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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

Gorbachev and Reagan
Gorbachev and Reagan
Gorbachev & the Anglo-Irish Agreement
In March 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev succeeded Konstantin Chernenko as leader of the Soviet Union. Both Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher made it publicly clear that they looked to Gorbachev to make great changes in the Soviet Union. Gorbachev, already a reformer, was to introduce glasnost and peristroika the concepts of freedom to publicize change as reconstruction of the system.

Margaret Thatcher signed yet another Anglo-Irish Agreement (the Hillsborough Agreement) with the Irish Taoiseach, Garret FitzGerald. Peace however, appeared no closer as a result of the signing ceremony

Mikhail Sergeyvich Gorbachev (born 1931)

  • Mikhail Gorbachev was born in the North Caucasus region and went to Moscow University to study law in 1950.
  • He married Raisa.
  • He joined the Communist Party in 1952 and later became regional agricultural secretary in 1962 and Stavropol party leader in 1970.
  • In 1980 he became a member of the Politburo.
  • He was appointed party general-secretary in 1985 after the death of Chernenko.
  • His concepts of reform were welcomed throughout the Soviet Union and the Western democracies.
  • But his reforms did not include the abolition of Communism.
  • One of his concepts was that Communism and capitalism could work alongside each other (Lenin had expressed a similar view).
  • He was eventually removed from power at the hands of Boris Yeltsin.
  • He remained an international figure, but of no consequence in Soviet and later Russian politics.

did you know?
Two Live Aid concerts - one in Wembley Stadium, one in JFK Stadium in Philadelphia - raised £40 million for African famine relief

Select historical period

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1979 Margaret Thatcher PM (Conservative)
Rhodesian settlement at Lancaster House
1980 Southern Rhodesia becomes Zimbabwe
1981 Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer
Ronald Reagan President of the USA
1982 Britain wins the Falklands War
1983 Margaret Thatcher wins landslide victory
1984 Indira Gandhi of India assassinated
Death of poet, John Betjeman
1985 Mikhail Gorbachev succeeds Chernenko as Soviet leader
1986 Elizabeth II first British monarch to visit China
1987 Worst storm of the century rages over Great Britain
1988 George Bush wins US Presidential election
1989 Tiananmen Square massacre
1990 Thatcher overthrown. Party elects John Major to replace her

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