Mikhail Gorbachev’s Speech in 1988 in the USA


It is worth noting that Mikhail Gorbachev is an outstanding state and public figure of Russia of the 20th century. He entered the political arena in the era of the Soviet Union. He was the first president of the USSR whose achievements were significant not only for Russian history but also became important factors in the politics of the entire world (McCauley, 2013). The purpose of this paper is to review the speech that he gave to the U. N. in 1988.

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The United Nations

The politician chose the United Nations as the forum for his speech for several reasons. First, it was a nationally wide unity. He intended to address the entire world with his speech; therefore, selecting the U. N. was a strategic decision. Second, he wanted to specify that the Soviet Union was ready to participate in the establishment of peace across the countries and the forum allowed him to indicate this peace-making position to a variety of countries (McCauley, 2013). Third, the U. N. was the spot where all the powerful politicians and figures were assembling. Fourth, the United Nations sustained peaceful relations with the USA and, by holding his speech there, he did not address the international community solely but America as well.

De-ideologizing Relations

The broader context in which Gorbachev’s speech was unfolded implied drastic social alterations occurring in Europe and the Soviet Union (McCauley, 2013). The performer stated that new world order was taking place and countries needed to embrace this change. That is to say, the de-ideologizing of relationships was related to the processes occurring in the Eastern Europe and the interactions that the Soviet Union had with the former satellite nations (“Gorbachev’s speech to the U.N.,” 1988). Also, it referred to the US as well. Gorbachev stated that the Soviet Union needed to reduce the military expenses and America needed to embrace the political arrangements to communism. In terms of superpower relations, it meant that the new world order implied peaceful relationships between countries.


It should be noted that a lot of resources were allocated to sustain the country’s military forces. These extensive expenditures prevented national development, and Gorbachev wanted to express the idea that the army should no longer be the force that was driving the development of international affairs. Also, it implied that the neighboring countries should no longer feel the threat from the side of the Soviet Union (“Gorbachev’s speech to the U.N.,” 1988). Therefore, the money spent on the strong-armed forces were redirected to tailor the development of nations and help the poor. As a result, the emergence of trade and commerce became the vital sources of evolvement for the bloc.


The politician considered that the future part of the superpowers was to “put an end to an era of wars, confrontation and regional conflicts, aggression against nature, the terror of hunger and poverty, as well as political terrorism” (“Gorbachev’s speech to the U.N.,” 1988, para. 30). He believed that the superpowers had to take on the role of the peacemaker and contribute jointly to the well-being of nations. Their joint agreement would unite the interests of all people and ensure that they are tailored. Overall, he viewed the superpowers as the source of establishing a secure and prosperous global community.


Thus, the speech that Mikhail Gorbachev gave in 1988 evidenced that the country was in deep depression and a significant shift in the political and social perceptions was essential. He stressed the importance of collaboration so that different states could contribute mutually to the development of the global community. Gorbachev wanted to convey the significance of freedom and peaceful relations between countries for the benefit of world prosperity and unity.


Gorbachev’s speech to the U.N. (1988). Web.

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McCauley, M. (2013). Russia, America and the Cold War (2nd ed.). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

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1. StudyCorgi. "Mikhail Gorbachev’s Speech in 1988 in the USA." April 20, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/mikhail-gorbachevs-speech-in-1988-in-the-usa/.


StudyCorgi. "Mikhail Gorbachev’s Speech in 1988 in the USA." April 20, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/mikhail-gorbachevs-speech-in-1988-in-the-usa/.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Mikhail Gorbachev’s Speech in 1988 in the USA." April 20, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/mikhail-gorbachevs-speech-in-1988-in-the-usa/.


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