How Would You Account For The Collapse Of Communist Rule In The Former Soviet Union?

2056 words - 8 pages

There are many factors which shaped the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union and consequently the Communist regime that ruled it. Although, under the leadership of Stalin, the USSR emerged as a monolithic superpower, it can be argued that it never attained stability throughout the course of its existance. The rudimentary socialist principles by which it was founded manifested an opposition to the competition that capitalism encompassed. Yet under Stalin the Cold War emerged ensuring that the fundamental aims of the USSR was to make sure that the United States did not lead as the world's greatest superpower. Thus, although the economy had been damaged in World War II, the emphasis was on the development of heavy industry, neglecting areas such as agriculture and consumer goods. So from the very beginning the economical balance of the Soviet Union was unsteady. Since Stalin's successors, namely Khruschev and Brezhnev eschewed radical policies concerning the economy, the end result was its stagnation. It was namely the struggling economy that accounted for the collapse of the Soviet Union, yet it was the drastic changes introduced by Mikhail Gorbachev that was the final, most significant factor in the downfall of the USSR. Domestic policy under Gorbachev was conducted principally under three programs: Perestroika, Glasnost and demokratizatsiya, meaning 'rebuilding', 'public-voicing' and 'democratization' respectively. These reforms created bifurcations within the government, and did not have the desired effect that Gorbachev had hoped for.Although the end of World War II resulted in the Soviet Union materializing as the prime postwar threat to the West, it also damaged the economy greatly, with almost a quarter of the country's capital resources destroyed. As the Cold War unfolded, the Soviet Union felt themselves under enormous pressure to compete with the United States for title as the world superpower. As a result of this, the postwar reconstruction programme emphasized heavy industry over agriculture and consumer goods. The desired result was achieved, with unbelievable results. The Soviet Union had transformed from a somewhat backward agricultural society to a powerful industrial state. By 1953 steel production had doubled since 1940, however, as a consequence, the production of consumer goods has plummeted to the levels of the 1920s. Under Stalin during the Cold War ensured that the industry blossomed, yet domestic issues were neglected. The problem with the rivalry with the United States was that the principles of communism were to avoid competition. While the United States had a private, competitive market to provide for consumer goods, this was state controlled in the USSR. Thus while the United States could fund their part in the Cold War, the result of the Soviet Union's participation was that essential areas of the economy were being neglected which as a result, caused instability.In order to boost the USSR's international status,...

Find Another Essay On How would you account for the collapse of Communist Rule in the former Soviet Union?

Blaming Gorbachev for the Collapse of the Soviet Union

1261 words - 5 pages now had a larger voice emphasising the case for the Soviet Bloc independence, the democratic rule contradicted the venture to disallow their independence. Gorbachev believed, as he did with glasnost, democratisation would aid the legitimisation of the Communist Party’s power. = Anticipating the Collapse of the Soviet Union Heydar Aliyev's Speech February 10, 1991 The culprit to be blamed is

The Collapse of the Soviet Union

998 words - 4 pages The Collapse of the Soviet Union The Soviet Union was a global superpower, possessing the largest armed forces on the planet with military bases from Angola in Africa, to Vietnam in South-East Asia, to Cuba in the Americas. When Mikhail Gorbachev succeeded Konstantin Chernenko as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in March 1985, nobody expected than in less than seven years the USSR would

The Collapse of the Soviet Union

1014 words - 4 pages periphery of the Soviet Union and inspired anti-communist nationalists to press for their independence. The Soviet Union finally collapsed in 1991, when soviet hardliners were sensing that Gorbachev’s policies were leading to the Soviet Union’s collapse and they attempted a coup. It was put down by Boris Yeltsin, another charismatic leader and the people of Russia with help of the military. This gave other Eastern European countries like

The Cold War and the Collapse of The Soviet Union

2444 words - 10 pages Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet Union was eager to catch up with the Americans. This “need” would lead to the concept of brinkmanship, a nuclear arms race, and the expansion of Soviet ideals. The Soviets were successful during World War II, which resulted in the growth of the economy, nationalism, communist movement, as well as the need for nuclear power. Although the Soviet Union culminated great economic prosperity and power during World War II

The contributing factors that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union [USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)]

1668 words - 7 pages The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which was established in 1922, was the first communist state in the world. Run by the general secretary, the equivalent of the position of the president in the United States, the communist party controlled the government, and the government controlled all of the industry and agriculture. Yet, under such strict government control, the Soviet Union ended in collapse in the year 1991. The main

Why did Communism and the Soviet Union collapse by 1991?

