Ronald Reagan President of the United STaes during the cold war

Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)

  • A missile defense system meant to protect the U. S. from nuclear attacks.
  • It was nicknamed Star Wars because it contained many strange, outlandish ideas, many of which included lasers.
  • The system was supposed to use different methods to stop moving targets.
  • In order to put this system into place, lots of nuclear power was needed. Most of the ideas needed to much nuclear power or were impossible to accomplish with the technology available at the time, therefore; SDI was set aside.

Arms Treaty

  • Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF)
  • A treaty signed by Mikhail Gorbachev, the leader of the Soviet Union, and Ronald Reagan in December 1987.
  • Soviets got rid of almost 1500 medium-range missiles.
  • The U. S. got rid of about half that number or missiles.

"Tear Down this Wall" Speech

  • Famous speech by Ronald Reagan.
  • Date: June 12, 1987
  • Ronald Reagan wanted Mikhail Gorbachev to take down the wall that separated east and west Berlin.
  • Almost two years after his speech, the wall was torn down.
  • “There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace.” He then called upon his Soviet counterpart: “Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace–if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe–if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” (

Defense Spending

  • During his presidency, Ronald Reagan spent almost as much money as presidents Ford, Carter, and Nixon did combined.
  • His defense spending reached as high as $456.5 billion.
  • In total, during his presidency, debt rose to about $3 trillion.

Communism/Reagan Doctrine

  • Ronald Reagan supported anti-Communist regimes such as ones in El Salvador or Guatemala and the Contra Rebels in Nicaragua.
  • He created the Reagan Doctrine with the hopes of overwhelming the global influence of the Soviet Union in order to end the Cold War.
  • It showed support for anti-Communism and provided financial and military support for anti-Communists fighters. Many anti-Communist fighters it supported were in Latin America, Africa, or Asia.
  • Reagan hoped that by doing this it would end the spread of Communism or stop Communism all together.


Ronald Reagan was involved in the Space Race because he helped to create the Strategic Defense Initiative, even though it was never put into place. He was also involved with weapons and nuclear power because of SDI and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. In the end, the Cold War was resolved. Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev had formed a sort of friendly relationship during their meetings, and because of this were able to end the war peacefully. Both Reagan and Gorbachev agreed with the thought that the whole world had won, not just the Soviets or United States. Reagan believed that the West won overall because democracy prevailed over Communism.

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