To understand the importance of Poland in the
1980s you need to understand what happened after the USSR invasion
of Czechoslovakia 1968 and the defeat of the United States in
Vietnam. The 1970s were known as a period of Détente. Détente
is a French word meaning relaxation. The 1970s were a time when the
tension between the Superpowers relaxed or improved, the Cold War
Read Tony McAleavy Cambridge Modern World
History pp.156-59. Complete
Useful Background (if you have time)
(i) Read J F Aylett The Cold War and After
pp.34-35. Answer Questions 1a, b, c, 2a and 3a only.
(ii) Explain why Détente came to an end. You
should be able to answer this in a few sentences, but before you can
do so you need to read the next two chapters of Aylett. These deal
with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the role of the new US
President Ronald Reagan.