End of Cold War - Poland's Solidarity, Gorbachev, Fall of USSR
• “ When forces that are hostile to socialism try
to turn towards capitalism, it becomes not
only a problem of the country concerned, but
a common problem and concern of all socialist
Socialism ‘with a human face’?
Dubcek’s belief that socialism did not have to be what
Soviet Union had practiced – corrupt, power abuse,
Lessened censorship – criticism of the government
Less oppressive policies
increased democratisation including more open debate
and freedom of speech
Even set up an alternative party to the Communist Party!
*** Dubcek had no intention to give up communism or
leave the Warsaw Pact. He only aimed to reform
Why did the Soviet Union feel threatened
by the Prague Spring 1968?
• - The USSR thought they would lose control as Dubcek launched
reforms and modernized communism with “Socialism with a
human face”. He introduced free expression and ended rule of
terror by secret police.
• - Dubcek even planned to set up a Social democratic Party as a
rival to the Communists.
• - Although Dubcek promised Brezhnev not to leave Warsaw Pact,
Brezhnev's Doctrine stated that if control was lessened in one
country, others Satellite states would undermine Soviet control,
and USSR had the right to intervene.
• - Czechoslovakia was too important to the USSR as it had
borders with West Germany.
• - Brezhnev was the new Soviet leader and he was determined to
maintain Soviet control of eastern Europe.
SALT: Strategic Arm Limitation Talks
•SALT II (1979)
•President Carter of USA tried to get
further deals on arms limitations
•1979 – Soviet Union invaded
•Diplomatic links broken
•Carter withdrew US Olympic team
from 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow.
Reagan – The 80s
•Both sides developing
•USA developed neutron
bomb – could kill many
people without much
damage to property
1983 - Star Wars
March 23, Reagan outlinrd his Strategic Defense
Initiative, or "Star Wars," a space-based
defensive shield that would use lasers and other
advanced technology to destroy attacking missiles
far above the Earth's surface.
Soviets accuse the U.S of violating the 1972
Antiballistic Missile Treaty.
Soviets forced to spend heavily to match the
program causing near economic collapse.
Poland during the Cold War
- economic disasters
- Communist government failed to solve any
- people had lost faith in communism
How It All Began...
In 1970, Stalin’s Shipyard in Gdansk,
Poland, was the center of huge and
violent demonstrations against the
government’s decisions to increase
Six years later Wałęsa was fired and
became an activist
In 1980 the food prices were raised
again. >100,000 workers went on
Workers seized control of the yard and
Wałęsa scaled the shipyard fence and
joined the workers inside.
Lech Wałęsa speaking
the workers at the
What is the Solidarity movement?
- A trade union of workers
- backed by popular opinion
- use of non-violent methods
- the 1st non–communist
party-controlled trade union
in Warsaw Pact.
- reached 10 million members
before 1981 (1/3 of Poland's
Leader of the Solidarity
led Poland out of
Contributed to the end of
communism and Europe
and an end to the Cold War
1982: Reagan met with Pope John Paul II
They decided to secretly help Solidarity, to
secretly challenge the communist
1982-9, American organizations provided
money and advice to help Solidarity!
Meanwhile, the Polish communist party was
What's so important about Solidarity?
- Solidarity began calling for greater political
and religious freedoms.
- Government feared to take action!
- The banning and imprisonment did not work.
Solidarity went from strength to strength.
- a symbol for opposition to communism. It set
an example to the rest of Eastern Europe ...
USSR in HUGH crisis!
- Economy collapsing. Industry & agriculture inefficient
- unable to afford military expenses in the arms race
- Corruption too deep-rooted
- poverty & famine
- people lost faith in communism
- Military defeat and humiliation at Afghanistan
- Rising discontent EVERYWHERE
- low social morale (alcoholism)
Warsaw Pact also in HUGH crisis!Warsaw Pact also in HUGH crisis!
