What were the main reasons why the US and the USSR moved to detente in 1963-1975?

Essay by KeirHigh School, 11th grade March 2006

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The term Détente is referred to the period in Cold War when the tensions between the US and the USSR reduced. The Cold War was triggered in 1945 when the US dropped the two atomic bombs, Little Boy and Fat Man, on Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki(August 9) respectively. In fact, even before 1945, the seeds of conflicts were already there despite the fact that they were allies in the Second World War. For instances, their different and contradicting ideologies (Capitalism vs. Communism), their resentments of history, their different aims in the conferences, were a few of the many causes of the Cold War. After the starting of the Cold War, the different events increased the tensions between the two Superpowers, for example the Berlin Blockade, however there was also a very short period of détente after the Korean War such as Khrushchev's secret speech in 1955. But the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 increased the tensions exponentially; the Third World War nearly broke out.

Since their relation was in such a tension, why then did they move to détente in 1963-1975? Actually, there were many reasons, and they could be mainly examined from the US, the Soviets, and China.

Détente was needed because both the US and the USSR were feared of the war that might break out betwixt them, since it would no longer be an ordinary war, but a nuclear war, which would very likely annihilate the whole human race, the mutually assured destruction. In July 16, 1945, the success of US in the Trinity Atomic Test marked the starting of a new era--the nuclear era. Merely 4 years after the America, on August 29, 1949, the USSR also successfully tested its atomic bombs. The US no longer had the monopoly in the nuclear bombs industry, if...