wk4D3 The End of the Cold War

Week 4: New World Order and New Issues

“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!”

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—U .S. President Ronald Reagan, June 12, 1987

President Reagan’s speech, “Tear Down This Wall,” was at the forefront of the fall of Communism and the Berlin Wall. Nations that were once divided by both physical and political barriers began to work together on a common goal of becoming united as Europe faced the arduous task of rebuilding. As the world looked on, Eastern European nations reentered the world marketplace and began building a solid foundation that would bring with it advancements and new opportunities. This increase in global marketplace traffic created a ripple effect, spiking the need for an increase in science, technology, and communication worldwide.

At the same time, the another ripple of this era included the longstanding conflict between Israel and Palestine. In the Middle East, there were struggles over the West Bank, Gaza Strip, the status of the Palestinian state and Jerusalem.

This week, you will continue your review of the end of the Cold War. In doing so, you will examine the correlation between the end of the Cold War and how globalization began to rise during that era. You will also discover how the fall of Communism affected the citizens of the European nations. In addition, you will also explore the civil unrest in the Middle East during this time.

Learning Objectives
By the end of this week, you should be able to:
Assess the role of nationalism in the breakup of the Soviet Union and the conflict in the Middle East
Select and defend the biggest change in a country and the lives of the citizens after the collapse of Communism
Identify political leaders and events in the Middle East during the post–Cold War era
Learning Resources

Required Readings

Reilly, K. (2012). The human journey: A concise introduction to world history. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

The Human Journey: A Concise Introduction to World History, 1450 to the Present, 2nd Edition by Reilly, K. Copyright 2012​ by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.. Reprinted by permission of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Read sections on “The United States as a Global Power,” “Achieving Independence” and “New Nations on the Global Stage.”

Lukacs, J. (2013). A short history of the twentieth century.

Read Chapters 12, 13 and 15.

Reagan, R. (Speaker). (1987). Tear down this wall.

Gorbachev, M. (Speaker). (1990). Acceptance speech for Nobel Prize.

Al-Sadat, M., & Begin, M. (1978). The Camp David accords: The framework for peace in the Middle East.

Discussion: The End of the Cold War

We had a lot of everything — land, oil and gas, other natural resources — and there was intellect and talent in abundance. However, we were living much worse than people in the industrialized countries…This country was suffocating in the shackles of the bureaucratic command system. Doomed to cater to ideology, and suffer and carry the onerous burden of the arms race, it found itself at the breaking point…This society has acquired freedom. It has been freed politically and spiritually, and this is the most important achievement that we have yet fully come to grips with. And we haven’t, because we haven’t learned to use freedom yet.

We’re now living in a new world. And end has been put to the cold war and to the arms race, as well as to the mad militarization of the country, which has crippled our economy, public attitudes and morals…We are heirs of a great civilization and it now depends on all and everyone whether or not this civilization will make a comeback to a new and decent living today. I would like, from the bottom of my heart, to thank everyone who has stood by me throughout these years, working for the righteous and good cause.

-Mikael Gorbachev, 1991

In this Discussion you will be analyzing the reasons behind and consequences of the fall of the Soviet Union, and the impact of its fall on countries across the world.

To prepare for this Discussion:

Review Reilley and Lukacs in the Learning Resources.
Read President Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall” speech from this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on its impact upon the breakdown of the Soviet Union.
Review Gorbachev’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech from this week’s Learning Resources.
Think about the power of nationalism in the United States.
Consider the weaknesses of the Soviet Union’s Communist structure, specifically the governmental and economical aspects.
Draw from your reading this week as well as past weeks and consider the tensions in the Middle East and how different peoples there view the West.
Assess the role of nationalism in the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Assess the role of nationalism in the Middle East conflict.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post an analysis (2–3 paragraphs) where you address:

The major reasons why the Soviet Union collapsed.
The extent to which Russian people were ready to embrace the reforms that ended the Soviet Union.
The impact of the Soviet Union’s collapse on the world.

Be sure to support your ideas by properly citing at least one of week’s Learning Resources, in APA format, within your initial post. As this is a post-first discussion board, you will not be able to see the work of your peers until you have posted the initial discussion requirement for the week.

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