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Decline Of Communism In Eastern Europe And The

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Decline Of Communism In Eastern Europe And The

  1. 1. DECLINE OF COMMUNISM IN EASTERN EUROPE AND THE SOVIET UNION Eastview High School – AP European History McKay et al., 8 th ed. – Chapter 31, Sections 1 & 2
  2. 2. Essential Questions <ul><li>Why did efforts to reform the communist system fail and result in successful anticommunist revolutions throughout eastern Europe? </li></ul><ul><li>What were the consequences of these revolutions and the end of the cold war? </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Soviet Union <ul><li>The Soviet Union had shifted back and forth between a desire to reform itself and aggressive dictatorship – then Gorbachev opened a new era of reform. </li></ul><ul><li>The Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 was the most important event in the Brezhnev era. </li></ul><ul><li>Re-Stalinization followed, but with a collective not a personal dictatorship . </li></ul><ul><li>Living standards improved until the 1970s , when economic decline set in; the gap between the elite and the ordinary person grew. </li></ul><ul><li>Nonconformity and protest were severely punished; Jews were persecuted, and some dissidents (such as Solzhenitsyn) were expelled from the country. </li></ul><ul><li>Nevertheless, a social revolution was in the making – the urban population grew to 2/3 of the total and became more sophisticated, educated, and political. </li></ul>Brezhnev began re-Stalinization of the Soviet Union
  4. 4. Solidarity in Poland <ul><li>The Polish communists dropped efforts to impose Soviet-style collectivization on the peasants and to break the Catholic Church. </li></ul><ul><li>The Polish economy suffered greatly because of poor leadership and the world depression of the 1970s . </li></ul><ul><li>The “ Polish miracle ” occurred when the economic crisis became a spiritual crisis as well. Karol Wojtyla </li></ul><ul><li>Pope John Paul II , former archbishop of Cracow, called attention to the rights of all people. </li></ul><ul><li>Lech Walesa led the new democratic trade union movement called Solidarity . Its demands were for industrial, political, and economic rights. Solidarity had massive support and a sophisticated organization. </li></ul><ul><li>When Solidarity lost its cohesiveness , the Polish communist leadership under Jaruzelski smashed the movement (1981) and imposed martial law . </li></ul>
  5. 5. Gorbachev’s Reforms <ul><li>A new era of fundamental change began under Gorbachev in 1985. </li></ul><ul><li>He set forth a series of reforms to restructure the economy – PERESTROIKA, centering on a freer market economy , but the economy stalled midway between central planning (command) and free-market mechanisms. </li></ul><ul><li>He instituted GLASNOST, or openness in society and politics, leading to more freedom of speech . </li></ul><ul><li>Democratization of the Soviet state was begun; free elections were held in 1989 for the first time since 1917 ; meetings of Congress were televised. </li></ul><ul><li>Democratization encouraged demands for autonomy by non-Russian minorities. </li></ul><ul><li>Gorbachev withdrew troops from Afghanistan and encouraged reform in Eastern Europe, repudiating the Brezhnev Doctrine . </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Revolutions of 1989 <ul><li>The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe </li></ul><ul><li>In 1989 Solidarity forced Polish leaders to run free elections to a plurality of the seats in the parliament . </li></ul><ul><li>In the subsequent election the Communists lost control of the parliament. Solidarity leader Lech Walesa became president of Poland . </li></ul><ul><li>The new government applied “shock therapy” to the economy, ending state planning and price controls . </li></ul><ul><li>Hungary, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia followed Poland out of the Communist orbit in late 1989 . </li></ul><ul><li>In Romania, dictator Nicolae Ceausescu resisted revolution and was captured and executed . </li></ul>Lech Walesa and Solidarity in Poland
  7. 7. The Breakup of the Soviet Union <ul><li>In February 1990 the Communist party lost local elections all over the U.S.S.R. </li></ul><ul><li>In August 1991 hardline communist leaders opposed to change attempted a coup against Gorbachev . Russian Federation president Boris Yeltsin rallied the Moscow populace and some of the armed forces successfully against the coup . </li></ul><ul><li>An anti-communist revolution swept the Soviet Union as the constituent republics, including Russia, declared independence. The Soviet Union ceased to exist on December 25, 1991 . </li></ul>Boris Yeltsin
  8. 8. German Unification and the End of the Cold War <ul><li>In the summer of 1990, German reunification was negotiated . </li></ul><ul><li>Arms cuts in Europe, the U.S., and the Soviet Union followed. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1991 Soviet loss of confidence and superpower status enabled the U.S. to fight and defeat Iraq following Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s occupation of Kuwait . </li></ul>
  9. 9. Questions for your review <ul><li>What characteristics give the Brezhnev era an appearance of stability? (4) </li></ul><ul><li>What are the significant changes of the Brezhnev era? </li></ul><ul><li>How is Poland different from other Eastern Bloc states? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the demands by workers at the Lenin shipyards in Gdansk? </li></ul><ul><li>What was the Polish miracle? </li></ul><ul><li>What were some of the EARLY Gorbachev reforms? </li></ul><ul><li>What are Gorbachev’s other significant reforms? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does Gorbachev repudiate the Brezhnev Doctrine? What are the consequences? </li></ul><ul><li>What was the cause/effect of the Velvet Revolution? </li></ul><ul><li>Which country responded to the pro-democracy movement (1989) with bloody/violent repression? </li></ul><ul><li>What was the cause/effect of the attempted coup by communist hardliners in 1991? </li></ul><ul><li>What event revealed American preeminence as the only remaining “Super Power?” </li></ul>