to Gorbachev—But Lost, 2007).
President Ronald Reagan is described as the “Great Communicator” (Cannon, 2004). Before becoming president, Reagan was an actor and had extensive experience in public address. Furthermore, Reagan had a straightforward and simplistic manner of communicating in which enabled him to remain in constant connection with his audience. His use of plain language, humor, and ability to impart the correct timbre permitted him to communicate on a personal and genuine level (Freidel & Sidey, 2006). Reagan used his skill to adopt trust in thos...


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...tive participant in the pursuit of freedom. On several occasions, the forty-thousand people in attendance interrupted President Reagan with applause. This shows his ability to connect with people and to captivate his audience on a personal level effectively. It is difficult to assess the impact this speech had in influencing unity and reform. However, within three years the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union’s communist government collapsed and thousands of nuclear weapons were planned to be destroyed effectively ending the cold war (History.com Staff, 2009). Without this speech, history could have followed the same course, but it would be hard to believe that this speech did not impart a lasting effect on those who heard it and at the very least, that President Reagans bold and unwavering ideas would be a model for political and social reform in the future.

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