Lesson overview: How did Gorbachev's 'new thinking' reduce tensions between the superpowers?

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In this lesson, you will learn about the changes that Mikhail Gorbachev made to the USSR and Soviet control of Eastern Europe. You will learn about what his 'new thinking' entailed and how this led to a reduction in tensions between the USA and the USSR. In particular, you will examine the Summit Conferences of 1985-1988 to see how Gorbachev's 'new thinking' enabled agreements to be made between the superpowers and contributed eventually to the end of the Cold War.

Intro Quiz




Exit Quiz


30 lessons in The Cold War: Superpower relations from 1941- 1991:

  1. Grand Alliance, 1941-1945: Why were they unlikely allies?
  2. Why did tension develop at the wartime conferences?
  3. Why did the atomic bombs damage US-Soviet relations?
  4. Why did the 1946 telegrams increase the tension?
  5. Did Churchill officially announce the beginning of the Cold War?
  6. What were the consequences of Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe?
  7. How far did early tension begin to show in the breakdown of the Grand Alliance?
  8. Why did the Truman Doctrine increase the tension between the Superpowers?
  9. How significant was the Soviet response to the Truman Doctrine?
  10. What was the Berlin blockade?
  11. What were the consequences of the Berlin blockade?
  12. How significant were events in Asia for superpower relations?
  13. How did the arms race increase tensions?
  14. Why did the space race make US-Soviet relations worse?
  15. Why did the Hungarians challenge Communist control?
  16. How significant was the Hungarian uprising?
  17. Why did the Cold War intensify between 1950-1958?
  18. Why was the Berlin Wall built?
  19. What were the consequences of the building of the Berlin Wall?
  20. Why did the Cuban Revolution change the relationship between the superpowers?
  21. How was the Cuban Missile Crisis resolved and with what significance?
  22. What were the causes and consequences of the Prague Spring?
  23. What was detente and why did it happen?
  24. Why did detente not last?
  25. Why did Reagan's policies increase tension?
  26. Explore the Enquiry
  27. How did Gorbachev's 'new thinking' reduce tensions between the superpowers?
  28. How did the Soviet Union's hold on Eastern Europe come to an end?
  29. What did the fall of the Berlin Wall mean for the Cold War?
  30. Why did the Cold War come to an end?