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This research paper explains what is meant by the end of the Cold War and how and why it ended. The end of the Cold War encompasses a combination of events, the most important of which was the cessation of the confrontation and competition of the two nuclear superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, and their allies, including nuclear disarmament, the withdrawal of Soviet military powerfrom Central Europe, the toppling of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, the breakup of the Soviet empire and the collapse of the Soviet communist government and economic system. Many internal and external factors contributed to this result, but the most important were the internal centrifugal forces unleashed by the policies of the last Soviet ruler, Mikhail Gorbachev.

In his 1947 article on the Sources of Soviet Conduct, which was an important contribution to the formulation of American policy at the inception of the Cold War, George Kennan remarked with considerable prescience: "the possibility remains (and in the opinion of the writer it is a strong one) that Soviet power . . . bears within it the seeds of its own decay, and the sprouting of these seeds is well advanced" (La Feber "America in" 744). This was not self-evident at the time Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985. The Bolsheviks seized power by revolution in 1917 and, after winning the Civil War of 1918-1921, their monopoly of political power over the Russian people and the other minorities within the Soviet Union was not seriously challenged for more than 80 years. As a result of its defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War, Soviet control was established in the wake of the advance of the Red Army over Eastern Europe. The Cold War then ensued, the military confrontation between East and West, during which Soviet military power and political, economic and ideological influence became a major factor in world affairs. Some liberalization of the regime...

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END OF THE COLD WAR. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:37, March 22, 2019, from