Section B Exam Questions: a) What was the Prague Spring of 1968? (4) • Dubceck wanted to reform communist system in Czechoslovakia • Ended censorship of press • Czech citizens given freedom to travel abroad • Other political parties allowed • Known as ‘communism with a human face’ b) Explain why Solidarity was set up in Poland. (6) • Soviet control was unpopular in Poland. Poles were strong Catholics and proud of their history. They remembered the suffering of their people at the hands of the Red Army in World War Two. • In 1970s Poland was suffering major economic problems/standard of living fell. Workers blamed the Government for these problems. Led to trade unions being formed and an outbreak of strikes when the Government announced increases in food prices. • Strikes centred around ship yards at Gdansk – this union was solidarity and was formed by Lech Walesa. Became a symbol of opposition to communist government. Solidarity wanted better wages, and end to censorship,workers’ control of their factories and religious freedom. c) The following were all equally important reasons why Soviet control of Eastern Europe collapsed in 1989: i) the effects of solidarity in Poland ii) the policies of Gorbachev iii) the weakness of the communist governments in Eastern European countries.Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer referring only to i)ii) and iii). • i) Solidarity had over 9 million members, forced the leader of Poland to resign. Despite being declared illegal by Jaruzelski in 1982, it continued as an underground organisation. By 1988 the communist government had to legalise Solidarity and allow it to take part in elections. In 1989, Solidarity became a partner in a coalition government with the Polish Communist Party. In 1990 Walesa was elected president of the first non- communist party since WW2. SIGNIFICANCE? Solidarity showed that people were fed up of communism. It also showed that communism in Poland depended on military force and when the USSR was unwilling to back the Communist party in Poland, it crumbled. Unlike in Hungary and Prague, Soviet tanks did not try and stamp out Solidarity. Solidarity showed that if people in communist governments stood together against oppression it could challenge communist governments. • ii) Gorbachev became leader of USSR in 1985. What were Gorbachev’s policies: Glasnost = openness: ending corruption/stop persecution of dissidents – eg – Andrei Sakharov was released from prison
Perestroika = restructuring: 1987 reforms were introduced to allow market forces, with buying and selling for individual profit, encouraged health reforms and private businesses now allowed. Disarmament: USSR should pull out of Afghanistan (a war that cost them $8bn a year). Disarmament treaty signed with USSR 1987 and in 1989 further cuts in nuclear weapons was agreed. Brezhnev Doctrine was abandoned. How do all these policies lead to the collapse of the USSR? They meant thatGorbachev was reforming the old Soviet style government and improving relationswith the USA. Glasnost also meant that now the corruption within the governmentcould be seen. Perestroika meant that communist style systems were beingabandoned and dropping the Brezhnev Doctrine meant that now countries in theWarsaw Pact could abandon communism…… • the weaknesses of communist governments in East Europe: Now that the Brezhnev Doctrine had been abandoned, Eastern European countries started to oppose communism openly. In Hungary, in 1990 the government dismantled the border with non- communist Austria, leaving a hole in the iron curtain. In December 1990, in Romania, there was a revolution and the dictator Ceausescu was executed. In Czechoslovakia in 1990, the communist government resigned. In East Germany, the Berlin Wall was pulled down and free elections were held in March 1990. After the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, communism also collapsed in USSR and in 1991 the Soviet Union was formally disbanded.Conclusion: Show how Solidarity showed that opposition to communism wasgetting stronger and that people in Eastern Europe were no longer prepared to live inpoverty. Once Gorbachev came to power in 1985 in the USSR and introduced hisreforms, Solidarity in Poland could not be crushed. The abandonment of theBrezhnev Doctrine then meant that other East European countries were then able toabandon communism.
Other Section B Exam Questions:2007: a) Describe the events in Hungary in 1956. (4) b) Explain why there was opposition to Soviet Control in Czechoslovakia in 1968. (6) c) ‘Gorbachev was to blame for the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe.’ How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer. (10) 2008: a) Describe the reaction of the Soviet Union to the uprising in Hungary in 1956. (4). b) Explain why the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. (6). c) The following were all equally important reasons why Soviet control of Eastern Europe had collapsed by 1989: i) the impact of Solidarity ii) the growth of opposition in Eastern Europe iii) the policies of Gorbachev. How far do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer by referring only to i), ii) and iii). (10)
Section A Exam Questions:2006 Paper:2a) Study Source B.What is the message of this cartoon? Use details of the cartoon andyour own knowledge to explain your answer. (6)The message of this cartoon is that the people of the Soviet Union areunhappy with Gorbachev’s new policies of Glasnost and Perestroika. Thecartoon shows two scared figures labelled Glasnost and Perestroika about tobe eaten by three lions, just like criminals or Christians being thrown to thelions in the Roman times. The fact that the lions are labelled ‘strikes’, ‘unrest’and ‘riots’ shows that the people of the Soviet Union were angry aboutGorbachev’s policies and that is why they are circling the figures in themiddle who represent these policies. When Gorbachev came to power in theUSSR in 1985, he began to reform some of the Soviet systems and byintroducing Glasnost and Perestroika he bought in more capitalist stylesystems and allowed more openness within the government. However somepeople in the USSR felt that these reforms had not gone far enough and thefact that more openness was allowed in the government meant thatdiscontent grew in 1988 as people saw how corrupt the government was. Inthe cartoon Gorbachev is shown pointing at his reforms , hoping they will beeffective but in reality, due to growing discontent, by 1991 he had resignedand communism collapsed in the Soviet Union.2b) Explain why communism collapsed in Eastern Europe during the1980s. (9) • Poverty/resentment towards communism by 1980s. Party members lived in luxury whilst the workers were poor, the West seemed to be getting richer, people were resentful of huge sums of money being spent on defence eg in Afghanistan, Industry and agriculture were not performing efficiently. • Solidarity in Poland – explain how this union was able to rouse popular support and eventually win elections to ensure that the first non-communist government was formed in 1990 • Gorbachev’s policies – Glasnost, Perestroika and disarmament. How do these destroy communism – include the ending of the Brezhev Doctrine and link this into why other Eastern Euopean countries were able to openly leave abandon communism, eg Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Romania.
Other Exam style Questions for Section A:b) Explain why the Berlin Wall was built in 1961. (9)b) Explain why there was opposition to Soviet control inCzechoslovakia in 1968. (9)c) Explain why Gorbachev was unpopular in the late 1980s. (9)d) Explain how the Soviet Union responded to evetns in Hungary in1956. (9)