This in turn influenced the economic policies that drove the main powers of the Cold War even further apart. By far, the biggest contributor to the formation of the Cold War was the fact that both sides believed the communist Soviet Union and the capitalist west ideologies were incompatible with each other. The essence of the Cold War was seen as the opposition of communism and capitalism (Kishlansky, Geary, and O’Brien 874). This belief was present as soon as 1946, when Winston Churchill gave a speech characterizing the Soviet Union as a government that was capable of trying to “enforce totalitarian systems upon the free democratic world” (Churchill 303). He also contrasted the Soviet Union as a state where control was “enforced upon the common people by… police governments,” while the U.S. and Great Britain embodied “the great principles of freedom and the rights of man” (Churchill 303).
One of the key reasons Gorbachev is highlighted as the scape goat for the collapse of the USSR w... ... middle of paper ... ...e 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 Gorbachev, who seized the power of the Central Committee of the Soviet Party along with all the power of the government. During the past five years, Gorbachev has made so many promises to the nation but has kept none of them. There is a void between word and action, and a gap between political leadership and the nation.
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. Their tensions in their alliance soon were cause of the Cold war. First, the United States feared that the Russians would try to take control and influence the popularity of communism to other countries. Next is that fear had become a reality when the Soviet Union aimed to increase communism control and spread it through out the world. The United States had developed the atomic bomb and dropped it on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Soviet Union wanted to gain information.
While, on the other hand the United States just wanted to stop the spread of communism, which they felt, would spread rapidly throughout the world if they did not put an end to it soon. Both the United States and the Soviet Union wanted to avoid WWIII in the process of trying to achieve their goals. The cold war was failed by the Soviet Union for many reasons, including the sudden collapse of communism (Baylis & Smith, 2001.) This sudden collapse of communism was brought on ultimately by internal factors. The soviet unions president Gorbachev’s reforms: glasnost (openness) and perestroika (political reconstructering) ultimately caused the collapse of the Soviet Empire.
USSR: The Doomed Empire Introduction: The 1940's and the next four decades after, were a time of bitter struggle between the US and the Soviet Union. National identity as well as ideological differences brought both countries to the brink of nuclear war, a revolutionary style of warfare causing the most disastrous demographic disaster known to man. There are numerous speculations on who actually started the war. It can be argued both ways that both the US and the USSR acted offensively towards each other. But the only real fact is that “one represented an open democracy and the other a closed totalitarian system” and both were the only real superpowers left standing after World War II.1 This split generated a bipolar effect bringing the entire world into a game of tug of war between the two superpowers.
In addition, the context of these conditions will allow for a better analysis of the sources, which evaluate the Glasnost and Perestroika policies, as well as the four summits aiming for disarmament. Word Count: 147 SECTION B: SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE Historical Context – Soviet Union and USA (before 1985) • After Potsdam Agreement (1945) , the Soviet Union executed a Communist government in East Germany in retaliation to Capitalist West Germany. Due to this, the people in East Berlin looked up to the wealthier West for political freedom. • Brezhnev’s era (1964-1982) as leader of the USSR was a phase of economic and political stagnation. This was due to the lack of spending on consumer goods and the domestic economy as a whole.
Mikhail Gorbachev single handedly saved the Russian people by enacting the collapse of the Soviet Union through initiatives such as Perestrokia and Glasnost. Albeit unintentional, Gorbachev 's reforms were the final nail in the Soviet coffin that should have been shut years earlier. After World War Two the world was thrown on a very different course than it had been taking over previous decades. The era of a Euro-centric world was over and the new world was to be marred by a war of ideologies set forth by the principles of communism and capitalism. The two great powers had risen, the United States and the Soviet Union looked locked to compete with one another for years to come, however just 40 years after World War Two the Soviet Union was
Glasnost or “openness” allowed for freedom of the press, elections to parties other than the communist party, release of political prisoners, freedom of all Soviet peoples, dismantling of the secret police force, and the end of Stalinist repression. Perestroika or economic restructuring was designed to allow Soviet people to own businesses, unionize for better wages and work conditions, open up for Western countries to invest, and allow for new trade amongst western countries. (Fall of the Soviet Union) Soon after these two policies many countries that were part of the Soviet Union became distressed at the weakening of the power of the mighty Soviet Union. Mikhail Gorbachev began to stop the arms race and remove troops from Afghanistan. First, beginning with Poland in 1989 a series of revolutions began in which all the former Soviet republics fell one by one.
By transforming Russia into a modern democratic state, he also made his opposition more active and demanding, especially since they saw the power of the monarch decrease gradually in the western countries. Their protests became more politically motivated and some, such as the Bolsheviks even called for the collapse of Tsarism. Alexander responded to this with further repression, for example, the execution of the Vyborg in 1907. The pessimist school of History agrees that revolution was inevitable since Tsar Nicholas became more counter-productive further into his reign.
History is replete with examples of the rise and fall of once great empires. December 1991 saw the end of a two super power world with the fall of the Soviet Union. In December, “as the world watched in amazement, the Soviet Union disintegrated into fifteen separate countries” (Cold War Museum). The United States was overjoyed as its enemy was, “brought to its knees, thereby ending the Cold War which had hovered over these two superpowers since the end of World War II” (Cold War Museum). The split of the Soviet Union made extremely large transformations in the world’s political and economic situation, which resulted in a reduction of global nuclear weapons, world economic cooperation, and the commercialization of once classified military technology.