What Factors Led to the End of Cold War

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Submitted By surbhiprakash
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What factors led to the end of the Cold War?
The Cold War, which is a much discussed topic till today in the political corridors, was an extended conflict at worldwide level between two great powers, where one favored communism and the other favored capitalism (Baylis and Smith, 2007:770). It started in 1947 and ended after a long haul in 1989 and resulted in the collapse of one side, which was Soviet power in Europe.
There were many factors which played role in the end of the Cold War. But the major factors were: the reforms brought about by Gorbachev, weakening economy of Soviet Union, the Satellite States refraining from supporting USSR, and various external factors. The different external factors which led to the end of the cold war were: diplomatic relations between USSR and United States, several treaties signed between them which limited the use of arms.
While all the above mentioned factors were important, the leading factor contributing to the end of Cold War was the radical reforms brought by Gorbachev which made all the systemic problems turn into systemic crises. This in turn led to the unwilling initiation of the divide of the Soviet Union and as a result to the end of the Cold War (Crockatt, 2007:115).
There was a difference in attitude of Gorbachev from his predecessors as he was not strongly adhered to Stalinist Legacy (Crockatt, 2006:114). The reforms brought by him such as perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness) are considered as the most important factors leading to the end of the Cold War.
References
The End of Cold War (NA). Retrieved on October 24, 2013 from http://www.ushistory.org/us/59e.asp…...

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