-Economy failing, clearly behind the West
- poverty & famine
-people lost faith in communism
- Rising discontent EVERYWHERE
- low social morale
- Red Army could not no longer suppress all riots
1979 - Afghanistan
December 25, 100,000 Soviet
troops invaded Afghanistan
as communist Babrak Karmal
seized control of the
U.S.-backed Muslim guerrilla
fighters waged a costly war
against the Soviets for nearly
a decade before Soviet
troops withdraw in 1988.
came to power
started an era of reforms.
“Restructuring” the economy
- including capitalist practices!
Competition and free market
economy was encouraged.
- Free speech and political freedom!
- to restore faith in government and
People who criticised would no
longer be persecuted!
USSR would allow Eastern
Europe Satellites to choose
their “own way” of
USSR would not send in
Red Army to crush
rebellions any more.
1989 - Berlin Wall falls
Gorbachev loosened Soviet control in
On September 10, Hungary opened
its border with Austria, allowing East
Germans to flee to the West.
After massive public demonstrations
in East Germany and Eastern Europe,
the Berlin Wall fell on November 9.
Tear down the wall: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzsklVTlopE
At a September 12 meeting in
Moscow, the United States, Soviet
Union, Great Britain, France and the
two Germanys agreed to end Allied
occupation rights in Germany.
On October 3, East and West
Germany united as the Federal
Republic of Germany.
Lech Wałęsa: President of Poland
In 1989 he ran for President and
won by a landslide.
Bulgaria and Albania also abandoned
communism around 1990
Moves to establish
with the west and
1987 - INF
On December 8,
1987, Reagan and
It was the removal
of more than 2,600
President George Bush and
Russian president Boris Yeltsin
issue formal statement
declaring end to Cold War.
Who “won” the Cold War?
How far – 8 mark questions
1. How important was Solidarity in the
decline of Soviet influence in Eastern
2. How far can decline of Soviet power in
Eastern Europe be blamed on the
3. Gorbachev was responsible for the
collapse of Soviet control over Eastern
Europe. How far?
How far was it due to Solidarity?
Very important as it brought change and it set an example to others.
It challenged the USSR by showing that if people stood together
against oppression, it would force the government to give
way through popular opinion and non-violent methods.
The government in Poland had lost the confidence of the people and
Solidarity showed that a Communist government could not solve
Poland’s economic problems.
Solidarity began calling for greater political and religious freedoms.
As it was strong, the government feared to take action, as did the
Soviet Union. The USSR did not use force to ensure this unlike in
Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
The movement showed that tough moves of threats, banning and
imprisonment did not work. Solidarity only grew stronger. In the
free elections of 1989, Solidarity won massive support and
Walesa became first non-communist President.
This set an example to communist control for the rest of eastern
Was it Gorbachev’s leadership?
Gorbachev created a more open atmosphere and no longer used armed
forces to enforce Soviet rule over Satellite states. This helped to reduce
spending on the military.
He proposed that the Soviet economy should be improved by
“perestroika” – restructuring, including capitalist practices. More
competition in industry was encouraged.
Free market capitalism and trade with the West increased. This also
increased Soviet awareness of better standards of living in the West.
He introduced “glasnost” – openness to restoring faith in government and
end corruption. People who criticised the government should no longer
be persecuted. This allowed discontent to grow.
He proposed a cut back in money spent on the arms race and signed arms
limitation treaty with the USA.
He sought to establish more friendly relations with the west and signed
arms reduction treaties.
In 1989, communist regimes of eastern Europe toppled one by one as
Gorbachev's reforms signalled that the Soviet Union could no longer
intervene. (Sinatra Doctrine)
How far was it because of
communism’s own weaknesses?
Communism was seen by many as corrupt and Soviet industry and
agriculture inefficient. The USSR was in economic crisis. Food
shortages were everywhere. Large sums of money were being
spent on military at the expense of citizens living in poverty.
There was much corruption with Party members living in luxury
whilst the workers were living in poverty. People had lost faith
in the system. Corruption ran too deeply for the changes to
Large sums of money were being spent on defence and the 1979
Warsaw Pact countries were clearly behind western countries both
economically and socially.
Gorbachev’s withdrawal of Red Army from Satellite countries
resulted in one by one the communist governments coming to