The Cold War Ends Timeline

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Feb 4, 2012

Time Line

1973 Roe v. Wade
1976 Jimmy Carter elected president
1977 Congress creates Department of Energy

Panama Canal treaties

Camp David Accords


Three Mile Island nuclear reactor failure

Soviet Union invades Afghanistan


Ronald Reagan elected president

Polish workers strike for the right to form unions

1984 Reagan reelected
1985 Mikhail Gorbachev becomes premier of Soviet Union
1986 “Iran Contra” scandal
1988 George Bush elected president
1989 Berlin Wall comes down

Soviet Union breaks up

East and West Germany reunited

Persian Gulf War


The Cold War Ends

In 1976, the year of the U.S. bicentennial, Democrat Jimmy Carter defeated incumbent President Ford in a close election. Carter had no experience of Washington politics—a point in his favor among voters who were sick of Washington. Despite major achievements in foreign policy, Carter was considered an ineffective president and served for only one term.

In the 1980 election, Ronald Reagan of California was an attractive enough candidate to win many Democratic voters. He promised to balance the federal budget, but instead ran up the federal highest deficits in history. His successor George Bush continued Reagan’s policies, bringing the nation to what seemed to many to be the brink of another Great Depression. Rising prices, rising unemployment, widespread buying on credit, and stock market fluctuations all contributed to ruining the national economy.

The Cold War ended during the Reagan–Bush years, and with it ended the long-standing hostility between the United States and the now-defunct Soviet Union.

Practice questions for these concepts can be found at:

The Cold War Ends Practice Test

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