Reagan's Condemnation Of The Soviet Union

Better Essays
“All of us have grown up accepting with little question certain images as accurate portraits of public figures—some living, some dead. Very seldom if ever do we ever ask if the images are true to the original.” ~Ronald Reagan
Very few figures in American history are as studied and scrutinized as Ronald Reagan. Reagan was elected to the presidency in a crucial period in American history; a recession threatened American prosperity and the Soviet Union’s aggressive expansion threatened the freedom of the entire world but Reagan endeavored to combat these evils with his strong Conservative beliefs. Reagan was an influential figure in U.S. history and accomplished much in his two terms as president, however, modern Conservatives tend to idealize
…show more content…
This view is adapted from Reagan’s firm condemnation of the Soviet Union. In a 1982 speech before the British Parliament, Reagan pleaded for the spread of Democracy and stated that Marxism and Leninism would eventually “lie on the ash heap of history” . Perhaps Reagan’s finest moment was his 1987 speech in West Berlin, where he stood defiant against the scourge of Communism proclaiming “Mr. Gorbechev, tear down this wall!” Reagan’s patriotic boldness in the face of the Soviet Union is an appealing image to Americans, and thus, he has been idolized for his policies and …show more content…
According to journalist James Mann, part of Reagan’s “mythology” is the belief that “the president spoke, the Soviets quaked, the [Berlin] wall came down.” The truth, however, is more ambiguous and historians have questioned Reagan’s role in the fall of the Soviet Empire. Reagan did take a firm stance against the Soviets as he waged the Cold War, but there were many factors at play. Even without the pressure of the Cold War, was collapsing under its own weight and could not last. The Soviet Union was a huge nation and the state run economy was simply not as expedient as capitalism. Because of this, the economy eventually became stagnant and the Soviet Union began to dismantle. Furthermore, Mikhali Gorbachev, the Communist party leader in the Soviet Union, was responsible for much of the progression towards peace and away from communism. Gorbachev, instituted the policies of perestoika and glasnost which introduced capitalists principals and encouraged freedom of speech. These policies not only gave more freedoms to the soviet people but also revealed the inadequacies of the communist system. Dissatisfied with the Soviet government, many citizens revolted, launching revolutions in 1989 in countries like Germany, Hungary, and

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    Mikhail Gorbachev was one of the few dictators during his time period that did not use murder as a advantage in his society, the Soviet Union. (Gordon F Boreham) He possessed many leadership qualities that it takes to be a worldwide leader and dictator. Many believed that Mikhail Gorbachev would have strived in the Soviet union society. However once he came into office in the Soviet Union the political, economic, and religious view were lacking. (Gordon F Boreham) This making it hard for him to turn around the Soviet economy, for the mere fact that the society was already in terrible shape.…

    • 1462 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    A paradox existed in the Soviet Union in 1989, as the movement that led to the eventual overthrow of communism was really launched by the Soviet Union itself. Multiple factors led to this overthrow. In addition, there were three key people who contributed, at least in part, to the demise of Communism. Gorbachev was the Soviet premier at the time and had a hand in the dismantling of the Soviet power structure. While he was not the one who started the ball rolling, he did contribute to where it landed.…

    • 1123 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The relationship became tense when the United States feared that Russian leader Joseph Stalin would spread communist rule. (Cold War History) Both countries being sovereign nations could not control the other’s economic system. State Sovereign means the power of a state to do everything necessary to govern itself. (State Sovereignty) This conflict led to what is commonly know know as the The Cold War. The Cold War began in the late 40’s.…

    • 1163 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Ronald really spoke to the people from Berlin about how the wall wasn 't fair. In fact, one of his most memorable line from his speech was “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization:Come here to this gate! Mr.Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr.Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”. All Reagan wanted was to peacefully end communism from…

    • 1006 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The prevailing view of most Americans is that the collapse of the Soviet Union was primarily caused by the pressures of the arms race during the Cold War. After reading Kotkin 's book Armageddon Averted it is clear that the internal changes that were going on inside the Soviet Union were far more influential in the collapse of the Soviet Union than in any external pressures brought on by the Reagan era arms buildup. The internal changes that were going on in the Soviet Union during this time that contributed to the collapse were the reform movement policies of Perestroika and Glasnost instituted by Gorbachev which led to support for nationalism among the states that made up the Soviet union, and the opening up of democracy with elections…

    • 1264 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    There were several major causes for the collapse of the Soviet Union. After Soviet leaders extended their navy and support for rebel movements; the United States restated an anti-Soviet posture in 1981, when Ronald Regan threatened the Soviet regime with intensive military spending. After 1985 a new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, tried to save communism by introducing reforms. Gorbachev’s attempts to salvage communism failed and in 1989 after communism was replaced with solidarity the Berlin Wall fell, and in 1991 the Soviet Union disbanded. During the 1980 campaign, Republican Ronald Regan promised to restore American power and confidence which landed him the majority vote.…

    • 1120 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The Cold War had a variety of causes and consequences that affected the world superpowers at the time. There were many positive and negative effects of the Cold War. Most of these effects fell in favor with the U.S. and led to the demise of the Soviet Union. Even though the U.S. and the Soviet Union were allies during World War II, they disagreed on the way they wanted to bring about change in the world and thus became enemies. “Together, these nations and others brought about the downfall of Hitler's Third Reich.…

    • 433 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Prior to Ronald Reagan taking office in 1981, the Cold War impasse felt like a victory for the American people. However, Ronald Reagan did not see victory, he saw this stalemate as weak and un-American. Reagan’s new take on dealing with the Soviet Union can be summarized in two words: God and Freedom. With these two guiding principles, Reagan ditched dètente and got fellow world leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II to join with him against the “evil empire.” With the “renewal of conservative values” behind him, Ronald Reagan used the argument of “Freedom and God” to fight the totalitarian and godless Soviet Union. From the beginning of his presidency, Reagan broke the status quo of diplomacy with the Soviet Union.…

    • 1044 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The two presidents who brought the wall to its downfall were Ronald Reagan, a former actor and then president, in the USA and Mikhail Gorbachev, a reformer, in the USSR, even though Reagan was not the president of America anymore when the actual downfall happened. Although the actual downfall was a result of the east German population and in the end the decision of the GDR’s government, Gorbachev played a far more important role to bring the issue to the point were a decision for a wall would even be possible and Reagan played a role to enhance the issue towards his favour of the fall of the wall and the Soviet union, but he only influenced a little in the end where he was more relying on Gorbachev’s decisions than vice versa. Investigation: Ronald…

    • 1692 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Gorbachev came to power as the head of the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, and during his time in office he introduced a series of reforms which were seen to contribute to the communist bloc’s disillusion. His primary reforms were economic and political, but the policies associated with Gorbachev were glasnost (publicity, openness), perestroika (restructuring), uskorenie (acceleration) and demokratizatsaiia (democratisation). The reforms were so destabilising as the economic reforms were unsuccessful and necessitated political reform, the political reforms gave way for criticism and dismantled the power of the Communist Party, whilst the communist bloc took the opportunity to begin acting as independent states. The reforms severely weakened…

    • 1967 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays