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The collapse-of-the-soviet-union


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The collapse of USSR and the world watched with wonder

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The collapse-of-the-soviet-union

  1. 1. The Collapse of theThe Collapse of the Soviet UnionSoviet Union And the world watchedAnd the world watched with wonder …with wonder …
  2. 2. Eastern Bloc Union of Soviet Socialist Republics 15 Republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan 7 Satellite Countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia
  3. 3. Was the Collapse Due to Force? NoWas the Collapse Due to Force? No  The Cold War cost more thanThe Cold War cost more than $11 trillion. But the collapse$11 trillion. But the collapse of the Soviet Union and itsof the Soviet Union and its satellites was not a result ofsatellites was not a result of force.force.  No NATO tank fired a shot.No NATO tank fired a shot.  No bomb fell on theNo bomb fell on the Kremlin.Kremlin.
  4. 4. A Home-Grown InsurgencyA Home-Grown Insurgency  Instead, a massive, home-Instead, a massive, home- grown insurgency, led by agrown insurgency, led by a number of differentnumber of different participants, contributed toparticipants, contributed to the collapse:the collapse:  WorkersWorkers  Dissident intellectualsDissident intellectuals  Advocates of nationalAdvocates of national self-determinationself-determination  ReformersReformers
  5. 5. Polish Trade Union: SolidarityPolish Trade Union: Solidarity  The downfall began inThe downfall began in 1980 when striking Polish1980 when striking Polish workers organizedworkers organized Solidarity, anSolidarity, an independent trade unionindependent trade union of nearly 10 millionof nearly 10 million members.members.
  6. 6. Support from Catholic ChurchSupport from Catholic Church  Solidarity, which hadSolidarity, which had strong support from thestrong support from the powerful Polish Catholicpowerful Polish Catholic Church, demonstratedChurch, demonstrated how a working-classhow a working-class movement could offer anmovement could offer an entire nation moral andentire nation moral and political leadership.political leadership.
  7. 7. Solidarity’s Chairman: Lech WalesaSolidarity’s Chairman: Lech Walesa  The Polish military droveThe Polish military drove Solidarity underground inSolidarity underground in 1981. However, in 1983,1981. However, in 1983, Solidarity’s chairman, LechSolidarity’s chairman, Lech Walesa, won the NobelWalesa, won the Nobel peace prize. In 1990, hepeace prize. In 1990, he would be the first freelywould be the first freely elected president of theelected president of the Polish nation in more thanPolish nation in more than sixty years.sixty years.
  8. 8. The Gorbachev RevolutionThe Gorbachev Revolution  Mikhail Gorbachev, whoMikhail Gorbachev, who came to power in 1985came to power in 1985 as the General Secretaryas the General Secretary of the Communist Partyof the Communist Party of the Soviet Unionof the Soviet Union (CPSU), recognized that(CPSU), recognized that the Soviet Union couldthe Soviet Union could not remain politically andnot remain politically and economically isolated andeconomically isolated and that the Soviet systemthat the Soviet system had to be changed if ithad to be changed if it was to survive.was to survive.
