Describe Ronald Reagan's impact on the end of the cold war

Essay by cmelton05High School, 12th gradeA+, March 2005

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Ronald Reagan:

Catalyst to the Dissolution of the Soviet Union

"Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." With that epic statement Ronald Reagan forcefully ordered that the Berlin wall be torn down. The destruction of the wall was symbolic of the elimination of the Soviet Union's strangle hold of Eastern Europe. Ronald Reagan's role in cementing the victory of the United States over the Soviet Union during the Cold War cannot be overstated. The pressures placed upon the Soviet Union by Ronald Reagan's administration, through economic blockades, a fevered arms race, and through constant pushes towards freedom and democracy, resulted in the implementation of many democratic reforms by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, which eventually caused the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union suffered from several mortal flaws that when strained by the policies of Reagan administration caused the eventual demise of U.S.S.R., important among these were certain inherent flaws in their agricultural system.

Rather than have individual, private farms, the Soviet Union had a communal farming system in which community land was cultivated and farmed by the people. However, the inherent flaw here was that the farmers did not benefit from their own hard work, regardless of how hard they worked, they never received anything in return. This resulted in inefficiency in the harvest of the food. According to Frank Smitha , creator of the World History site, " much as forty or fifty percent of a crop might rot in the fields." Due to the inefficiencies in the harvest and transportation of the crops, there resulted an inability to get the crops to market. The resulting shortage of food from Soviet farms, forced the Soviets to import food for the people. Further, because of the desperate need for food in the U.S.S.R., Reagan was able to...