Stalemate: The Cold War

Stalemate: The Cold War

Part 6
Season 1  |  Episode 6  |  The History Channel  |  October 1, 2018

In this final episode in the series we examine the end game of the Cold War and look at how the gradual thawing of the conflict began. This was the era that began with detente and ended with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Neither Reagan nor Thatcher believed in the high ideals of detente. They spoke the language of new weapons and renewed aggression towards communism. Thatcher's foreign policy was confrontational and confident. She, just as Reagan, saw no reason to compromise with or accept communism. In Thatcher, Reagan saw a great ally and the chance to expand its nuclear sphere of influence. At the same time, the Soviet Union was suffering the effects of life under a succession of failed rulers. The economy was collapsing and there was growing dissent among the nations in the Soviet Empire. One by one countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia rejected Soviet rule and established their own independence. Russia had lost its superpower status and with it had gone the need for cold war. But did the end of this period in history bring about the positive social changes that everyone predicted or did it leave behind it a world empty of order, just as dangerous but in a different way? Time has yet to tell but it is certain that history has not quite finished with America and Russia.

In this final episode in the series we examine the end game of the Cold War and look at how the gradual thawing of the conflict began. This was the era that began with detente and ended with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Neither Reagan nor Thatcher believed in the high ideals of detente. They spoke the language of new weapons and renewed aggression towards communism. Thatcher's foreign policy was confrontational and confident. She, just as Reagan, saw no reason to compromise with or accept communism. In Thatcher, Reagan saw a great ally and the chance to expand its nuclear sphere of influence. At the same time, the Soviet Union was suffering the effects of life under a succession of failed rulers. The economy was collapsing and there was growing dissent among the nations in the Soviet Empire. One by one countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia rejected Soviet rule and established their own independence. Russia had lost its superpower status and with it had gone the need for cold war. But did the end of this period in history bring about the positive social changes that everyone predicted or did it leave behind it a world empty of order, just as dangerous but in a different way? Time has yet to tell but it is certain that history has not quite finished with America and Russia.

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