The superpowers

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the USA and the Soviet Union (USSR) tried to reduce the tension that existed between them. This became known as the 'détente era'.

There are a number of reasons why the Superpowers altered the way they related to each other:

  • The Cuban Missile Crisis 1962 showed the risks of not cooperating with each other.
  • The USA was involved in the Vietnam War and could not send troops anywhere else.
  • Détente was a propaganda opportunity for both sides. They each could show that they wanted to make the world safe.
  • Détente helped the superpowers save money as they were able to reduce the amount spent on the arms race.