Was the collapse of the USSR historically inevitable?

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Was the collapse of the USSR historically inevitable?

The twenty fifth of December 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as President of The Soviet Union and the country is dissolute in fifteen republics after an existence of nearly seventy years. Before this moment, less or none historians predicted this collapse. Nevertheless, one can ask the question whether this collapse was historically inevitable or not. The aim of this essay is not to rewrite History but explain what has lead to the end of the Soviet Union. First of all, this essay will describe shortly some important steps of the Soviet History after the Second World War and in the context of the Cold War, in order to help the understood of the final collapse. Even though the last years of the soviet regime were crucial, former events and policies influenced the Breakup of USSR. In the second part, I will analyze how some events and factors, such as economy, nationalism, internal and external pressures, personalities and the war of Afghanistan made this collapse inevitable. Even though some scholars, such as Gaddis, argue that the end of the cold war and the collapse of Soviet Union were not historically expected, this essay will show that it seems inevitable.

In order to understand the Collapse of the Soviet Union, some historical facts need to be reminded. After the death of Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev became General Secretary of the Communist Party of SU. In 1956, he betrayed during the twentieth Congress of the Party the brutal and repressive policy of Stalin and began a relatively more opened policy, within and outside the Soviet Union, in spite of the repression in Budapest the same year. Nevertheless, he failed his attempts of agricultural and industrial reforms, and the fiascos of the Berlin Blockade and Cuban missiles crisis damaged the Soviet prestige. In 1964, he was replaced by Leonid Brezhnev, who stopped all reforms and managed a harder policy. His reign was marked by stagnation inside, imperialism outside, with the increase of military expenditures, the Prague intervention in 1968 and the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979(“Brezhnev doctrine of intervention”). Brezhnev died in 1982 and his management produced stagnation disguised in stability. The Soviet system showed gaps compared with the westerns countries in term of technology, the country needed to import grain, the very centralized system was marked by bureaucracy and corruption, and the isolate command economy was totally inefficient.

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After the short mandate of Andropov and Chernenko, Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in 1985. He understood that the problem of the regime had to be handled and took some important decisions. Thus, he launched huge reforms, “Glasnost” and “Perestroika”, to restore the Soviet economy and prestige, offering consumer goods to soviets and allowing more freedom of speech. Nevertheless, Gorbachev failed to address the fundamental flaws of the Soviet system. Moreover, the red army did not intervene in Eastern Europe where disputes increased and evacuated Afghanistan on 1989 after a disastrous and expensive war. In the year 1989, all ...

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Although there are some problems with written expression, the author covers a great deal of ground here and shows good understanding of events. The views of historians are also well engaged with. Links to the question could be stronger throughout. 4 Stars