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

Why did Communism collapse in E. Europe and the USSR?

Extracts from this document...


Why did Communism collapse in E. Europe and the USSR? With protest after protest and rebellion after rebellion, the Soviet Union was slowly loosing its grip of Eastern Europe. Communism ceased working efficiently as workers had no inducement to work, as a doctor would have the same wages as a cleaner. People were driven into alcoholism and ended up going to work with hangovers. With this lack of incentive the economy slowly began to collapse. The USSR also found themselves in another more serious problem as not only was the economy collapsing but they had no ideas on how to solve this problem. It had become stagnant. ...read more.


This boosted the workers incentive as they could actually make a profit now. The Soviet Union was effectively becoming a mixed economy. Another major step Gorbachev took was setting up the 'Glasnost', which was literally openness. People could discuss political issues and express their views on the Soviet Union. Gorbachev decided to withdraw from the arms race. It was an extreme drain on the Soviet economy and was not leading anywhere. There was no way they could outspend the USA in nuclear weapons. There was no point to it as the USSR could use their money to buy domestic products the people really needed such as fridges instead of throwing capital away into a war they couldn't win. ...read more.


In between these events changes occurred all over Eastern Europe. Poland now held free elections and for the first time since the Second World War received the first non-communist leader, Lech Walesa. In November 1989 the people tore down the wall between East and West Berlin with additional help from the guards guarding the wall. Slowly all he borders between the East and West began to open as Czechoslovakia opened up its borders. With these changes taking place the majority people had finally gotten what they fought for since the end of the Second World War; a liberal and Eastern Europe free from the Red Army, Soviet troops and the tyrannical Communist regime. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Was the collapse of the USSR historically inevitable?

    4 star(s)

    The Regime was going to fall early because the communist party, the secret police, (the KGB), the military-industrial complex, the Ministry of Defense were compromised in this coup.10 Fourth, the Western governments and external factors played also a role in the end collapse of the Soviet Union.

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

    This would mean that east and west would be separate economically. * West Berlin was a temptation to East Berliners. In the west the Marshall Plan was beginning to make life much better. Already East Berliners and East Germans were trying to escape to the west.

  1. The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe

    The tension eased. It was agreed at a Warsaw Pact meeting in early August that Czechoslovakia should maintain political stability. 17 days later, soviet tanks moved into Czechoslovakia. There was little violent resistance to this, but many Czech people disagreed to cooperate with the soviet troops.

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

    These examples have shown how the communist collapse in Eastern Europe did not incite the beginning of these movements. The inspiration, thus, worked to encourage dormant parties to rise again and for active movements to increase momentum. In other words, the collapse of the Soviet Union was already in place

  1. The Collapse of Communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe

    Trade between the two sides increased, and the common goal of nuclear non-proliferation led to various limitation agreements, such as the ABM Treaty of 1972. It was within this context, as Brezhnev was finally able to turn his attention to the process of "catching up" with the West financially and

  2. Why did tsarism collapse?

    following the set backs known as the retreat of 1915 and the widespread shortages of food and military equipment. Demonstrations in support of war were common but often these were seen to be demonstrations by people coerced by the police, such patriotic demonstrations as there were took place in the

  1. The causes of the collapse of the USSR.

    The justification for socialism's existance lay exclusively on the premise that it was a superior mode of production that capitalism. But USSR simply couldn't keep up with the western world. During the 1960s, USA experianced growth of 52.8%. Compared to capitalism, "the planned economy performed inadequately"(27).

  2. Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?

    This was a phenomenon which was to become a symbol of communist regimes throughout their lifetime. This trend was followed when Stalin came to power as leader of the Communist party and the Russian government in 1929. (2) He had achieved this through plotting and trickery and by shifting alliances.

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