  9. 9. Gorbachev's Five-Point PlanGorbachev's Five-Point Plan  The key pieces to Gorbachev's plan for the survivalThe key pieces to Gorbachev's plan for the survival of the Soviet Union were a series of reforms:of the Soviet Union were a series of reforms: 1.1. GlasnostGlasnost (openness) – greater freedom of(openness) – greater freedom of expressionexpression 2.2. PerestroikaPerestroika (restructuring) – decentralization(restructuring) – decentralization of the Soviet economy with gradual marketof the Soviet economy with gradual market reformsreforms 3.3. Renunciation of the Brezhnev DoctrineRenunciation of the Brezhnev Doctrine (armed(armed intervention where socialism was threatened)intervention where socialism was threatened) and the pursuit of arms control agreementsand the pursuit of arms control agreements 4.4. Reform of the KGBReform of the KGB (secret service)(secret service) 5.5. Reform of the Communist PartyReform of the Communist Party
  10. 10. The Objective: SurvivalThe Objective: Survival  Gorbachev knew that the Soviet Union would haveGorbachev knew that the Soviet Union would have to change if it was to change if it was to survive.  Central planningCentral planning in a modern industrial economyin a modern industrial economy brought many inefficiencies.brought many inefficiencies.  TheThe factory management systemfactory management system provided littleprovided little incentive to make technological improvementsincentive to make technological improvements and every incentive to hide factory capacities toand every incentive to hide factory capacities to ensure low quotasensure low quotas  TheThe socialist farm systemsocialist farm system was inefficient – therewas inefficient – there were poor worker incentives and storage andwere poor worker incentives and storage and transportation problems.transportation problems.  The Soviet State could no longer afford theThe Soviet State could no longer afford the highhigh defense spendingdefense spending that accompanied the Coldthat accompanied the Cold War.War.
  11. 11. Insistent Calls for ChangeInsistent Calls for Change  He believed that hisHe believed that his reforms were necessaryreforms were necessary and used his leadershipand used his leadership and power to attempt toand power to attempt to implement them.implement them.  The policy ofThe policy of glasnostglasnost (openness) made it(openness) made it possible for people topossible for people to more freely criticize themore freely criticize the government's policies.government's policies. When people realized itWhen people realized it was safe to speak out, thewas safe to speak out, the calls for change becamecalls for change became more insistent.more insistent.
  12. 12. Reforms Were Too SlowReforms Were Too Slow  The gradual market reformsThe gradual market reforms and decentralization of theand decentralization of the economy (economy (perestroikaperestroika) were) were too slow and failed to keeptoo slow and failed to keep pace with the crisis and hispace with the crisis and his people's demands.people's demands.  The Soviet Union wasThe Soviet Union was suffering a deterioration ofsuffering a deterioration of economic and socialeconomic and social conditions and a fall in theconditions and a fall in the GNP.GNP.
  13. 13. Party Reforms a FailureParty Reforms a Failure  His attempts to reformHis attempts to reform thethe Communist PartyCommunist Party were a failure. Changewere a failure. Change was too slow to keep pacewas too slow to keep pace with events and he waswith events and he was continually hampered bycontinually hampered by his need to give in to thehis need to give in to the hard-liners in order tohard-liners in order to retain power. Asretain power. As communism collapsed incommunism collapsed in Eastern Europe, reform ofEastern Europe, reform of communism in the Sovietcommunism in the Soviet Union became unlikely.Union became unlikely.
  14. 14. Release from Soviet DominationRelease from Soviet Domination  The renunciation of theThe renunciation of the Brezhnev DoctrineBrezhnev Doctrine (armed(armed intervention in support ofintervention in support of socialism) released thesocialism) released the Eastern European statesEastern European states from Soviet domination.from Soviet domination.  The communist rulers ofThe communist rulers of these states could notthese states could not survive without the supportsurvive without the support of the Soviet Union.of the Soviet Union. The Brezhnev Doctrine was articulated in 1968 when the Soviet army occupied Czechoslovakia to end the Prague Spring, an attempt by Alexander Dubcek to build “socialism with a human face.”
