Gorbachev And The Soviet Union Essay

Gorbachev And The Soviet Union Essay

Length: 819 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Interestingly, it took three decades for the Soviet Union to become a superpower, becoming the main challenger of American supremacy. Though, it only took three years for Soviet power to collapse. But why, many historians argue that Mikhail Gorbachev underestimated President Ronald Reagan. Historian, Vladislav Zubok’s, A Failed Empire, brings to life an analysis of the Cold War from the perspective of the Soviet Union. Zubok explores the Soviet’s experiences from a wide array: international calculations, interplay of foreign politics, and lasting consequences of de-Stalinization. It is from these experiences that we can gain an understanding to Gorbachev and the fall of the Soviet Union. Additionally, we will see how Gorbachev’s actions altered relations between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (hereafter USSR).
First let us start at the beginning, with a brief look at Josif Stalin. Zubok states that it was the struggle between the East and the West that shaped the relations of the people from 1945 to 1991. “The conflict was a geo-political and ideological struggle, which not only involved armies and resources, but ideas and values.” Zukok claims that Stalin used his people for conflict using ideological rhetoric, but his ultimate goal was to control various regions surrounding the USSR. Stalin’s plan was to build a security buffer as he gained control of Eastern Europe. “For Stalin, security and regime-building were two sides of the same coin.” Stalin’s wanted to expand his empire into Europe without provoking the United States – thus was impossible. Zukok writes, “Soviet policy was the main factor which contributed to the origins of the Cold War.” Continuing, Zubok states that it was because of ...


... middle of paper ...


...to state that he did not regret his nonviolence beliefs.
In turn, I do not believe that there was any underestimating between Gorbachev and Reagan, what there was, was an agreement between two leaders to bring the Cold War to an end. Gorbachev wanted a de-Stalinized Russia, did he go about it in a correct manner, well that is another question. What he did do, as previously stated is he ended the Cold War. He brought the Soviet Union to a stop as President Reagan credits him. But, ultimately, the collapse of the USSR came from within. Economic problems had eroded the once strong revolutionary-imperial paradigm and the power of the Soviet Union. In terms of today, Gorbachev (as stressed by Zubok) “did not have nor did he even seek to obtain any written agreement with the West to preserve Soviet interests in the region; such as preventing NATO expansion to the East.”

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Gorbachev 's The Soviet Union

- 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....   [tags: Soviet Union, Cold War, Mikhail Gorbachev]

Better Essays
1534 words (4.4 pages)

The Soviet Union Perestroika and Mikael Gorbachev Essay

- Perestroika, means restructuring or reforming, which was exactly the goal of Mikael Gorbachev. Gorbachev's goal was to restructure the Soviet economy towards something that resembled something similar to free market capitalism, without losing the heart of socialism. He instituted this Perestroika along with his other policy of Glasnost; political freedoms and increased openness, while some of these issues overlapped this essay will focus on the goals and strategies of Perestroika and what its changes to the Soviet Union was, namely its eventual collapse....   [tags: Soviet Economy, Shock Therapy]

Better Essays
2669 words (7.6 pages)

Essay about The Cold War And The Soviet Union

- The cold war, which lasted from approximately 1947- 1991, was a state of political and military tension between the powers of the western and the eastern bloc- as championed by the United States and the Soviet Union. During the period of the seventies through the early eighties, the Soviet Union, under the leadership of Brezhnev entered into a period of détente- the easing of hostilities and strained relations- with the United States. During this period, Brezhnev pursued a more peaceful foreign policy when compared to Krushchev’s foreign policy of near brinksmanship....   [tags: Cold War, Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev]

Better Essays
1854 words (5.3 pages)

Essay on American Media During The Soviet Union

- response. SDI could theoretically offer protection to the US if the government decided to attack the Soviet Union, prompting Soviet officials to accuse Reagan of seeking “first-strike capabilities” Thus, the creation of SDI essentially ended MAD. American media played an important role in influencing public opinion on SDI. Soon after being announced, the futuristic, space-based, laser-shooting defense system, earned the nickname “Star Wars” after the popular film trilogy released between 1977 and 1983....   [tags: Cold War, Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev]

