How did Ronald Reagan's speech at the Brandenburg Gate reflect the end of the Cold War?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

President Reagan’s speech, famous for his challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” reflects the end of the Cold War for two main reasons.

First, the speech reflects on the different economic situations of the East and the West.  Reagan points out that there is great prosperity in the West while, in the communist bloc, there was

...failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind--too little food.

This reflects one of the major causes of the end of the Cold War.  The communist bloc was unable to give its people the material goods they wanted.

Second, the speech points out the importance of Gorbachev’s reforms.  Reagan referred to the changes that Gorbachev was making and pushed him to go farther.  This was another cause of the end of the Cold War.  Once Gorbachev had opened society to some degree, there was tremendous pressure on him to allow more and more freedom.