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President Bush's Remarks to the Polish National Assembly

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President George H. W. Bush visited Poland and Hungary in July 1989 after June elections in which Solidarity candidates won 160 of the 161 seats in the Sejm that were available to them and 92 of the 100 seats of the Polish Senate. In addition, many leaders of the Communist Party failed to secure enough votes to be elected to the parliament they had controlled for four decades. Pursuing a new... Read More »

President Bush's Statement on the Anniversary of the Berlin Wall

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In May 1989, Hungary began to dismember the barbed wire fences and mines surrounding its border with Austria, prompting the largest exodus of East Germans since August 1961 when East Germany constructed the Berlin Wall to stop the flow of emigrants to the West. Tensions during the summer of 1989 between East and West Germany were at their highest level since 1961, as fleeing East Germans... Read More »

President George H.W. Bush and Solidarity Leader Lech Walesa in Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters Following a Luncheon in Gdansk, 11 July 1989

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The transition to a Solidarity-led government in Poland was closely associated with the introduction of market-oriented economic reforms. Many Poles hoped that this might lead to a dramatic improvement in the country’s economy, not only through the stimulation of domestic growth but also through the attraction of investment and outright financial aid from the West. In this brief exchange with... Read More »

President Reagan Addresses Congress Following the US-Soviet Summit in Geneva

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Ronald Reagan began his presidency in 1981 confident that the policy of détente with the Soviet Union—initiated by Richard Nixon in May 1972 and terminated in January 1980 by Jimmy Carter as a response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan—was misguided. During his first three years in office, Reagan substituted a confrontational approach that he mediated occasionally with pragmatic policies.... Read More »

President Reagan Answers Questions about the Iceland Summit

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Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev initiated the October 1986 weekend summit at Reykjavik, Iceland with President Ronald Reagan after progress in arms negotiations had slowed following their first meeting in Geneva the previous November. At the conclusion of two days of intense bargaining in what they had described only as an “interim summit” prior to a more substantial proposed meeting in... Read More »

President Reagan Discusses His Meetings With Mikhail Gorbachev in Iceland

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Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev initiated the October 1986 weekend summit at Reykjavik, Iceland with President Ronald Reagan after progress in arms negotiations had slowed following their first meeting in Geneva the previous November. The meeting was billed as an “interim summit” in preparation for a more substantial one in Washington. At the conclusion of two days of intense bargaining that... Read More »

President Reagan Discusses Summit Meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev, 1987

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The Washington summit of December 7-10, 1987 between President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, their third such meeting, was called “historic” by both participants. On December 8, they signed the first treaty between the superpowers to reduce nuclear weapons arsenals, the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and continued Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START... Read More »

President Reagan Discusses the crisis in Poland

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In August 1980, a worker's strike began in Gdansk, Poland in reaction to the struggling economy and massive shortages. In a compromise, the Communist government legalized Solidarity, but this only increased tensions. Imports from the Soviet Union and the West failed to improve the economy, with more strikes becoming endemic throughout 1980 and 1981. Fearing a Soviet military invasion to... Read More »

President Reagan Proposes a Missile Defense System

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Since 1949, when the Soviet Union first successfully tested an atom bomb, the national security policies of both the US and the Soviets derived from a doctrine of deterrence rather than one of defense against attack. By deploying enough weapons to insure the destruction of the country that launched a nuclear strike, the Cold War rivals adopted a policy of mutual assured destruction (MAD) to... Read More »

President Reagan's "Evil Empire" Speech to the National Association of Evangelicals

Source

Ronald Reagan began his presidency in 1981 confident that the policy of détente with the Soviet Union—initiated by Richard Nixon in May 1972 and terminated in January 1980 by Jimmy Carter as a response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan—was misguided. During his first three years in office, Reagan substituted a confrontational approach that he mediated occasionally with pragmatic policies.... Read More »

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