Premium Essay

Collapse of Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe

In: Historical Events

Submitted By 15dennia
Words 1561
Pages 7
Amanda Dennis
Dr. Knickman World History II
9 March 2013
Collapse of Communist Regimes
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the great communist regimes in Eastern Europe collapsed. All across Europe, in countries such as Germany, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Russia, the people and their governments were in constant struggle. These struggles eventually lead to a falling out in the communist governments, and the citizens won their victory. Because the people's needs were not met by the government, corruption in government and poor leadership, and the views on countries' economies were different, the communist regimes in Eastern Europe eventually collapsed.
Communism was first developed by Karl Marx in the 19th Century; it is the theory of a society in which people take only what they need and give only what they can. Communism started out as a decent cause, but it evolved into a violent revolution in which the government controlled the people only through force. Communism took away people’s freedom in their separate economies, which caused anger to ripple through the people. Strikes were led by angry mobs, and by 1991, all communist regimes had completely collapsed in Eastern Europe. After years of revolt and protest, the official communist government positions had lost all popular support by the people and the Iron Curtain was dismantled, allowing Eastern Europe to become communist-free.
In many countries, the people’s needs were rarely met by the government. For example, the government in communist Russia, or the Soviet Union, took agricultural workers crops, and in return, the government would distribute a “satisfactory” amount of the crops back to all the people in order to let everyone have an equal amount of food. This often backfired though because “many citizens felt the provisions they were given were fair and satisfactory, while many others...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Factors That Led to the Collapse of Communism

...Factors That Culminated In the Eventual Collapse of Communism and the Demise of the Soviet Union Purnea Gillani Author Note This report was prepared for International Relations Practice, BS (Hons) Major in Political Science and Minor in Management, taught by Professor Sajaad Naseer ABSTRACT The collapse of the soviet empire is often heralded in the West as a triumph of capitalism and democracy, as though this event was a direct result of the policies of the Reagan and Thatcher governments. This analysis has little relation to measurable facts, circumstances and internal political dynamics that were the real historical causes of the deterioration of the Soviet empire. The key to understanding the reasons for the demise of the Soviet Union and communism in Eastern Europe is to be found not in the speeches or policies of Western politicians, but in internal Soviet history. Through our report we have attempted to discern the various complex factors that came together and led to the unraveling of the Soviet Union and the end of communism in Europe. This report contains an analysis of how social, political and economic factors culminated in the sudden and unprecedented collapse of the Soviet Union at the perceived height of its power. ACKNOWLEDGMENT We would like to thank … Contents ABSTRACT 2 ACKNOWLEDGMENT 3 INTRODUCTION 5 LITERATURE......

Words: 4852 - Pages: 20

Premium Essay

Reasons for Collapse of Ussr

...The collapse of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the disintegration of the USSR is undoubtedly the most significant development in world politics since the Second World War. In immediate terms, it has provoked widespread ideological confusion and demoralisation within the international workers' movement, and on the other side, gloating by the capitalist rulers and their apologists. The latter have used this event to step up their efforts to discredit socialism by identifying it with the bureaucratic dictatorship that has ruled over the Soviet Union since Stalin's rise to power in the 1920s. This, of course, is not something new. The capitalist rulers in the West have always argued that the totalitarian regime created by Stalin and maintained by his heirs was the inevitable consequence of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The capitalists were greatly assisted in this task by the Stalinists' claim to represent the tradition of Marx and Lenin. The capitalists cynically accepted the Stalinists' description of their hideous police regimes as representing "socialism" in order to prejudice the workers of the West against socialism by identifying it with the denial of democratic freedoms, and to promote the idea that bourgeois parliamentary democracy is the highest embodiment of human freedom. While this bourgeois propaganda campaign certainly succeeded in discrediting Marxism and Leninism among large sections of working people in the imperialist democracies......

Words: 657 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Transformation of Post-Communist Europe

...Bureaucracy in the 21st Century Vladimir Kramsky October 8th, 2012 Political and economic development in the Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 The transformations of the former socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 have involved a major change in the political system, from a dictatorial Communist Party rule to democracy. The surge of communist regime collapses after 1989 was quite unexpected from the point of view of outside viewers who failed to foresee such dramatic changes. Theoretically, I believe that the dominant issue of democratic consolidation in post-communist Europe is not lack of modernization or industrialization as it may have been the case for other historical transitions to capitalism. Instead, the changes in Central and Eastern Europe revolve around the establishment and legitimization of institutions that will support a new social order in Central and Eastern Europe based on a democratic political system. In general, the classic reform backlash did not materialize in the former communist countries of Central Europe. Though constituents in the countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, or Poland may have rejected radical reforms in early post-communist elections, the reform programs in these countries continued and, in some cases, even strengthened. Political trends in the Central-European economies were not generally characterized by the typical short-term losers of economic......

