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Khrushchev's Decline and Fall.

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  • Essay length: 3622 words
  • Submitted: 07/10/2003
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AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991

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Khrushchev's Decline and Fall

The most important achievement of the XX Party Congress of 1956 was Krushchev's so-called "secret speech " in which he attacked and denouced the errors and brutalities of Joseph Stalin. No one had dared to do that before. It was the central most important event of the decade. It in effect made Khrushchev the father of the later Gorbachev Revolution.

I. The XXI Party Congress

The XXI Special Party Congress met against a background of successes for Nikita Khrushchev. He had consolidated his victory over the "anti-Party group" by removing Bulganin from the Presidium in September 1958; in December he had named as new chief of the KGB A. N. Shelepin. Khrushchev had other reasons for feeling confident. In 1958 the USSR had the best harvest in its history. In November 1958 his threat to hand Berlin over to the East Germans within six months had spread alarm in all Western capitals - though he did not carry through the threat. In January 1959 Fidel Castro had seized Cuba with strong Communist support, and thereafter identified himself with Communism and the USSR.

There had also been several significant domestic innovations

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