The Cold War began after World War two leaving the United States and the Soviet Union two of the strongest allies fighting against the Axis. Even though they had a strong allied relationship, the two countries did not always agree on the same ideas. For example the United States did not agree how Soviet Union was a communist country under Joseph Stalin’s rule while they believed in capitalism. The United States had no take over the Soviet Power and was one of the strongest countries militarily at the time. The Soviet Union had grudges held against the United States, like not entering the war soon enough causing many of the Russian soldiers to die, which also added tension to their alliance.
However these changes could not prevent the imminent collapse, and might have even led to it. In Gorbachev’s eyes, there are several direct and indirect causes of the collapse. Indirect causes include the totalitarian system that left countries with nationalistic problems which weakened the Union and the use of force against demonstrators during the era of perestroika. Gorbachev places more weight on the inability to gather support for a new Union treaty, and the undermining conducted by the conservative coup and Russian President Boris Yeltsin. He also specifically mentions the decision by Russia to declare sovereignty as the single most important step in dissolving the Soviet Union.
With the Communist Party reduced to shambles because of the political reform, Gorbachev could not be the one to lead the Soviet Union after this political landfall. Gorbachev lead the Soviet Union out of the communist regime, and a new leader from outside that party was destined to lead the Soviet Union instead of Gorbachev. Gorbachev took the actions necessary at the time in the face of such economic stagnation; however, this required action from him lead to his down. This, unfortunately for Gorbachev, was inevitable.
Nicholas on the other hand made a significant impact on Russian history by introducing democracy to the Russian people, through the October Manifesto. Even though the political system was shadowed by Nicholas' unwillingness to fully democratise, through the fundamental laws (1906) Nicholas had begun to transform Russia into a modernised industrial power. When compared with Alexander's political inactivity, it can be deduced that Alexander was more autocratic than Nicholas. When examining which Tsar was more autocratic, the role of opposition and how it was dealt with should not be overlooked. Alexander introduced mass repression, which included executions and other forms of torture in order to regain political stability.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the question of economic reform was extremely prevalent. Since the Soviet Union had been “defeated,” Communism was consequently defeated. This resulted in Western powers, particularly the United States, and Western banks debating what should be done to the post-Soviet economies. At the same time, however, non-Soviet states were also undergoing economic transitions. The two main modes of economic reform were Shock Therapy and Gradual therapy.
This rose a lot of resentment and a major change in political, economic, and social changes. It is important to keep in mind that the previous king of Russia during this time was Alexander III that proudly believed in an autocracy government just like his grandfather Nicholas I. The major conflict that took place during this time was the industrialization power that people were for and against although it is important to keep in mind that Alexander III was not in favor of this which slowed Russia on everything. The economic changes that took place during this period in time was initially the abolishment of the serfs. To begin with we must acknowledge that the Russians had lost the Crimean War and were compelled by the Treaty of Paris.
In 1991 Gorbachev (after much persuasion) formed an alliance with the conservatives who wanted to keep the country as a connected whole (Grachev, 1995). Soon after forming, it became obvious that the price of the alliance would be the abandonment of an improvement for the Soviet Union. The reform wa... ... middle of paper ... ...felt reasonable and sound” (Grachev, 1995, 33). The second reason was more subconscious, reflecting his confusion, uncertainty, and anxiety towards what was happening to his nation. Politically the USSR had many issues.
His economic policies threw his country into even more turmoil and chaos, as the different nationalities used their new freedoms to move away from the union. “Gorbachev sincerely wanted to reform the communist system, but he did not want to eliminate it. He recognized there was a lot of wrong with his country, but right to the end, he never grasped the extent of the problem'; (Russia). As a result, the breakup of the Soviet Union was not a singular event that occurred overnight, rather was caused by decades of neglect and abuse to the former nations by the central communist government. A government that would never end, but find ways to cover-up its identity.
After the collapse of the Berlin Wall and in many ways the collapse of the USSR, Russia was in a state of uncertainty balancing between communism and a need to move towards democracy. Having just dissolved the Soviet Union, many leaders that were in place during the era of communism and who had been loyal to the old order, still had control over policy-making decisions and control of industries. The Communist party renamed themselves the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and there was also new parties being created like the Liberal Democrats who supported traditional Soviet ideas. On the opposite end of the spectrum were reformers who pushed a more western ideology, calling for privatization of state run industries and a free market economy. There was unrest with current leader Boris Yeltsin; many thought he was out to create a personal dictatorship because of the all the reforms he was trying to get passed.
Although it struggled to win the “war” of world supremacy for several decades, its downfall was not caused its enemies. Rather, the Soviet Union imploded from the very fact that in a modern capitalistic society, its socialist economy simply could not keep up. As its economy began to lag and become outdated, the need for reform and change became self evident. The changes necessary for successful reform, however, required refutation of basic socialist principles. Because of that inevitability, the Soviet Union, armed and able to destroy the world, quietly and peacefully conceded defeat and gave up its dream of a socially just and equal society and began down the difficult road towards a free democratic capitalistic state.