Words: 311 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Russia During the Second

...end of World War II in the European theatre. Following the fall of Nazi Germany, the United States devised the Marshall Plan to rebuild the economies of war-devastated countries. As a world power, the United States believed it was their duty to prevent another world war. The Soviet Union agreed with the sentiment, but not with the approach the western nations took. To prevent the rise of authoritarian governments, the United States promoted democracies, constitutional rule, and capitalism. The Soviet Union, an authoritarian government, advanced their communist ideas to counter the Truman Doctrine. The result of the opposing ideologies was a strained relationship between the two influencers of the modern world, and the initiation of the Cold War. The Soviet Union was focused on spreading their political ideology for one reason: Protection (Service 2). While most of the world considers the establishment of communist regimes as Soviet expansion, the Soviet Union created a buffer zone. In essence, the surrounding nations would provide more time for the Soviet Union to prepare while opposing troops invaded these “satellite states.” During this time, the United States decided that in order to prevent nations from falling to communism, nations would have to be stable politically and economically. Therefore, the United States launched numerous...

Words: 2500 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Cold War

...prerequisites of the Cold War beginning, but the main one was a refusal of the USSR to compromise with the USA and leave occupied areas of Eastern Europe, moreover its potential interest in communist regimes in Greece, Italy and France. The Truman Doctrine that was suggested by the president with a support of George Marshall, George Kennan and Dean Acheson in February 1947 became an ideological substantiation of the Cold War. According to this doctrine a conflict between Western democracy and communism was inevitable, thus the Cold war began. The most significant event that happened in 1950s was the threat of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that were successfully tested by the USSR in August, 1957. Reacting to such danger, the USA created a system of anti-missile defense in big cities and started to construct nuclear bombers. 1960s were marked by Berlin crisis, when a physical symbol of the Cold War – the Berlin Wall was built. According to the decree of Khrushchev the Wall separated the Western part of Germany from the communist Eastern part. A number of measures were undertaken by the United States president – John Kennedy: arms purchases and reservists mobilization in order to protect the Western part, but nothing was actually done concerning the Wall itself. In the mid-1970s the USSR developed two new ICBMs and placed them on the Eastern part of the country, moreover...

Words: 544 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Did the United States Win the Cold War

...Did the United States win the Cold War? The forty-five years from the dropping of the atom bombs to the end of the Soviet Union, can be seen as the era of the new conflict between two major states: United States of America (USA) and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). According to Hobsbawm, ‘cold war’ was the constant confrontation of the two super powers which emerged from the Second World War. At that time the entire generation was under constant fear of global nuclear battles. It was widely believed that it could break out at any moment. (Hobsbawm, 1994) The consequences of the ‘power vacuum’ in central Europe, created by the defeat of Germany, gave rise to these two super powers (Dunbabin, 1994). The world was divided into two parts. The USSR controlled the zone occupied by her Red Army or other communist armed forces. On the other hand, USA exercised control and dominance over the rest of the capitalist world as well as the western hemisphere and the oceans. (Hobsbawm, 1994) It is rather very difficult to argue that a particular country like the USA has won the cold war completely. Cold war gave birth to lots of problems in the world. During the cold war period, various events occurred subsequently. So the whole period was a combination of different issues and various factors related to it. Yet, evaluating the climax and the aftermath situation of the cold war, it can be argued that USA and its allies have succeeded to a great extent. On the other hand, as a......

Words: 2093 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Ussr and Us

...Chapter 38    The Bipolar World      THE CHAPTER IN PERSPECTIVE      No sooner had World War II reached its bloody finish than the world was thrust into an  even more frightening conflagration.  The United States and its allies and the Soviet Union and its  allies faced off in a fundamental struggle to shape the postwar world.  It was a contest based on  power politics, competing social and economic systems, and differing political ideologies that  lasted over fifty years and touched every corner of the globe.  A spiraling arms race eventually  brought the world to the brink of nuclear apocalypse.  While the war remained technically cold,  the fear of a nuclear disaster made it feel very different to the peoples of the world.    OVERVIEW    The Formation of a Bipolar World      Despite the lingering general animosity and mistrust that the Soviets and Americans  shared, at the heart of the cold war was a fundamental disagreement between political, economic,  and social systems.  Capitalism and communism, at least in the minds of the superpowers,  remained mutually exclusive.  The United States attacked communism and backed, at least in  theory, liberalism.  Consequently, the United States criticized the Soviet record on human rights  and the suppression of civil and religious institutions.  In turn the Soviets, led by Nikita  Khrushchev, were critics of the failings of laissez‐faire capitalism and the wide gulf between rich ......