  15. 15. Reagan’s Brandenburg Gate SpeechReagan’s Brandenburg Gate Speech  President Ronald Reagan called uponPresident Ronald Reagan called upon Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall:Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall: ""In the Communist world, we see failure,In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, decliningtechnological backwardness, declining standards... Even today, the Soviet Unionstandards... Even today, the Soviet Union cannot feed itself. The inescapable conclusioncannot feed itself. The inescapable conclusion is that freedom is the victor. Generalis that freedom is the victor. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace,Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union,if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union, if you seek liberalization: Come here to thisif you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
  16. 16. President Reagan giving a speech at the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, Federal Republic of Germany. June 12, 1987
  17. 17. Wave of DemonstrationsWave of Demonstrations  Beginning in SeptemberBeginning in September 1989, a wave of huge1989, a wave of huge demonstrations shookdemonstrations shook Communist regimes acrossCommunist regimes across eastern Europe. A massiveeastern Europe. A massive tide of East Germantide of East German emigrants surged throughemigrants surged through Czechoslovakia and HungaryCzechoslovakia and Hungary to the West, undermining theto the West, undermining the authority of the Communistauthority of the Communist hard-liners who still clung tohard-liners who still clung to power in the Germanpower in the German Democratic Republic (GDR).Democratic Republic (GDR).
  18. 18. A tram is blocked by East German demonstrators in the center of the city in October 1989. Their banner reads: 'Legalization of opposition parties, free democratic elections, free press and independent unions.'
  19. 19. The Wall Came DownThe Wall Came Down  Finally, on the night ofFinally, on the night of November 9, 1989,November 9, 1989, ordinary Germansordinary Germans poured through thepoured through the Berlin Wall. The GDRBerlin Wall. The GDR quickly disintegrated,quickly disintegrated, and by the end of 1990,and by the end of 1990, all of East Germany hadall of East Germany had been incorporated intobeen incorporated into the wealthy, powerfulthe wealthy, powerful Federal Republic ofFederal Republic of Germany.Germany.
  20. 20. The Rise of NationalismThe Rise of Nationalism  With the iron grip of theWith the iron grip of the centralized Soviet statecentralized Soviet state relaxed and the growingrelaxed and the growing failure of the state tofailure of the state to adequately feed andadequately feed and clothe its people,clothe its people, nationalism in thenationalism in the republics surged andrepublics surged and separatist movementsseparatist movements threatened the verythreatened the very existence of the Sovietexistence of the Soviet Union.Union. Super Cute Protesters: Moldova: The hot, angry face of nationalism - Apr 13, 2009
  21. 21. Events in Eastern EuropeEvents in Eastern Europe  Communist governmentsCommunist governments in Czechoslovakia,in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and BulgariaHungary, and Bulgaria either tumbled oreither tumbled or underwent reform.underwent reform.  The CommunistThe Communist dictatorship in Romaniadictatorship in Romania fell after a week offell after a week of bloody street battlesbloody street battles between ordinarybetween ordinary citizens and police, whocitizens and police, who defended the old orderdefended the old order to the bitter the bitter end.
  22. 22. Radical ChangeRadical Change  Radical change finallyRadical change finally reached the Sovietreached the Soviet heartland in Augustheartland in August 1991, when thousands of1991, when thousands of Russian citizens pouredRussian citizens poured into the streets to defeatinto the streets to defeat a reactionary coupa reactionary coup d'état.d'état.
  23. 23. Independent RepublicsIndependent Republics  The Communist partyThe Communist party quickly collapsed, andquickly collapsed, and the Soviet Union beganthe Soviet Union began the painful and uncertainthe painful and uncertain process of reorganizingprocess of reorganizing itself as a looseitself as a loose confederation ofconfederation of independent republics.independent republics.
  24. 24. Boris YeltsinBoris Yeltsin  Boris Yeltsin, whoBoris Yeltsin, who headed the Russianheaded the Russian Republic, replacedRepublic, replaced Gorbachev as presidentGorbachev as president of a much- diminishedof a much- diminished state. Gorbachev foundstate. Gorbachev found that there was nothat there was no Soviet Union to leadSoviet Union to lead and retired into privateand retired into private Time magazine's July 15, 1996, issue, featured a 10-page spread about a squad of U.S. political pros who "clandestinely participated in guiding Yeltsin's campaign.“
  25. 25. Nobel Peace PrizeNobel Peace Prize  Gorbachev won the 1989Gorbachev won the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize. HeNobel Peace Prize. He brought a peaceful end tobrought a peaceful end to the cold war, and dramaticthe cold war, and dramatic change to his country'schange to his country's economy, though not ineconomy, though not in the way he intended.the way he intended.
