Following the end of World War II through the 1980s, the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union was tense. Several different presidents led the U.S. through the Cold War era, a time when there was the threat of war with Russia. The vast, diverse Soviet Union was not without problems itself and eventually disintegrated. George H.W. Bush was president when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Fall of a Giant

The Soviet Union began to dissolve in the 1980s, with Estonia being the first country to demand autonomy in 1987. Ronald Reagan was the president of the United States at this time. Ronald Reagan was succeeded by George H.W. Bush, president of the United States from January 1989 to 1993. It was while Bush was in office that the Soviet Union's leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, resigned and the Soviet Union ceased to exist in December 1991 after the country had suffered serious economic and political turmoil.