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

    * Many questioned the validity of building the first communist state by capitalist means. By 1923-24 the economy had largely reached pre-war levels of food production. * All agreed on the need for large-scale industrialisation, after all Marxists believed in the supremacy of the workers.

  2. Why did the Soviet Union maintain a presence in Eastern Europe? And why did ...

    His new political thinking was to reshape the relationship and lead to the eventual collapse of the system. According to Campbell, "by the spring of 1948 Stalin had succeeded in his primary purpose, which was to seal off the

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

    Gorbachev introduced policies designed to begin establishing a market economy by encouraging limited private ownership and profitability in Soviet industry and agriculture. One of these was to privatise the farming land which was previously owned by the state and lease the land to farmers, however this did cause many factories

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

    of the bomb in New Mexico were in awe of its destructive potential and hoped to find some way to avoid its use in war, the idea of a demonstration met with skepticism. Only one or two bombs existed. What if, in a demonstration, they failed to detonate?

  1. American History.

    In 1815 Madison centralized control of the military and began building a line of costal forts, and work on the National Road progressed into the West. It finished off the Federalist party. Although the Federalists made slight? gains in the 1812 election, they were undermined by fanatics who met in

  2. Journalism - Two generations of the journalists - Soviet and the post-Soviet - make ...

    Nevertheless the last changes give hope for the western scholars to think that "journalism is one of the few occupations that have moved toward professionalization since the reforms started", although there is significant apprehension "that it is unclear in Russia and other East European countries what professionalism will mean and

  1. Khrushchev's attempts at modernisation.

    Khrushchev main failing was that his reforms only went halfway. He wanted to remove the command economy, but was not ready to replace with a system in which farmers and workers had real incentives to work hard and make a profit.

  2. Russia: a Century of Upheaval.

    Who would help him get there? Surprisingly, help came in the form of his countries national enemy, Germany, realising that the Bolsheviks were now the only political group willing to make peace, gave him the means to travel to the Baltic.

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