566 words - 2 pages reopened. Arms agreements would allow Gorbachev to reduce military spending without leaving the USSR exposed to attack, and therefore avoiding opposition at home from the Soviet armed forces. Not only on arms but the USSR spent approximately $40 billion annually on propping up communist governments throughout the world. Gorbachev thought this money could be used to promote domestic reform. He also began seeking a little human right in Soviet Union and

Book Comparison of the Rise of Communist Parties, Soviet Union, and China

1496 words - 6 pages Book Comparison of the Rise of Communist Parties, Soviet Union, and China The first half of the twentieth century were the breeding years of Communism. The books Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini by Bruce F. Pauley and China in Transformation by Colin Mackerras both deal with the rise of Communism, the former in the Soviet Union and the latter in China. Although one book deals with the rise of Communism in the Soviet Union and the other

To what extent was Stalin's rule a disaster for the Soviet Union and its people?

915 words - 4 pages mainly had negative consequences. People were expected to live how the Communists wished them to live. Writers, artists and filmmakers were only to produce work to do with praising and promoting the Communist beliefs. This did not allow these people to express themselves in a natural way, which was disastrous as they were emotionally prisoners of the Soviet Union from being unable to work freely. A benefit for the people was that education was

"The Soviet Union should be responsible for the Cold War, instead of the USA." How far do you agree to this statement?

1287 words - 5 pages communist rule. Elections held in these countries were rigged so that the communist parties will win. Non-communist Parties were arrested, expelled or executed, thus leading to the dissolution of non-communist parties. Communist states were turned into soviet Satellites functioning under the USSR. More importantly, Stalin backed on the agreement made at the Yalta conference - that free elections will be held for Poland and other Eastern European

Nuclear Pollution Plagues Former Soviet Union

1715 words - 7 pages Imagine visiting the beautiful Russian Lake Karachay only to drop dead an hour later from lethal nuclear pollution (Zimmerman). This radiation began in the mid 1940s. The Soviet Union built a secret city in Southern Urals called Ozyorsk and constructed the Mayak plutonium plant, formerly known as Chelyabinsk-40 and later as Chelyabinsk-65 after the postal codes of the site (Wikipedia contributors). Nuclear weapons began to be produced in much of

How would you account to feminisation of HIV and AIDS in Africa

1928 words - 8 pages portraying them as either vectors or victims of HIV and AIDS. This epidemic in Africa is exposing the deadly consequences of gender inequities which call for practical solutions to a problem which has catastrophic and ripple effects if no intervention takes place.The UNAIDS (2004) report on the HIV/AIDS pandemic shows that women account for virtually half of all individuals living with HIV/AIDS globally. Africa has more or less 57% of all persons

Similar Essays

The Soviet Union And The Legacy Of Communist Rule

1737 words - 7 pages Soviet socialism itself. As R. Strayer had pointed out in Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse?, the USSR was held together under Communist rule with "a mixture of ideological illusion and raw coercion" (Strayer, 36). The Gorbachev era saw both of these two bases of the party-state's power falling apart. By the mid-1980s, urbanization and higher education had transformed the Soviet society from a relatively homogenous one into one that was

Account For The Collapse Of The Soviet Union And The Ending Of The Cold War.

3047 words - 12 pages Account for the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ending of the Cold War. Was the main reason for the collapse: (a) the rise of a new, youthful leadership cadre, (b) the USA's Strategic Defence Initiative ('Star Wars') (c) the expense of maintaining Soviet allies (d) some other factor(s)?The end of the WWII marked the beginning of the cold war. The conflicts between the Capitalist bloc led by United States (US) and the Communist bloc led by

Collapse Of The Soviet Union Essay

1001 words - 4 pages The Soviet Union was a global superpower, possessing the largest armed forces on the planet with military bases from Angola in Africa, to Vietnam in South-East Asia, to Cuba in the Americas. When Mikhail Gorbachev succeeded Konstantin Chernenko as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in March 1985, nobody expected than in less than seven years the USSR would disintergrate into fifteen separate

Soviet Union: The Collapse Essay

579 words - 2 pages collapse of the Soviet Union was very important in the end of the Cold War as well. Former United States President Ronald Reagan played a part in the end too. Reagan and Gorbachev worked together for a reduction of arms. Eliminating nuclear weapons was an attempt to end the war.The real question is whether the United States could have done anything to bring the Cold War to an end sooner. I do believe that there were possible ways that the U.S