Thatcher and Reagan: the end of Détente, 1979-1981


A-Levels Cold War (Détente) Mind Map on Thatcher and Reagan: the end of Détente, 1979-1981, created by jacksearle on 05/05/2014.
Mind Map by jacksearle, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by jacksearle over 9 years ago

Resource summary

Thatcher and Reagan: the end of Détente, 1979-1981
  1. Election Victories
    1. Thatcher elected British PM in 1979
      1. Reagan elected President 1980
        1. Both leaders represented a new kind of conservatism
          1. Determined to revitalise capitalism at home and stand up to communism abroad
    2. The Thatcher-Reagan love-in
      1. Named a 'love-in' because 'Thatcherism' and 'Reaganomics' were similar in many ways
        1. Both were committed to the same things
          1. Encouraging free enterprise by 'rolling back the state'
            1. T and R believed that govt spending and high taxes dominated the 2 economies
              1. Believed that high taxes and government interference were damaging to private enterprise
            2. Defence spending
              1. Both leaders committed to expanding govt defence spending
                1. Specifically - both dedicated to new gen of nuclear missiles called Trident
                  1. Presented problems for USSR - growing imbalance of economic power meant that USSR could not afford to keep pace with West on defence spending
              2. Standing up to the 'Evil Empire'
                1. R and T had similar view of the USSR
                  1. Both believed that comm was a moral evil that the West had a duty to oppose
          2. Reagan In Power
            1. Reagan was more important partner in the T-R relationship
              1. R's foreign policy was designed to assert US strength and weaken position of USSR
                1. Did this in the following ways:
                  1. Restricted trade with USSR to deny them access to superior Western technology
                    1. Committed US govt to massive defence project - Strategic Defence Initiative - SDI
                      1. Known as 'star wars' as it consisted of a space-based nuclear shield
                        1. R proposed a fleet of US satellites armed with lasers that would shoot down Soviet Missile before they could harm US
                      2. R increased support for anti-Soviet regimes and organisations in the 3rd World
                        1. Used confrontation rhetoric - including the phrase 'Evil Empire' to describe USSR
                          1. However, R did not seek war
                            1. In fact - in an attempt to reach out to Soviet leaders - he lifted the grain embargo that Carter imposed in 1980
                    2. Significance of Reagan's policies
                      1. Star Wars was particularly significant - new policy worried Soviet leaders for 2 reasons
                        1. Soviet leaders knew they'd be unable to compete with SDI
                          1. During 70s - USA had produced sophisticated computer tech which far surpassed anything available in USSR
                            1. This tech would form basis of SDI
                              1. Economic problems in Eastern Bloc and renewed growth in West pushed the economic balance further in favour of West
                                1. Soviet leaders knew that they couldn't match the USA's spending commitment to SDI
                          2. 'Star Wars' implied that R was contemplating a 'winnable nuclear war'
                            1. Space-based missile shield could - in theory - counter a Soviet nuclear attack, allowing US to survive a nuclear war unscathed
                              1. Therefore - USSR's nuclear arsenal would no longer deter a US nuclear strike - an end to the safety of MAD
                            2. R's new confrontational style was significant as it increased superpower tensions hugely
                              1. Gromyko - senior member of Russian govt - noted an increased 'chill' in superpower relations from R's inauguration in Jan 1981
                                1. R made inflammatory off-the-cuff remarks about the possibility of a 'limited nuclear war in Europe' which caused great concern to comm leaders
                          3. Timeline of the US decline in commitment to Détente
                            1. 1976 - Fierce criticism of D during presidential election
                              1. 1977 - Carter - a critic of D- becomes US president
                                1. 1977 - SALT II negotiation difficulties - Carter demands lower ceilings
                                  1. 1979 - Soviets invade Afghanistan - US criticisms of D increase
                                    1. 1980 - Carter demands Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and introduces grain embargo
                                      1. 1981 - Reagan - committed to ending Détente - becomes US president
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