Better Essays
770 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Stalin And The Soviet Union

- Joseph Stalin and Mikhail Gorbachev 69 years after Joseph Stalin facilitated the creation of the Soviet Union in 1922, Mikhail Gorbachev played a part in its collapse, resigning from office the day before it officially fell on Christmas Day. Both leaders had an enormous effect on Soviet Russia and the welfare of its state and citizens. Stalin was a communist, who continued and supported the single party state founded by his predecessor Vladimir Lenin. Gorbachev, even though he was originally a member of the Communist Party, worked against the Marxist ideals implemented by Stalin and Lenin and worked to reform Russia to a more open society....   [tags: Soviet Union, Cold War, Russia, Mikhail Gorbachev]

Better Essays
1464 words (4.2 pages)

Blaming Gorbachev for the Collapse of the Soviet Union Essay

- Blaming Gorbachev for the Collapse of the Soviet Union On December 5 1991 the Soviet Union was declared officially non-existent, radically changing the world’s economic and political environment. On the 10 February 1991 Heydar Aliyev spoke in Parliament warning of his anticipation that the Soviet Union was to collapse, “The Culprit to be blamed is Gorbachev”. There is no doubt Gorbachev played a prominent role in the fall of communism in the USSR and the collapse of the USSR itself, as well as acquiring the responsibility for ending the Cold War, a major post-war tension....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
856 words (2.4 pages)

Intelligence Failures Of The Soviet Union Essay

- Intelligence failures are not always in the gathering and communication of accurate information, but in the interpretation of that information by policy makers. The fall of the Soviet Union caught the United States by surprise. The popular narrative in the mainstream media was that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) failed in its duty to predict the coming collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The CIA did an admirable job of presenting representations of then complex reality of the Soviet situation, but a persistent view of the Soviets as a powerful threat to our nation collided with these assessments....   [tags: Soviet Union, Cold War, Mikhail Gorbachev]

Better Essays
1412 words (4 pages)

Corruption Of The Soviet Union Essay

- According to Susan Rose-Ackerman, trust stems from social and human freedom (Ackerman, 2001). We can generally define corruption as the dishonest actions public official(s) take using their public position, power or resources, which abuses the trust of the public for their private gain (Ackerman, 2001). Corruption has become a growing concern for Russia throughout the years as the modern society seeks to evolve from its socialist past. From the data compiled by the non-government organization “Transparency International”, Russia’s corruption was not as severe during their socialist era, but worsened considerably during the 1990s, and now is regarded as one of the countries with the highest c...   [tags: Russia, Soviet Union, Law, Mikhail Gorbachev]

Better Essays
1743 words (5 pages)

Soviet Russia 's Economic Policies Essay

- "We pretend to work, and the government pretends to pay us" is a popular saying that emerged in the Soviet workforce. If it is still known and applicable today, then has Post-Soviet Russia 's economic structure changed. Russia had been a part of the USSR for over 65 years. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, formed in 1924 after the Russian Revolution of 1917, consisted of countries that today make up Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldovia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan(Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)....   [tags: Soviet Union, Russia, Cold War, Mikhail Gorbachev]

Better Essays
2202 words (6.3 pages)

Essay about On My Country and the World

- As Mikhail Gorbachev points out early on in his book On My Country and the World, the formation of the Soviet Union in the early 20th century changed the course of history for nearly 70 years. No matter what one’s personal feelings towards this political body might be, it is hard to deny this fact. This is why its collapse in 1991 was so widely analyzed as it held many implications for the future. Gorbachev had many ideals that he professed throughout his reign as head of the Soviet Union, with democracy and free choice spearheading his campaign of reform....   [tags: Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev]

Better Essays
1752 words (5 pages)