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WHY DID THE SOVIET UNION COLLAPSE The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the USSR are probably the most significant events of our lifetime so far The causes for the collapse of the Soviet Union consist of a combination of internal and external factors Briefly the external factors consist of the rivalry and eventual arms race between the United States and the USSR which almost led to nuclear war The Cold War triggered conflicts in different parts of the world in other words the rivalry between the United States and the USSR went on a global level although there had never been a direct confrontation between the two superpowers The internal factors are based on structural unstableness in the economy especially concerning rigid central planning The essay shall commence with the external factors thus the role the United States played in the collapse of the multi-ethnic entity A brief summary of what the situation was like after the Second World War shall be presented This will be done to set the historical context in which certain events triggered off the stockpiling of arms between the two superpowers A set of affairs which would drastically decrease the Soviet economy as it is still trying to reconstruct it to this day The United States and Soviet Unions rivalry officially began in 1945 But friction had actually been present ever since the beginning of the First World War Diplomatic efforts to lesson the tension had never been thoroughly dealt with because the past conflicts never drastically threatened the international system At the closing of the Second World War the victorious powers such as England and France had suffered great economic loss At this time the United States economy was very prosperous With 6 of the worlds population the US had 48 of the radios 46 of the electricity supplies and US companies controlled 59 of the worlds known oil reserves
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