• 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 Eastern Europe and the USSR?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe and the USSR? There are many reasons that led to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR. Communism was struggling throughout the 1980?s and policies and treaties that were introduced, such as Solidarity and The Sinatra Doctrine were not helping its strength and support. As more and more revolutions against the ideology were sparked, the domino affect came in to play, creating huge gaps in the iron curtain and ultimately leading to the collapse of communism not just in Eastern Europe but throughout the superpower of Russia as well. One factor that played a role in the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and also the USSR was the reforms and policies of Michael Gorbachev. Gorbachev abandoned the Brezhnev Doctrine, which was the Soviet Unions policy of intervening with a communist country if they were under the threat of invasion. Instead, Gorbachev created the Sinatra Doctrine. This contributed to the collapse of communism greatly as it stated that the Soviet leadership had decided to let all countries including its Warsaw Pact allies determine their own form of government, which was against the rules of communism. ...read more.

Middle

Also, rebellious Poles organized their own society, separate from the Communist government, which sparked the beginning of many revolutions against communism. After the revolution of Poland, Czechs and Slovaks took to the streets to demand political reforms in Czechoslovakia. Leading the protests in Prague was Havel, the founder of the reform group Charter 77. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia quietly and peacefully transferred the government rule to Havel. The Czechoslovakian revolution, which was later called the ?Velvet Revolution?, was a success and another country had fallen from the reign of communism in Eastern Europe. Another revolution In Romania was also taking place very soon after the velvet revolution. The Communist regime of hardliner Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown by popular protest and was shot dead after getting a death sentence for killing citizens. Soon, the Communist parties of Bulgaria and Albania were also ended as communism was quickly spiraling out of control in the East. Another reason for the collapse of communism in the USSR was the war in Afghanistan. In 1979, The USSR invaded Afghanistan in an attempt to support the decaying communist government there. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thousands of Germans were escaping to the west through Hungary and the GDR was powerless to stop them. Honecker, the East German leader, collapsed under the pressure and. The border was due to be opened on the 10th, however a mistake in a press conference resulted in the border being opened on the evening of the 9th. As the guards stood confused whether to open the order or not, huge crowds gathered for the monumental event. Once the border was eventually opened, thousands of people crossed the border of which had previously marked the communist, capitalist divide. This was the moment that I believe collapsed communism not just in Eastern Europe but in Russia as well. There are many reasons for the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR, however I believe that some are more important than others. I believe that the most important factor that led to the collapse of communism not just in the USSR but also Eastern Europe was Gorbachev. Gorbachev introduced taxes and policies, which never had an affect on the USSR?s poor economy and made people dislike him and turn away from the communist ideology. However I also feel that Gorbachev did the right thing in ending the cold war without violence and blood shed. Alex Skudder ...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?

    Gorbachev had a deep inner "aversion to the use of force" (ZA P79). This could be connected with the fact he had "no particular links with the military" (MG+tEoSP P43). This can also be linked with the insecurity of Gorbachev's power base.

  2. Notes on the Solidarity movement in Poland.

    things better', while 5% thought that it had a better program then the government. * Walesa was careful about his negotiations with the government as he did not want to provoke the Soviet Union. He secretly worked with the communist leader Kania to control the radicals (both feared that the USSR would send tanks if they went too far).

  1. The integration and fragmentation of Europe and its implications.

    This wall separated West Berlin from the East and began the cold war between the USSR and the Western Allies and in particular the USA. Berlin remained divided until the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. The integration of East Germany began almost immediately as trade between the two

  2. How did the Soviet Union deal with Eastern Europe, 1945-1956?

    been won, but the Soviets had liberated many countries in Eastern Europe but instead of then leaving these countries they left troops occupying these countries. Stalin had also set up a communist government in Poland, which was meant to remain neutral.

  1. Cold War Summary, quotes and revision notes.

    deal of economic and political support to help China after it became communist in 1949 * Seemed national allies - bonded by adherence to communist ideology * Never a case of USSR spreading communism to China and dominating it as Americans believed * Following Stalin's death in 1953 a rift

  2. Cold War Short Essays - Questions and Answers.

    Despite these compromises, Reagan was unwilling to negotiate SDI withdrawal. A further key feature was the Washington summit of 1987 where the INF treaty was signed. This removed medium-range missiles from Europe and thus halted the Arms Race. Briefly explain the key features of the Helsinki agreements in 1975 (6 marks)

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

    Gorbachev said talks broke down over the SDI talks and the anti-balistic missiles treaty. December 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) took place where it was agreed they would elimate nuclear and conventional ground-launched and cruise missiles with ranges of 500-5500 kilometers.

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

    In 1988, in speech to the United Nations in New York, Gorbachev commited himself to ending the Cold War, and doing this by renouncing the Russian emphasis on the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution on trying to export Communism abroad, and therefore also renouncing the Brezhnev doctrine and committing the USSR to massive cuts in conventional and nuclear weapons.

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