• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

Extracts from this document...


The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe The revolutions of 1989 that brought down communism in Eastern Europe seem to have been inevitable. By that year, the corruption, economic decay and staleness of the ideology had become apparent to all. And when the masses took to the streets, the "people's republics" fell like a deck of cards across the continent. With hindsight, several dates and events that preceded 1989 can be plucked from history. Whether it is Hungary's uprising in 1956 or the Prague Spring of 1968, the birth of Solidarity in 1980, or the unleashing of glasnost by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev - all bore the seeds of future revolution. The fall of communism in Eastern Europe was caused by a lot of events that built up over time. There were long term causes, medium term causes and short term causes. I am going to discuss what exactly caused the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. In 1953, Joseph Stalin, hard communist leader of the Soviet Union died. A man named Nikita Khrushchev succeeded him. Khrushchev seemed very different to Stalin. He put an end to the feuds between the USSR and China and with Yugoslavia. ...read more.


Was there opposition is Czechoslovakia because people were scared of change? Or was it because the economy was in a bad way and there were problems with the living conditions? People who believed that the communists had not led the country forward led the Czech opposition. Seeing as censorship had been eased, they were able to launch attacks on the Communist leaders, saying that they were corrupt and useless. This period of time became known as the Prague Spring, because of all the new ideas that were around. By the summer there was talk of allowing another political party, the Social Democratic party to be set up as a rival to the communist party. The USSR was suspicious of these changes. Czechoslovakia was a very important part of the Warsaw Pact. The soviets did not want the ideas in Czechoslovakia spreading into other countries in Eastern Europe. The USSR tried various methods in response. They tried to slow Dubcek down, arguing with him and getting Soviet, Polish and East German troops to perform very public training exercises on the Czech border. In July, it was decided that there would be no Social Democratic Party, however, Dubcek insisted on keeping most of his reforms. ...read more.


By the end of 1989, not only Germany had seen a revolution, but Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria had also disposed of their Communist governments. During the Brezhnev and Gorbachev years, the ideology behind Communism had a different meaning in comparison to earlier times. Wherever the faithful looked, the traditional prophecies had failed to come through: world revolution had not occurred, crime had not vanished, nationalism and religion had not disappeared with the passing of capitalism, as had been predicted. This disillusionment and belief that Communism didn't fulfil its promises to the people jumped to new highs when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power during the late 1980's. His liberalised style of leadership allowed people express their views and generally the people of the Soviet Union felt wrong done by the ideology which they had be ensured would see the Soviet Union rise as the most powerful nation in the world. The Soviet system was not suited to the ideology on which the regime was based. This ideology turned out to be inappropriate to the end of the twentieth century. As technology changed and as society was transformed, the superstructure - that is, the form of state and its ideology - became a hindrance to further development. This hindrance became a burden on the society the economy and the system. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did tension increase in Europe between 1900 and 1914?

    * But when Lloyd George got to Versailles he adopted a different approach. He was concerned that if Germany was punished too hard, then there would be trouble in the future. So Lloyd George wanted Germany to be allowed to recover.

  2. "To What Extent Were Gorbachev's Policies the Catalyst to the Fall of the USSR?"

    The author explains the causes that provoked the "urgent need" for the implementation of his policies. Ironically, he states: "a delay in starting perestroika would have guided us to...a very serious social, economical and political crisis."6 He then analyses the current national situation.

  1. How secure was the USSR’s control over Eastern Europe 1948-89?

    Profile of Lech Walesa * Born 1943 * Like many of his fellow pupils at school he went to work in the shipyards in Gdansk. He became an electrician. * In 1970 he led shipyard workers who joined the strike against price rises.

  2. This graduation paper is about U.S. - Soviet relations in Cold War period. Our ...

    And George Kennan, concerned over how his views had been used, protested against the president's strident tone. But Truman and Acheson had understood the importance of defining the issue on grounds of patriotism and moral principle. If the heart of the question was the universal struggle of freedom against tryanny-not

  1. What were the causes of the disintegration of the Soviet Union as a socialist ...

    It is indisputable that in the post war years, rates of Soviet economic recovery were at least equal to those of the western market based economies, and indeed rates of growth were substantially higher during the 1950s and 60s. However, there are flaws with using this evidence to argue that central planning is as effective as the market.

  2. How important were developments in Eastern Europe to the collapse of the Soviet Union?

    This was the official end of the Soviet Union. The demise of the Cold War played a role in the collapse of the Soviet Union, and though developments in Eastern Europe affected the Cold War there is also a direct link between the Soviet Union's domestic affairs and the developments in Eastern Europe.

  1. Why did Deng Xiaoping survive the crisis of communism whilst Mikhail Gorbachev did ...

    Although the prosperity of rural Chinese communities wavered under Xiaoping?s rule, he had large support from them as a whole. China also underwent huge economic reforms under Xiaoping, which he termed ?market socialism?. He directed Hu Yaobang, the General Secretary of the CCP, to impose most of these reforms.

  2. In the context of the period 1905-2005, how far do you agree that Khrushchev ...

    together.[4] The ?thaw? was the first attempt by a communist leader, to alleviate tensions between ideological and social demands, with John Keen claims: ?His [Khrushchev?s] greatest accomplishment was to end the reign of fear...?[5] Such policies are testimony of Khrushchev?s implementation of combating Long-term problems confronting Russia, as Khrushchev claimed: ?we must help people to...

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work