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

Why, And With What Effect, Did Gorbachev Implement Glasnost In The Soviet Union?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why, And With What Effect, Did Gorbachev Implement Glasnost In The Soviet Union? Mikhail Gorbachev first came into power in the Soviet Union in 1985, with clear-cut plans to reform the Soviet system, to make a return to the Marxist- Leninist ideologies. To do this he implemented two policies, 'perestroika' and 'glasnost'. Glasnost literally "means 'openness', but was used to describe the relaxation of censorship and cultural repression during Gorbachev's time in power in the USSR."1. It "involved ending Soviet government censorship in the press and in cultural activities, and reevaluating [sic] the policies of past Soviet leaders".2 One explanation for the fact that Gorbachev put into operation these policies was as an attempt to destalinize the system. He saw that the old rule, Stalin's kind of rule, was worn out, and he worked toward a change that would revitalize the system.3 Karl Marx originally envisioned the Communist State in the 19th century as a perfect society, one where people worked to provide for themselves, and not to provide for the owners of the means of production. ...read more.

Middle

This was firstly embarrassing for the USSR when you consider that in the height of the Cold War, the Soviets were one of the two most technologically advanced communities in the world, and were the first country to launch a man made satellite, Sputnik, into space, and secondly, it highlighted the economic problems they were facing, no longer being able to compete effectively with the rest of the world. He needed to overcome the growth model put into play in the 1920s by Stalin, which focused on heavy industry, and replace it with a system that used modern technology and high productivity8. He understood that in order to achieve this, he would, however, have to give greater freedom to the peripheral states and remove the power of the Command Economy, in which governmental planning agencies have complete control of the economy of the Soviet Union. Glasnost had many effects upon implementation, the main and most prominent one being its aiding in the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union. ...read more.

Conclusion

This heightened sense of nationalism served only to fill people with a sense of longing for their own nation states. The citizens of the USSR no longer wanted to be referred to as such, and wanted to claim back independence for their individual countries beginning with East Germany in November 1989, the Baltic Republics in 1990 and finally the declaration of the beginning of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the collapse of the USSR in December 1991. In conclusion, Glasnost was originally implemented by Gorbachev as a means of revitalising Socialism within the Soviet Union and re-establishing it in the rest of the world as an ideology to contend with. However, the results were very different to those expected, in that the implementation of such a policy in a system like the Soviet Union, it caused the empire to topple. The main reasons for this were that people were given the freedom to opt out of the system at the same time that it highlighted ethnic tensions and revived a sense of nationalism. ...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. What were Gorbachev's intentions when he launched Glasnost and Perestroika, and how far did ...

    It has already been argued that Gorbachev was unwilling to immediately let go of the centralised state system, although there is also evidence to suggest he favoured the multi-party system: Speaking in Khabarovsk in 1986, Gorbachev used a phrase that was actually omitted from the published text of his speech.

  2. Khrushchev's attempts at modernisation.

    Andrei Sakharov, for example, was released from internal exile and allowed to return to normal life. Protest meetings were also allowed, while eventually in 1989 elections to a new congress of peoples' deputies were allowed in which candidates other than those from the communist party could stand!

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

    Marx argues that these will then be followed by socialism and then, ultimately, communism. Furthermore, he argues that the development of a society from one stage to another comes about when all of the productive forces that can be developed under that stage have been done so, and the class

  2. What was perestroika; why did Gorbachev introduce it; and why did perestroika fail?

    a good idea, the challenge was simply too much and it led to shortages of some goods and over production of others; and this may suggest that perestroika failed. There are many possible reasons which may suggest why perestroika was destined for failure, perhaps because many people argue Gorbachev only

  1. American History.

    The ship was then boarded and four men were seized. - This enraged Americans but also illustrated US military weakness, which prevented war. Instead, Jefferson closed American waters to the British, increased military spending, invoked the Non-Importation Act in December 1807 and then followed with the Embargo Act.

  2. UNIT 6: PAPER 6b: THE SOVIET UNION AFTER LENIN

    was set up in 1918. * Others, like Stalin, believed in 'Socialism in One Country'. They argued that it was necessary to consolidate Soviet rule in Russia first, make a successful communist country by their own efforts, and thus create a Superpower that could resist the efforts of a hostile world to defeat it.

  1. Russia: a Century of Upheaval.

    He portrayed himself as a hero, who had saved the Russian people from a fate worse than death, he had many statues of himself built, and several towns were named after him, After the war a new, fie year plan was introduced, to rebuild Russia's industry, it was very unpopular,

  2. Why were the Prague Spring reforms unacceptable to the Soviet leadership?

    as 'counter-revolutionary' and were certainly not in the same vein as the Hungarian uprising of 1956. "Dubcek repeatedly spoke only of expanding priestor which can be roughly translated as 'space' or 'scope', to allow wider participation."6 The reason that Dubcek decided to adopt this policy of priestor seems to relate

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