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

Why did the Communist system fail in the 1980's? What were the different reasons in individual countries?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did the Communist system fail in the 1980's? What were the different reasons in individual countries? The communist system fell for various reasons. In time, I don't think that this could have been avoided as the communist ideal had a basic flaw in it. It misunderstood human nature. Their ideology was based on every man working to the best of his ability for the good of the nation. However, humans will not work for more than they have to and therefore this massive decline in the quality of the work in communism led to its downfall as there was no will to work. One of the main reasons that communism fell in the 1980's was that over the years, the Cold War had drained them of their money. The Space Race stripped them of 20% of their entire national income as they spent billions on their defence. This took away lots of money from their economy which they could have spent on the poor and needy but since this was not the case, the communist standard of living, especially in the USSR, declined. This caused communism to have a bad image and most of the people disliked it as they saw the riches and wealth of the west in contrast to their rags. ...read more.

Middle

However, what he didn't realise was that the machine was broken. The government had turned communism against itself. Perestroika wanted renewal and reformation of the communist party to stamp out the corruption. However, many people wanted to get rid of the party altogether. It was this hatred he underestimated. Glasnost told people to speak out but he did not realise that the satellite states had deep rooted hatred towards the communist regime and their leaders a in the case of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, they remembered how their loved ones were destroyed. That is why demonstrations occurred such as the March 1986, the unofficial Hungarian Independence day celebration. Lastly, the final breakdown of communism was the destruction of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.It was set up to prevent East Berliners to cross over to the West. Since Hungary opened its Austrian border, the wall became useless and so therefore, it was a sign to show that communism was defeated. It sparked rebellions around Eastern Europe and slowly the Soviet Union fell apart by the end of 1991. In separate satellite countries the reasons for the downfall of communism in them started with different reasons. ...read more.

Conclusion

He was afraid that the Domino effect might work in reverse and what happens in Czechoslovakia might spread to the other satellite states. Therefore, the Brezhnev doctrine is born and even though he sent in troops to Czhechoslovakia, there was no bloodshed as they surrendered peacefully. So, the 'Prague Spring' brought the Brezhnev doctrine and a hard-line communist government. As you can see these countries were both brought back under the Soviet control through force. They both had reforms passed that the USSR did not like and were therefore responded to viciously. However, in the 1980's the USSR was in a great economic crisis. It did not have the money to deal with the uprisings as it did before. With the introduction of the new president (Gorbachev), who was realistic and knew that it was inadvisable to use the same tactics as his predecessors. They had just pulled out of Afghanistan, which cost them billions and received international condemnation. If they started to attack another country, to suppress the people, not only would it take a huge toll on the Soviet economy but the international image would be very shaken and could lead to confrontation. ...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. Tsar downfall

    If the Tsar had co-operated, he could have taken some of the credit, and his position of authority wouldn't have been questioned. Similarly, the Tsar didn't co-operate with the reinstated Duma, as in his eyes this was also a non-governmental organisation.

  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. Analyse and Discuss the Reasons Behind the Breakdown in the Relationship Between the United States a

    the policies introduced by the first Roosevelt administration, to institute economic recovery in the midst of the Great Depression (known as the New Deal), possibly one of the worst economic crisis that the capitalist economies had ever faced. In reality, the New Deal owed more to the economic policies of

  2. The Not So Free.

    "Yes" replies all of the people in the meeting at once. "What will we do after this plan" questions the Admiral clearly worried. Just before anyone can give an answer the Admiral continues talking. "This will not make the hostilities against our 2 countries end you do know that".

  1. Identify and evaluate the relative impact of the factors, which made reform of the ...

    and the right to participate, of the population, by improving their living standards through industrial growth. This can be seen as the 'deals' of Developed Socialism. However by banking on foreign technology and investment through the years of d�tente Brezhnev neglected development of domestic technology, and the economy.

  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

  1. What did Gorbachev fail to forsee?

    The public demanded radical democratization and Gorbachev truly desired to bring about the change, but to continue to enjoy the party's support he claimed that the accomplishments and values of socialism would be preserved. In this early stage of his administration, Gorbachev knew that he serving two masters.

  2. Communist Purification in Czechoslovakia.

    (Schlesinger 83) Brezhnev did not know Dubcek's history and background so he was unaware of his future plans for Czechoslovakia. Due to this distrust, Brezhnev made numerous travels to Prague and asked Dubcek to guarantee loyalty and alliance towards Soviet Union.

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