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President Reagan and the Cold War: Vision and Diplomacy

Making Connections

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

In this activity, we will analyze primary sources that document the role of leadership and diplomacy in ending the Cold War and the special relationship between President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev. As a class, we will analyze each document and then figure out how they connect to the story of the ending of the Cold War.


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

President Reagan and the Cold War: Vision and Diplomacy

Making Connections

Examine the documents and text included in this activity. Fill in any blanks in the sequence with your thoughts and write your conclusion response in the space provided.

Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983


Photograph of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at the first Summit in Geneva


Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev (English version)


Box 1

•What was the status of U.S. Soviet relations in 1983?
•What Soviet leader headed the Soviet Union in 1983?
•What Soviet leader was in power in 1985?
•What words would you use to describe the mood in the room in document one?
•What words would you use to describe the mood in the room in document two?

Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev


Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]


Box 2

•Describe the diplomatic relationship between President Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.
•Describe some of the major differences in tone between documents four and five.
•Think about the number of audiences a president addresses. What might be some differences between talking to the American people at large and official diplomatic government communications?

Photograph of President Reagan giving a speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Federal Republic of Germany


Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]


Photograph of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty in the East Room of the White House


Box 3

•What are some of the differences between the words delivered at the Brandenburg Gate and the signing of the INF Treaty?
•What connections can be found between political rhetoric and diplomatic action? Is this relationship always easy to explain or define? What lessons have history taught us about President Reagan’s foreign policy strategies?



1

Activity Element

Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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2

Activity Element

Photograph of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at the first Summit in Geneva

Page 1



3

Activity Element

Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev (English version)

Page 1



4

Activity Element

Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev

Page 1



5

Activity Element

Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

Page 1



6

Activity Element

Photograph of President Reagan giving a speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Federal Republic of Germany

Page 1



7

Activity Element

Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

Page 1



8

Activity Element

Photograph of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty in the East Room of the White House

Page 2



Conclusion

President Reagan and the Cold War: Vision and Diplomacy

Making Connections

We have put documents together to tell the story of President Reagan and the Cold War.

  • What conclusions did you come to?
  • What other kinds of documents would provide us with the information about President Reagan and the Cold War that were not included in this activity?
  • How do you think this new evidence would influence your understanding of the Cold War?


Your Response




Document

Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

3/8/1983

Draft of the address that became popularly known as the "Evil Empire" speech. This draft is heavily edited by Ronald Reagan, in his handwriting.
This primary source comes from the Collection RR-WHORM: White House Office of Records Management File Systems (White House Central Files).
National Archives Identifier: 198500
Full Citation: Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983; 3/8/1983; Collection RR-WHORM: White House Office of Records Management File Systems (White House Central Files), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/presidential-address-national-association-of-evangelicals-orlando-florida-tuesday-march-8-1983, December 10, 2019]


Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Presidential Address: National Association of Evangelicals, Orlando, Florida, Tuesday, March 8, 1983

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Document

Photograph of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at the first Summit in Geneva

11/19/1985


Additional details from our exhibits and publications

President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, Geneva, Switzerland.
This primary source comes from the Collection RR-WHPO: White House Photographic Collection.
National Archives Identifier: 198570
Full Citation: Photograph of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at the first Summit in Geneva; 11/19/1985; Collection RR-WHPO: White House Photographic Collection, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/photograph-of-president-reagan-and-general-secretary-gorbachev-at-the-first-summit-in-geneva, December 10, 2019]


Photograph of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at the first Summit in Geneva

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Document

Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev (English version)

11/28/1985

Handwritten draft by Ronald Reagan, re the aftermath of the 1985 Geneva Summit.

Additional details from our exhibits and publications

President Ronald Reagan handwrote this letter on November 28, 1985. In it, he expresses his desire for a more constructive relationship to Mikhail Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The President had just met with Gorbachev in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 19.
This primary source comes from the Executive Secretariat, National Security Council: Records.
National Archives Identifier: 198162
Full Citation: Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev (English version); 11/28/1985; Executive Secretariat, National Security Council: Records, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/letter-from-ronald-reagan-to-mikhail-gorbachev-english-version, December 10, 2019]


Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev (English version)

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Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev (English version)

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Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev (English version)

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Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev (English version)

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Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev (English version)

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Document

Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev

2/16/1986

Handwritten letter from Reagan, responding to Gobachev letters of December 1985 and January 1986
This primary source comes from the Collection RR-EXSEC: Executive Secretariat, National Security Council: Records.
National Archives Identifier: 198165
Full Citation: Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev; 2/16/1986; Collection RR-EXSEC: Executive Secretariat, National Security Council: Records, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/letter-from-ronald-reagan-to-mikhail-gorbachev, December 10, 2019]


Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev

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Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev

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Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev

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Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev

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Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev

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Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev

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Letter from Ronald Reagan to Mikhail Gorbachev

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Document

Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

10/13/1986

Draft of Ronald Reagan's nationally televised address given in the aftermath of the Rejkyavik Summit with Mikhail Gorbachev. Handwritten notation on first page states, "Combined new text w/RR's [Ronald Reagan's] insert."
This primary source comes from the Collection RR-WHORM: White House Office of Records Management File Systems (White House Central Files).
National Archives Identifier: 198482
Full Citation: Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]; 10/13/1986; Collection RR-WHORM: White House Office of Records Management File Systems (White House Central Files), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/presidential-address-to-the-nation-iceland-meeting-monday-october-13-1986-[101386-500pm-draft], December 10, 2019]


Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

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Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

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Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

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Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

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Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

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Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

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Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

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Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

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Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

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Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

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Presidential Address to the Nation: Iceland Meeting: Monday, October 13, 1986 [10/13/86 5:00pm draft]

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Document

Photograph of President Reagan giving a speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Federal Republic of Germany

6/12/1987

This primary source comes from the Collection RR-WHPO: White House Photographic Collection.
National Archives Identifier: 198585
Full Citation: Photograph of President Reagan giving a speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Federal Republic of Germany; 6/12/1987; Collection RR-WHPO: White House Photographic Collection, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/photograph-of-president-reagan-giving-a-speech-at-the-berlin-wall-brandenburg-gate-federal-republic-of-germany, December 10, 2019]


Photograph of President Reagan giving a speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Federal Republic of Germany

Page 1



Document

Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

6/12/1987

In June 1987, President Ronald Reagan spoke at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. This page from President Reagan’s speaking copy of his remarks includes his call to Soviet President Michael Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall.” Selected pages are shown.
This primary source comes from the White House Office of Records Management File Systems (White House Central Files).
National Archives Identifier: 198491
Full Citation: Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]; 6/12/1987; White House Office of Records Management File Systems (White House Central Files), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/remarks-at-brandenberg-gate-berlin-germany-[presidents-speaking-copy], December 10, 2019]


Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Remarks at Brandenberg Gate, Berlin, Germany [President's Speaking Copy]

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Document

Photograph of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty in the East Room of the White House

12/8/1987

This primary source comes from the Collection RR-WHPO: White House Photographic Collection.
National Archives Identifier: 198588
Full Citation: Photograph of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty in the East Room of the White House; 12/8/1987; Collection RR-WHPO: White House Photographic Collection, . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/photograph-of-president-reagan-and-general-secretary-gorbachev-signing-the-inf-treaty-in-the-east-room-of-the-white-house, December 10, 2019]


Photograph of President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty in the East Room of the White House

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