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Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 383–400 | Cite as

From Reykjavik to Fulton: Reagan, Thatcher, and the ending of the Cold War

  • James CooperEmail author
Article

Abstract

Following the 1986 Reykjavik Summit between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher debated the future of nuclear weapons and the solidarity of the western alliance with the American president. After leaving office, all three leaders delivered lectures at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, the site of Winston Churchill’s famous address that articulated the embryonic Cold War in 1946. This article argues that just as Reagan and Thatcher’s Fulton speeches held different emphases on the past and future of international affairs, Reykjavik was a flashpoint in the endgame of the Cold War that reflect different approaches to the challenges of the international system as outlined by Churchill at Westminster College. Thatcher, in the spirit of her predecessors, including Churchill, had to diplomatically manage Anglo-American relations in order to secure her own policy objectives.

Keywords

Winston Churchill Mikhail Gorbachev Ronald Reagan Reykjavik Margaret Thatcher 

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Notes

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© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History, Philosophy and ReligionOxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK

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