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Mikhail Gorbachev´s Glasnost and Perestroika Policies Contribution to the Collapse of the USSR

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The purpose of this investigation is to assess how significant Mikhail Gorbachev’s Glasnost, and Perestroika polices contribute to the collapse of the USSR. In order to understand how significant of a factor Gorbachev policies were to the collapse of the USSR, we will investigate from how significant were the reforms emplaced by Gorbachev, to how the USSR was doing economically from the time Gorbachev came into power. The main sources for this investigation range from an Excerpt from The cold war: The United States and the Soviet union by Ronald Powaski who states facts about both the economic and political issues of the time. Excerpts from “New political thinking” from perestroika by Gorbachev which states how he believes new political ideas are for the good for the USSR. Finally in The Dissolution of the Soviet Union by Myra Immell who goes over many of the factors of the USSR’s collapse.

In the early 1980s prior to Gorbachev’s presidency, the soviet economy was wracked by chronic shortages of food and consumer items. These shortages were in part due because of Leonid Brezhnev leadership being inefficient at directing the soviet economy. It was against this backdrop of economic decline and political instability that Mikhail Gorbachev came to power. Gorbachev came from a peasant family and this humble background played a large role in his political thinking and gave him a strong humanitarian sympathy. His separation from the old regime gave him greater freedoms to move away from old thinking and enact policies grounded in a new way of thinking. Gorbachev was under different circumstances than past leaders because people at around this time wanted the country to move in different directions and at the same time, this led to Gorb...

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...achev’s Perestroika and the Collapse of the Soviet Union. n.d. http://www.lagrange.edu/resources/pdf/citations/2012/08_Cummings_History.pdf (accessed October 9, 2013).

Gorbachev, Mikhail. "Perestroika: New thinking for our country and the world." In Perestroika: New thinking for our country and the world, by Mikhail Gorbachev, 139-144. Harpercollins, 1987.

Immell, Myra. PersPectiveson Modern World History: The Dissolution of The Soviet Union. Farmington Hills: Christine Nasso, 2010.

Langley, Andrew. "The Collapse of the Soviet Union: The End of an Empire." In The Collapse of the Soviet Union: The End of an Empire, by Andrew Langley, 53. Mankato: Compass Point Books, 2007.

Powaski, Ronald E. "The Cold war: The United States and the Soviet Union." In The Cold war: The United States and the Soviet Union, by Ronald E. Powaski, 303-304. Oxford University Press, 1997.
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