Bell Ringers

Bell Ringer: President Reagan and the Berlin Wall

President Reagan and the Berlin Wall

President Reagan and the Berlin Wall


Author Romesh Ratnesar discusses President Reagan's beliefs and actions concerning the Berlin Wall, as well as his relationship with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in the lead up to his “Tear down this wall” speech in June of 1987.

Bell Ringer Assignment

  • What did President Ronald Reagan think about the Berlin Wall? Explain why he felt this way.
  • What did President Reagan attempt “from the earliest days of his Presidency?” What was the end result?
  • Why did President Reagan authorize massive increases in military spending and support for anti-communist groups?
  • Explain the importance of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev's rise to power in 1985 for U.S. and U.S.S.R. relations. In what ways was he a different type of Soviet leader?
  • What were the results of the early meetings between the two leaders? Why were they important for future negotiations even if no major agreements were reached?
  • Why were members of President Reagan’s administration concerned about the President’s relationship with Gorbachev?
  • Explain why President Reagan insisted on the inclusion of his “Tear down this wall” line in his Berlin speech in June of 1987.



  • Berlin Wall
  • Bitburg Cemetery
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Disarmament
  • East Germany
  • Mikhail Gorbachev
  • Strategic Defense Initiative
  • Totalitarian System
  • U. S. S. R.
  • West Germany


Executive BranchU.S. HistoryWorld History


Middle SchoolHigh School