  26. 26. The End of the Cold WarThe End of the Cold War  The Cold War was over,The Cold War was over, brought to a close not bybrought to a close not by the missiles and tanks ofthe missiles and tanks of the principal participants,the principal participants, but by the collectivebut by the collective courage and willpower ofcourage and willpower of ordinary men and women.ordinary men and women.
  27. 27. Ronald Reagan’s RoleRonald Reagan’s Role  In the United States, partisans ofIn the United States, partisans of Ronald Reagan claimed much ofRonald Reagan claimed much of the credit for ending the Cold War.the credit for ending the Cold War. Reagan's frank denunciation of theReagan's frank denunciation of the Soviet Union as an “Soviet Union as an “evil empireevil empire,"," along with his administration'salong with his administration's military buildupmilitary buildup, were said to have, were said to have inspired eastern bloc dissidents atinspired eastern bloc dissidents at the same time thethe same time the arms racearms race exhausted the productive capacityexhausted the productive capacity of the Soviet Union and otherof the Soviet Union and other inefficient Communist regimes.inefficient Communist regimes.
  28. 28. Nuclear Stockpiles, 1945-2006Nuclear Stockpiles, 1945-2006 Source data from: Robert S. Norris and Hans M. Kristensen, "Global nuclear stockpiles, 1945-2006," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 62, no. 4 (July/August 2006), 64-66. Online at
  29. 29. The National DebtThe National Debt US Pop: 304,998,272 Share of Debt/Person: $34,526.04 Daily Increase: $3.84 billion $438 billion deficit
  30. 30. Another Side to the StoryAnother Side to the Story  According to U.S. diplomatAccording to U.S. diplomat George Kennan, author of "TheGeorge Kennan, author of "The Sources of Soviet Conduct"Sources of Soviet Conduct" (1947) and architect of the(1947) and architect of the containment policy,containment policy, the West'sthe West's militarized posture helped themilitarized posture helped the Communists to rationalize theirCommunists to rationalize their authoritarian ruleauthoritarian rule. The more U.S.. The more U.S. policies followed a hard line, thepolicies followed a hard line, the greater was the tendency ingreater was the tendency in Moscow to tighten the controlsMoscow to tighten the controls and to discourage liberalizingand to discourage liberalizing tendencies.tendencies.
  31. 31. Lech Walesa's SOLIDARITY Gorbachev’s REFORMS John Paul II’s CATHOLIC CHURCH GlasnostRonald Reagan’s FOREIGN POLICY No Brezhnev Doctrine Perestroika Reform KGB Reform Comm Party EVIL EMPIRE Speech MILITARY BUILDUP ARMS RACE East German NATIONALISM The Collapse of the Soviet Union and the End of the Cold War Ordinary MEN & WOMEN WILL POWER COURAGE Eastern Bloc Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
  32. 32. Remaining Communist CountriesRemaining Communist Countries  At its peak, communism was practiced in dozens ofAt its peak, communism was practiced in dozens of countries:countries:  Soviet UnionSoviet Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia,: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania,Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, andMoldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and UzbekistanUzbekistan  Asian CountriesAsian Countries: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, and: Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mongolia, and YemenYemen  Soviet Controlled Eastern bloc countriesSoviet Controlled Eastern bloc countries: Bulgaria, Czech: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania,Republic, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia.Slovakia.  The BalkansThe Balkans: Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Bulgaria,: Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia.Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia.  AfricaAfrica: Angola, Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, and: Angola, Benin, Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea, and Mozambique.Mozambique.  CurrentlyCurrently only a handful of countries identified as communistonly a handful of countries identified as communist remain: Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, China, and Cuba.remain: Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, China, and Cuba.