Words: 2416 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Political and Economical Developments Asia Europe

...Political And Economical Developments Asia Europe [Writer Name] [Institute Name] [Date] international managment In this paper, provide a descriptive title or heading for your paper by focusing on topics or countries that interest you (such as “Political and Economical Developments in the Asian or European Systems”), and then discuss the following concepts: 1) Explain in detail why and how the political systems of countries differ; 2) discuss how the legal systems of countries differ; 3) explain what determines the level of economic development of a nation; 4) discuss with examples the macro-political and economic changes taking place worldwide; and 5) analyze how transition economies are moving towards market based systems. You can use specific continents, countries, or country as your focus. Political And Economical Developments Asia Europe There has been of course many changes since 1989. To understand this we should analyze how the situation before the revolution. Before 1989 there was no political freedom. There were elections, but there was only one candidate, down from the city councils up to the MPs, all of them were nominated by an almighty party. The most powerful man was not president, neither Prime minister, but the leader of the party. He was also responsible to the leader of the party in USSR. There was no freedom of religion; every priest had to be issued a special admission to work as one. The Bishops were nominated, the orders were denied. People were not......

Words: 4916 - Pages: 20

Premium Essay

Economic History

...population pressure, he had to create a parliament. Slide 3: The Parliament (Duma) had three parties: • The Constitutional Democratic Party – Kadett; • The Socialist Party – Mensheviks; • The Social Democratic Party - Bolsheviks. However, despotism remained in the Soviet regime and the Tsar controlled the parliament. Slide 4: 1917 - February Revolution • Kadett, with the population massive support, created a revolution. Again, Tsar ordered his army to shoot but, this time, they refused to do it. • Tsar’s army joined the revolution and the revolution won power against him. • It was implemented an interim government headed by Kadett. • Kadett intended to implement Liberalism. Slide 5: Monarchic Absolutist Regime -» Interim Government Slide 6: 1917 – October Revolution • Lenin returns from exile with the purpose to end with Liberalism and to impose Communism. • Lenin joins Trotsky and both lead a group of Bolsheviks that assault the parliament. • Through force, the Bolshevik Party dissolved the parliament (violence will accompany the Soviet Revolution until its end). • Bolsheviks, dissatisfied with the liberal regime of Kerensky, make a revolution killing the Tsar and the imperial family. Slide 7: Interim Government -» Proletarian Dictatorship (Lenin) Slide 8: Climate of oppression • According to the ideals of Marxist-Leninist theory, it is necessary to remove the population’s...

Words: 2199 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

America and the World

...feared the rise and spread of communism throughout the world. The Soviet Union’s Government, along with many communist governments, did not want the people of their country to have a voice and think for themselves. They were not allowed the the luxury of being able to vote and electing who they wanted as their leader. The United States had a completely opposite approach and did not want governments that were in opposition to democracy and freedom of choice. People in the Soviet Union did not have freedom of speech and the press was not allowed to print anything freely without severe repercussions whereas the United States does have a free press. The immediate causes leading to the cold war was conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States at the peace-time conferences. The conflict was intensified after President Truman declared the Truman Doctrine and launched the Marshall Plan.” President Franklin Roosevelt believed the Soviet Union was going to start setting up a freely-elected parliamentary government, but he died before that ever happened. President Harry Truman became President and did not believe that the Soviet Union would honor the agreement and set up elections up in Eastern Europe. The United States exploded the Atomic bomb successfully and Truman also figured the United States could have a stiff attitude towards Russian expansion into Europe. President Truman was very disgusted with Russia because of the non-co-operative attitude that they......

Words: 1801 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Cold War

...independent production company Flashback Television for 25 years and writer of best sellers. The two put together a very informative book covering the 50 yearhistory of America. I. The Iron Curtain: America knew they could not trust the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin leadership. During the invasion of Germany the concerns about the Soviet was put aside. During World War II the U.S. and Soviet became allies. Stalin used aggressive tactics to gain control of countries near the Soviet Union after the war. This sparked strong reactions from the West. Using its military in the occupied counties the Soviet helped local communist parties to come into power. In 1948 seven East European countries had communist governments. Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Albania and Yugoslavia all had Communist governments. Stalin plan to put communist regimes in the region...

