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Was the fall of the USSR inevitable by the turn of 1991?

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Introduction

History Internal Assignment 2008 Was the fall of the USSR inevitable by the turn of 1991? 1 Candidate Name: Gabriel Puliatti Candidate Number: 000633-039 Supervisor: Peter Kvietok Session: November 2008 Centre: Markham College, Lima, Peru Word Count: 2000 Contents A Plan of investigation 4 B Summary of evidence 5 C Evaluation of Sources 7 D Analysis 8 E Conclusion 10 F List of Sources 11 A Plan of investigation (i) Subject of the Investigation Was the fall of the USSR inevitable by the turn of 1991? (ii) Scope of Investigation: The aim of this investigation is to identify whether the fall of the USSR was inevitable by 1991, or could have lasted for longer had leaders not met at Belavezha. (iii) Method: - Research for primary and secondary sources the fall of the USSR, identify the main arguments surrounding its break-up. - Summarise the evidence. - Evaluate two useful sources for their origin, purpose, value and limitations: Catherine & Ward's "Perestroika: The Historical Perspective" and Martin Walker's "The Cold War". - Analyse the extent of the separation of the Soviet Union by 1991 and different interpretations. - Write a logical, balanced conclusion. - Write an annotated bibliography (138 words) B Summary of evidence Mikhael Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, in 1985, to try to empower the faltering Soviet economy and grim social outlook. ...read more.

Middle

While this was confirmed with the signing of the Belavezha Accords by the leaders of Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine in December 8, 1991, which effectively disbanded the Soviet Union, this was only a document which made events and reforms in past years official. After releasing some of the most stringent controls in the economy, and allowing for private involvement in the economy, the Party was slowly walking away from socialist central planning16. This, supposedly, "would have strengthened the hand of the Soviet government"17, as it would release some of the pent up pressure18 and help the economy. However, this, in some cases, "did not go far enough, while in others, they went too far."19 Moscow was unable to control industry, and individual republics signed barter agreements and formed trade barriers inside the Union to "prevent other scarce products being exported across their borders"20. While not complete, the breakdown in the economic relations inside the USSR had inevitably broken down, to an extent, relations between each of the Republics, due to the badly made regulatory decisions. Local communist parties severed ties with Moscow, and insisted on their republican governments on autonomy. By the start of 1990, all of the republics, but the Russian and Ukrainian SSR, had "proclaimed their sovereignty"21. These two, the most important, would proclaim it by mid-1990. ...read more.

Conclusion

13 Ibid. 14 Furthermore, the wording was made so that it was very hard to vote yes, as it asked "Do you think that it is necessary to preserve the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a renewed federation of equal sovereign republics, in which the rights and freedoms of people of any nationality will be fully guaranteed?" 15 Walker, Edward W. Dissolution: Sovereignty and the Breakup of the Soviet Union, 2003, Rowman & Littlefield, Maryland, USA. Pg. 104. 16 Walker, Martin. The Cold War, 1994, Vintage, London, England. Pg. 304 17 Christian, David. Imperial and Soviet Russia: Power, Privilege and the challenge of Modernity, 1997, Addison Wesley Longman L, Edinburgh. Pg .418 18 Westwood, J. N. Endurance and Endeavour: Russian History, 1812-1992, 1993, Oxford University Press, New York. Pg. 498. 19 Christian, David. Imperial and Soviet Russia: Power, Privilege and the challenge of Modernity, 1997, Addison Wesley Longman L, Edinburgh. Pg. 418 20 Westwood, J. N. Endurance and Endeavour: Russian History, 1812-1992, 1993, Oxford University Press, New York. Pg. 522. 21 Christian, David. Imperial and Soviet Russia: Power, Privilege and the challenge of Modernity, 1997, Addison Wesley Longman L, Edinburgh. Pg. 309 22 Westwood, J. N. Endurance and Endeavour: Russian History, 1812-1992, 1993, Oxford University Press, New York. Pg. 498. 23 Fitzgerald, Frances. Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars, and the End of the Cold War, 2000, Simon and Schuster, New York. Pg. 476. ?? ?? ?? ?? Candidate Name: Gabriel Puliatti Candidate Number: 000633-039 Page 1 ...read more.

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