Cross-National Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training Program (CONSIRT) Lectures in Eastern Europe From Communism To Post-Communism
Major Mass Eastern European Bloc Uprisings 1945 - 1988 Where When What OutcomeHungary Autumn, 1956 Small revolution against Intervention by Soviet troops, roll- Stalinist-like authority back of reforms, repressionCzechoslovakia Spring-Summer Liberalization of society Intervention by Soviet troops, roll- 1968 and political system, non- back of reforms, repression violent public demonstrationsPoland December 1970 Strikes and demonstrations Polish authorities use violence to end (also 1976) against rise in food prices the uprisingRomania August 1977 Miners in Jiu Valley protest Romanian authorities use Securitate low (and non-existent) pay agents to identify and arrest the and poor working leaders of the opposition, many conditions workers were fired, and promised reforms renegedPoland August 1980 Strikes against proposed Polish authorities declare Martial Law raise in food prices and until 1983 poor work conditions start in Gdansk shipyards, spread throughout country, creation of Solidarinosc
Themes from Mass Uprisings Against the Communist System-- Working class protest and the desire of workers to form trade unions independent of the Communist Party,-- Liberalization and proposed political reforms met with harsh resistance by authorities within the country and by the Soviet Union,-- The constant threat of Soviet military intervention. “history of resistance”
The Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe 1989: A TimelineJanuary SeptemberFebruary Poland: non-Communist governmentPoland: roundtable talks OctoberMarch Hungary: Communist party re-names itself as Socialist Party, becomes non-April Communist Czechoslovakia: Velvet Revolution beginsMay NovemberJune East Germany: Fall of Berlin WallPoland: Elections Bulgaria: Protests (Communist government falls in January 1990)July DecemberAugust Romania: Violent revolution, Ceasescu „arrested” and executed on Christmas Day.
Theories of the Social Change of 1989 Reagan Won Cold WarGorbachev Effect/Liberalization Theory Failure of Socialist Economy
What does the fall of communism in 1989 mean geographically?Dissolution of states means that they disappear from current maps:-The Soviet Union does not exist anymore; Russia is the only formalsuccessor of the USSR.-Czechoslovakia no longer is a political entity; we have the CzechRepublic and Slovakia.-Yugoslavia divided into Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia,Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia- The German Democratic Republic was incorporated into theFederal Republic of Germany, and on the map we have simplyGermany.
"People here feel a real schizophrenia... No one wants to go back to the daysof dictatorship, but at the same time were not really happy with the newsystem. Its full of challenges for which we were totally unprepared... From apurely economic standpoint things are definitely better than before, althoughfar too many of our people have lost their jobs. But even those who have jobsand have cars and take nice vacations are worried about what is happening toour society. Brutal competition and the lust for money are destroying oursense of community. Almost everyone feels a level of fear or depression orinsecurity.„ -- Rev. Christian Fuhrer of Germany, 1994"No one on either side of the wall had any idea how far apart we had grownin 40 years...Only now are we beginning to understand it. I can tell you thatif West Germany had absorbed Italy or France, the problems would havebeen far less than they are with the absorption of East Germany... Imagine ifthe United States, overnight, had to adopt the entire Chinese bureaucratic,legal, political and economic system... That gives you an idea of howtraumatic the change has been over here." -- Heinrich Lehmann-Grube,Mayor of Leipzig, Germany, 1994