Words: 1168 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Business, Government and Society

...Berend (2000) – From Plan to Market, From Regime Change to Sustained Growth in Central and Eastern Europe * After the state socalism collapsed in Central and Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, the Washington consensus of 1989 (a broadly accepted set of criteria for a reform program) was adopted as a blueprint for the process of transformation. * Central elements: * Macro-economic stabilization (for countries with significant inflation and indebtedness) * New institutions * Legislation * Price and trade liberalisation * Radical privatization * Most of the “transformatology“ literature is based on the assumption that the elimination of deformed non-market economies, a restoration of market, and private ownership, paired with a laissez-faire free market system would automatically solve all major economic/social problems of the transforming countries. * The economic crisis within the Central and Eastern Europe area started much earlier – in the mid-late 1970s when growth slowed significantly and the terms of trade for the state socialist countries began to deteriorate (1973 first oil shock 20% decline, for some even 26-32%) Schumpeter’s theory of “structural crisis”: advancements in technology lead to decline of the old leading sectors and export branches based on old technology, generating wide-ranging slow-down and decline and causing an economic crisis even in rich, advanced countries. However, although rising new technology...

Words: 9961 - Pages: 40

Premium Essay

Latin American Politics and Development (the Cold War, the Cuban Revolution, the Spread of Guerilla Warfare and the Doctrine of National Security in Latin America)

...National Security in Latin America | During World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union fought together as allies against the Axis powers. However, the relationship between the two nations was a tense one. Americans had long been wary of Soviet communism and concerned about Russian leader Joseph Stalin’s tyrannical rule of his own country. For their part, the Soviets resented the Americans’ decades-long refusal to treat the USSR as a legitimate part of the international community as well as their delayed entry into World War II, which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of Russians. After the war ended, these grievances ripened into an overwhelming sense of mutual distrust and enmity. Post-war Soviet expansionism in Eastern Europe fuelled many Americans’ fears of a Russian plan to control the world. Meanwhile, the USSR came to resent what they perceived as American officials’ rhetoric, arms build-up and interventionist approach to international relations. By the time World War II ended, most American officials agreed that the best defence against the Soviet threat was a strategy called “containment.” In 1946, in his famous “Long Telegram,” the diplomat George Kennan explained this policy, The Soviet Union, he wrote, was “a political force committed fanatically to the belief that with the U.S. there can be no permanent modus vivendi (agreement between parties that disagree)”. As a result, America’s only choice was the long-term, patient but firm and......

Words: 1861 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Comparative Government

...in central and eastern Europe Does Europe exist? Where should be the borders? Russia and Turkey had a big influence on Europe as well. They dispatched parts of Europe for a long time. Of course the path dependency is present in these regions. The process of European integration started later there. European identity is difficult to describe. Distinction between east and west means post-communism (eastern). Central Europe: Czechs feel like being central Europeans (since they don’t want to be part of eastern Europe.) idea of central Europe is based on Austrian-Hungarian-Empire + parts of Germany eg Bavaria. The link is also the way of making decisions, working, doing things, tradition, waking up early (Franz Josef) many similarities. Lot of conflicts in Europe are still connected to events that happened hundreds of years ago. Poland (republic) Linguistic Group: Western Slavic Religion: Catholic (important part of national identity) Ethnical Minorities: German, Ukraine, Belorussian (small and not important) Often divided (Russia, Germany, Austria-Hungary) Is called state of wheels always moving We are Poles because we are not Russian, not German religion became very important for their identification. Day 2 Post-Yugoslavia states Tito managed to unify Yugoslavia after WWII and to keep it independent from Russia. self-managed socialism (market orientation). More contact to the west. Authoritarian system but not as closed as the other eastern states.......

Words: 6827 - Pages: 28

Premium Essay

History

...February 11of 1945, just before the end of World War II. The United States was represented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Great Britain was represented by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Marshal Joseph Stalin was there on the Soviet Union’s behalf. The “Big Three” conferred in the Crimea, near Yalta on the Black Sea coast. Churchill and Roosevelt had met previously at Malta in the Mediterranean. On September 11, 1939, just a few days after Hitler triggered the World War II by unleashing the German Army in Poland, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt penned a brief but important message to Britain`s First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill. FDR wrote to Churchill because he was looking for information about the war in Europe and wanted to to gather it informally, quietly, and on a personal level. This was the beginning of a unique relationship between the two most important leaders of the Free World, and established a precedent repeated by several successive American presidents and British leaders. On May 10, 1940, the very day on which the German Army finally launched its long-anticipated attack on the Low Countries and France, Churchill became the prime minister of Great Britain. Over the course of the war, the two men exchanged thousands of messages, telephone calls, and indirect third-party exchanges. They also met in person nine times, including the two famous meetings with Soviet premier Stalin at Teheran and Yalta, creating "Summit Diplomacy."......

Words: 1273 - Pages: 6