This 1986 summit between Reagan and Gorbachev focused on agreements in principle to reduce all strategic nuclear weapons 50% over a five-year period and to limit intermediate-range nuclear forces to 100 warheads for each side. This opened the door for START and the INF Treaty. The meeting between the two leaders became chilly, however, when Reagan refused to back away from SDI.
Upon entering office in 1981, Reagan was surprised to learn that the Soviets were genuinely afraid of America and Americans– believing the United States was capable (or desirous) of launching a first strike against them.
Conservativism was a unified ideological whole. There were no inconsistencies or differences within the movement in the 1980s.
At this 1987 summit, Reagan and Gorbachev agreed to the INF Treaty, which eliminated all intermediate-range missiles within a three-year time frame.
Reagan was able to hold conservatives together in the 1980s, but after his presidency ended (and the Soviet threat ended), conservatism began to fracture.
Which of the following is true regarding John Patrick Diggin’s 2007 book Ronald Reagan: Fate, Freedom, and the Making of History?
Why did Reagan not meet with Soviet leaders during his first term?
This Soviet leader served for only 13 months, from February 1984 until March 1985.
What did Reagan believe to be the single most important reason for the historic breakthroughs in U.S.-Soviet relations during his second term?
This foreign leader (and Cold War hardliner) met with Gorbachev in 1985 and judged him to be a different kind of Soviet leader. It was this same leader that encouraged Reagan to work with Gorbachev.
Reagan never surrendered his support for SDI.
Gorbachev’s call for increased openness and transparency in government institutions and activities.
Why did Reagan move toward meeting with the Soviets in his second term?
According to his autobiography, Reagan disliked nuclear weapons because it fundamentally changed the rules of warfare. Instead of soldiers fighting soldiers, Mankind had put its faith in a weapon whose fundamental target was civil populations.
Gorbachev’s plan for the restructuring of the Soviet economy (including the replacement of strict planning with a greater reliance on a free market).
Before he met Gorbachev in 1985, Reagan believed all Russians to be cold and impersonal.
This influential Cold War historian argued that Reagan ended the Cold War by “changing rather than containing” the Soviet Union. “In doing so, he resolved a contradiction that had bedeviled strategists of containment from the earliest days of the Cold War”
According to Reagan, his goal in arms control talks with the Soviets was to limit arms, and not necessarily reduce them.
Reagan—as he insisted in his autobiography– never viewed SDI as an impenetrable shield. He believed, though, that if it worked– and the nations of the world agreed to eliminate nuclear weapons– it could serve as a safety valve against cheating– or attacks by lunatics who managed to get their hands on a nuclear missile.
This 2007 work contends that Reagan helped end the Cold War by exercising prudent diplomacy and skillful statesmanship rather than by crusading against communism and exploiting Soviet vulnerabilities.
Contrary to popular belief, neither Gorbachev nor the Soviet government were ever really concerned about SDI.
Who was the first scholar—in books like Victory: The Reagan Administration’s Secret Strategy That Hastened the Collapse of the Soviet Union (1994) and Reagan’s War (2002)—to significantly make the case that Reagan deliberately set out to win the Cold War?
According to scholars such as Peter Schweizer, the heart of Reagan’s strategy or crusade against communism was a sophisticated effort to exploit Soviet vulnerabilities, especially its economic vulnerabilities. What were those efforts?
At this 1985 summit between Reagan and Gorbachev, no important agreements emerged, but it was an opportunity for the two leader to get to know each other and to exchange views on arms control questions, human rights issues, and regional conflicts. Also known as the “fireside summit.”
This 2006 work on Reagan contends that his goal of defeating communism and winning the Cold War can be traced to his early struggles against communists in Hollywood as head of the Screen Actors Guild in the late 1940s.
SDI was never an arms control bargaining chip for Reagan. The U.S. was going to stick with it no matter what the Soviets wanted.
The fifth and final meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev. It coincided with Gorbachev’s visit to the United States to address the United Nations. President-elect George Bush also met with the two leaders. This was not “a working summit” and there was no set agenda.
One of the problems about Reagan’s position on SDI is that he was never willing to share SDI technology with the Soviets.
Reagan was able to achieve arms reduction arrangements with the Soviets because by 1987 he was willing to back away from SDI.
Does Francis Sempa, in his 2007 essay on Reagan and the end of the Cold War, believe Reagan was a crusader or conciliator when it came to Cold War affairs?
Discuss—based on lectures—Reagan and conservativism. Be sure to identify the tension within the conservative movement in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
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