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

The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR 1. What part did Mikhail Gorbachev play in: a. ending the Cold War, b. ending communism control in the countries of Eastern Europe and c. reforming the USSR. 2. Describe how communist control came to an end in Eastern Germany and how German reunification was achieved by October 1990. 3. Make notes on the collapse of communism in the USSR. 1. Mikhail Gorbachev was in a way the key figure in ending the Cold War, communism control in Eastern Europe and in reforming the USSR. Thanks to his policies of ‘glasnost’ (openness) and ‘perestroika’ (restructuring), Gorbachev was able to bring drastic changes into all of Eastern Europe and the USSR. He had committed himself to reform the Soviet Union and was not prepared to shore-up a Soviet-dominated structure in Central and Eastern Europe which was failing economically and was threatening to bankrupt the USSR if it continued to try and match the USA as a political and military force. Gorbachev took many initiatives on détente, arms control, improving relations with China and in slackening Russia’s heavy involvement in Afghanistan which was taking its toll. He offered many major concessions in the ongoing arms control negotiations. ...read more.

Middle

Small-scale private enterprise such as family restaurants or business making clothes or handicrafts or providing services such as car and television repairs, painting, decorating and private tuition was to be allowed, as were worker co-operatives up to a maximum of 50 workers. One motive behind this reforms was to provide competition for the slow and inefficient services provided by the state in the hope of stimulating a rapid improvement and economic growth. Another was the need to provide alternative employment as patterns of employment changed over the following decade, and as more automation and computerization were introduced into factories and offices, the need for manual and clerical workers declined. Another important change was that the responsibility for quality control throughout industry as a whole was to be taken over by independent state bodies rather than by factory management. It was hoped that by the year 200, the USSR would have experienced a profound social and economic transformation and growth. However this process is still taking place, amidst serious problems, notable corruption throughout former Soviet societies. Gorbachev was also prepared to change course in human rights. Many well-known dissidents, notably critics of the system, were released, and the Sakharovs were permitted to return to Moscow from internal exile in Gorky in December 1986. ...read more.

Conclusion

But when these trains passed through Dresden, there were riots as more Easter Germans tried to board the trains. There were huge demonstrations in Leipzig, and following the virtually hamstrung Honecker who was clearly not in control of the situation and was replaced as General Secretary by Egon Krenz in October 1989, who tried to secure popularity for the government by opening the crossing points in the Berlin Wall. Thousands poured through into West Berlin, and many started to dismantle the Wall itself, without any opposition. Indeed many of the guards on both sides even helped, and it became clear that the government had run its course. Krenz was replaced by the more moderate Hans Modrow, who conceded free elections held in March 1990. At this point, Chancellor Kohl stepped in to seize the initiative. After having secured foreign approval, including that of the USSR thanks to Gorbachev, for German reunifications, events went quickly and smoothly. In May 1990, both Germanies agreed there would be economic, social and monetary union for both on the 1st of July. Following that the Treaty of Unification was signed so that on the 3rd of October, all of Germany was unified, the former occupying Powers (USA, USSR, Britain and France) having already agreed to give up their Rights in Berlin. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE International relations 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 GCSE International relations 1945-1991 essays

  1. How Far Was Gorbachev Responsible For The End Of Soviet Union?

    on the issue of Eastern Europe breaking away. Also there is the case of Gorbachev and his anti-alcohol campaign that wasted millions of rubbles the USSR needed, also the example of the continuing arms supplies that were at the USSR's expense.

  2. Notes on the Solidarity movement in Poland.

    * Solidarity was very popular, in which almost half of all workers were members. In a survey done in 1981, 95% of Poles found Solidarity to be trustworthy (Walesa was a folk hero). * Solidarity had the support of the Catholic Church.

  1. The USSR under Khrushchev and Brezhnev

    However, as time progressed Stalin built a totalitarian state in which he was a hero and everyone had to agree with him. Big propaganda campaigns portrayed Stalin as the saver of USSR to make people agree with him. The citizens who were seemed by Stalin as a thread were quickly purged by the NKVD who had quotas to fulfil.

  2. Why did the relationship between the USA and USSR change between 1975 and 1990

    The two countries were effectively fighting against each other and both sides knew it. Jimmy Carter Openly expressed how the US felt about this when he said the Soviet invasion was "the most serious threat to peace sinceWW2" stating

  1. Cold War Short Essays - Questions and Answers.

    Kennedy and Khrushchev sent threatening letters back and forth until they came to an agreement. The USA would remove missiles from Turkey if the USSR removed their missiles from Cuba. This way the threat of nuclear war was not so possible to either country.

  2. Cold War Summary, quotes and revision notes.

    to end the war - saw a chance to unite two Korea's and extend their sphere of influence * China, where Mao Zedong's communists had come to power, shared a border with North Korea - Chinese leaders saw American plan as direct threat to their new regime.

  1. Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe and the USSR?

    The USSR?s economy had been severely weakened by the arms race, which had been continued and accelerated by Ronald Reagan pumping $32 billion into Americas defense spending. Gorbachev?s policies of glasnost and perestroika (openness and restructuring) were intended to boost the USSR?s economy by creating more freedoms for every day life in Russia.

  2. Edexcel Cold War 1943-1991 Revision (Detailed)

    27 October Khruschev promised to remove missiles if USA removed missiles from turkey. However, a U2 spy plane was shot down and the crisis deepend. 28 October Kennedy (accepting his Brothers advice) ignored the second letter and replied to the first, stating that the offer was only open until the 29th October and beyond that would mean invasion.

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