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The process of détente in the 1970s ensured that,
for a time at least, tensions were reduced between
the USA and USSR. But...
There were four main
reasons that détente
took place:
1. The Vietnam War
2. Money problems in the
USA and Soviet Union
3. ...
The Vietnam War
Vietnam had caused a
huge shock for the USA.
It had struggled to
beat a small, poor
country. And thousands...
As a result of
Vietnam, the US was
much less confident
about Cold War
victory.
It had also grown
tired of overseas war
and...
The USA wanted to
withdraw from Vietnam due
to this financial cost
and high death rate.
It hoped that détente
with the USS...
Fear of war
Both sides also worried
about what could happen
in a nuclear war.
The Cuban Missile Crisis
had shown how close...
People in the east and
west were also scared of
nuclear war.
In the west the campaign
group CND (Campaign for
Nuclear Disa...
The issue of Mutually
Assured Destruction
also scared both
countries.
For years, each side
had believed that the
other wou...
Money problems
Both sides were also facing
money problems in the 1970s.
The USA and USSR were both
struggling to pay for
d...
In 1973, each sides’
financial problems became
even worse.
The 1973 Oil Price Crisis
saw the price of oil
quadruple, which...
China
China had a, influence
on détente, especially
after developing nuclear
weapons in 1964.
Although it was
officially a...
The USA and China began to
develop better relations.
US President Richard Nixon
visited China in 1972.
The Soviet Union wo...
Cold War - Why did detente take place?
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Cold War - Why did detente take place?

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This page examines the reasons that detente between the USA and USSR took place in the 1970s.

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Cold War - Why did detente take place?

  1. 1. The process of détente in the 1970s ensured that, for a time at least, tensions were reduced between the USA and USSR. But why did this happen?
  2. 2. There were four main reasons that détente took place: 1. The Vietnam War 2. Money problems in the USA and Soviet Union 3. Fear of war 4. China
  3. 3. The Vietnam War Vietnam had caused a huge shock for the USA. It had struggled to beat a small, poor country. And thousands of US soldiers had lost their lives.
  4. 4. As a result of Vietnam, the US was much less confident about Cold War victory. It had also grown tired of overseas war and did not want to fall into another one.
  5. 5. The USA wanted to withdraw from Vietnam due to this financial cost and high death rate. It hoped that détente with the USSR might reduce the chances of Vietnam then becoming Communist.
  6. 6. Fear of war Both sides also worried about what could happen in a nuclear war. The Cuban Missile Crisis had shown how close such a war could be and caused fear amongst both sides' leaders.
  7. 7. People in the east and west were also scared of nuclear war. In the west the campaign group CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) was strong. This led to countries such as France and the UK putting pressure on the USA too.
  8. 8. The issue of Mutually Assured Destruction also scared both countries. For years, each side had believed that the other would not launch a first strike; now they were not sure.
  9. 9. Money problems Both sides were also facing money problems in the 1970s. The USA and USSR were both struggling to pay for domestic policies e.g. education, employment so could not afford to keep building weapons.
  10. 10. In 1973, each sides’ financial problems became even worse. The 1973 Oil Price Crisis saw the price of oil quadruple, which led to price increases for all products in all countries.
  11. 11. China China had a, influence on détente, especially after developing nuclear weapons in 1964. Although it was officially a Communist country, China was not a firm supporter of the Soviet Union.
  12. 12. The USA and China began to develop better relations. US President Richard Nixon visited China in 1972. The Soviet Union worried that this relationship would weaken them and so sought better relations with the USA too.

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