The Fall of the Soviet Union<br />Eden Smith, Brandon Morisset, Joy Hudson, and Jeneé Pombert <br />
Intro<br />Communism is a social structure in which social classes are abolished and property is commonly controlled.<br />Stalinism was Joseph Stalin’s, the leader of the soviet union, theory and practice of communism. According to encyclopedia Britannica “Stalinism is associated with a regime of terror and totalitarian rule. <br />
Who, What, Where, When, and Why<br />Who: Gorbachev<br />What: Used perestroika (economic restructuring) and glasnost (element of political freedom), but failed in restructuring and caused the fall of the Soviet Union<br />Where: The Soviet Union (Russia)<br />When: 1985 when Gorbachev came to power and the fall happened in 1991<br />Why: There are several attributing reasons that can’t be denied: the government, the economy and the military. <br />
Who: Gorbachev<br />Mikhail Gorbachev was born on March 2, 1931. He was the son of an agricultural mechanic, and his grandfather was a steady member of the communist party and was also the head of the village kolkhoz. His grandfather was also arrested in 1937 by the secret police for being a part of an underground organization. He was tortured and imprisoned for almost two years and was released at the end of 1938. Gorbachev told everybody that these incidents later affected his political decisions. Gorbachev worked as a harvest operator, while he studied law at the Moscow University. While he was a student, he joined the Communist Party and , also, met and married Raisa Titorenko. From the years 1955-1985 Gorbachev built up and eventually, when Chernenko died, he became the General Secretary of the Communist Party. <br />
What: Caused the Downfall of the Soviet Union<br />After Mikhail Gorbachev became the General Secretary, he introduced campaigns against alcohol and corruption. He, also, talked about a need for perestroika, which is restructuring of the economy. The aim was to reform the political and social economies to make the Soviet Union more efficient. During this time, he was, also, forcing more conservative members of the Party to resign. When he announced these economic changes, he met with Ronald Reagan to sign the Immediate Nuclear Forces abolition treaty. Gorbachev decided that he would not interfere with other countries foreign policies, and withdrew the Soviet forces from Europe and Afghanistan. A year later he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Over the next couple of years he continued to make decisions and reforms that made the more conservative members of his party angry. This caused the downfall because he, eventually, made too many of the members angry and in 1991 they launched a coup d'état, which he survived. He responded by dissolving the Central Committee, which was the Soviet Union main source of <br />
Where The Soviet Union Fell<br />The Soviet Union fell in what is now referred to as Russia (Россия)<br />
When: Fell in 1991<br />Late 1991<br />Jan. 1990<br />July 1990<br />June1991<br />August 22, 1991<br /><ul><li>Jan. 1990: The old Soviet ways are dying but not dead. Soviet troops move in to break up demonstrations in Baku, at least 100 people die possibly many more.
July 1990: Boris Yeltsin resigns from the communist party, and events are moving toward their climax.
June 1991: Russians choose Boris Yeltsin as there first president. The scene for the final showdown is set, Gorbachev, Yeltsin, and the communist old guard all want power.
22 August 1991: Gorbachev makes a dramatic return to Moscow from his detention in the Crimea. The next day Gorbachev resigns as Soviet Communist Party general secretary and dissolves its Central Committee.
Late 1991: On December 25,1991 Gorbachev announces that he is stepping down as soviet president, and the soviet flag is lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and the Russian federation Flag flies in its place. The Soviet Union is no more.</li></li></ul><li>Why:<br />The Soviet Union had been on a downward spiral for decades before it finally fell. And although there has been many debates over what truly was its downfall, there are several key points that can’t be denied. <br />For one, the military was only a shadow of its former self; having suffered by the hands of Afghanistan insurgents.<br />
Why: <br />The second reason could have been the economy. The economy could no longer properly provide for everyone and shortages were common. The standard of living was incredibly low compared to other surrounding countries. <br />Another reason was most likely the corrupting bureaucracy of the government. Everything became an empty gesture, leaving the people fed up with their government.<br />
Why:<br />So, like in every other civilization we have studied the people, fed up with their government, took control.<br />Now although we can not determine the exact cause of the Soviet Union’s fall, we can infer that all three of the factors listed played a part.<br />
Target Question<br />How did the fall of the Soviet Union affect the surrounding countries in the past? Modern day?<br />Answer: When the soviet union collapsed in 1991, the citizens of the newly-formed countries found themselves suddenly thrust into a new era. Before they used to rely on the Soviet system of socialism and central planning to dictate their lives. In the post Soviet era, the surrounding countries newfound independence forced them to face a lot of changes. All they knew was gone– the old government, the old economy, and the old Marxist idealism had all collapsed. As the transition to a new way of life continued, confusion and difficulties followed along with it, leaving the people of eastern Europe frustrated and Desperate for solutions to their problems. <br />
Conclusion<br />The fall of the Soviet Union effected over 20 countries including: Vietnam, North Korea, China and many others. In fact the repercussions are still being felt today. The war in Afghanistan can be traced back to the fall the USSR. The Afghanistan people have such a misguided view of the west because the Soviets tried to push those views upon them. <br />
Works Sited<br />"Afghanistan, Soviet Intervention in." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East. 4 Vols. Macmillan Reference USA, 1996. Reproduced in History Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/History/<br />Bradsher, Henry S. "Afghanistan: Soviet Intervention in." Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. Ed. Philip Mattar. Vol. 1. 2nd ed. New York: Macmillan Reference USA, 2004. 65-66. Global Issues In Context. Gale. Creekview High School. 17 May 2010 <http://find.galegroup.com/gic/start.do?prodId=GIC>.<br />Kreis, Steven. "Lecture 16: 1989 -- The Walls Came Tumbling Down." The History Guide -- Main. 04 Aug. 2009. Web. 13 May 2010. <http://www.historyguide.org/europe/lecture16.html>.<br />"Mikhail Gorbachev." Spartacus Educational - Home Page. Web. 15 May 2010. <http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/COLDgorbachev.htm>.<br />