Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev Ended the Cold War

Essay by dkirkhamHigh School, 10th grade May 2006

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Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was Time Magazine "Man of the Decade" in the 1980's, Time Magazine "Man of the Year" in 1987, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 "for his leading role in the peace process which today characterizes important parts of the international community." Yet, while we in America (and most of the rest of the World) have celebrated his achievements, in his own country the Russians think he's responsible for the problems that have followed the Soviet break-up. He ran for President in Russia in 1996 but only received one percent of the vote; a terrible disappointment for a man who was President of Russia from 1989 through 1991 and gave his countrymen freedom.

The Cold War was the conflict between two World powers, The United States and the Soviet Union that began at the Yalta conference in February, 1945, although President Roosevelt had wanted the future United Nations to deal with Stalin.

The Cold War wasn't a military war with regular weapons (although there were military actions that were backed by both countries) instead it was opposing ideas (capitalism and communism) fought with economic pressure, diplomatic manipulation, intimidation, and misinformation. It also included the Arms Race, where each side tried to develop better weapons.

When Mikhail Gorbachev rose to power as a Soviet leader in 1985 it was the start of the finish for the Cold War. "Lovely smile, iron grip" is how the foreign minister Andrei A. Gromyko, described Gorbachev when he suggested him for leadership. Gorbachev made concessions in the resolution of regional conflicts and arms negotiations, pursued closer relations with China, and improved relations with Europe. He also met with President Reagan and visited Washington D.C. "New Thinking" was Gorbachev's slogan based on shared moral and ethical principles to solve global...