End of the Cold War in Europe

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April 14—Define supply-side
economics.
End of the Cold War
1979-1991
IB Objectives

End of the Soviet Union
IB Sample Questions
Evaluate the role of one superpower in the
Cold War after 1970.
 To what extent did economic problems in
the Communist bloc bring about the end of
the Cold War?
 When and why did the Cold War end?

Key Terms
Mikhail Gorbachev
 Lech Walesa
 SDI
 INF Treaty
 Perestroika
 Glasnost
 Congress of People’s Deputies
 Boris Yeltsin

Lecture Outline
I. Mikhail Gorbachev
 II. Poland and Afghanistan
 III. Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe
 IV. Gorbachev’s reforms
 V. The Collapse of the Soviet Union

Mikhail Gorbachev




Was born in 1931
Became a provincial
party chief in 1970.
In 1978 he became the
CPSU’s Secretary of
Agriculture.
Became the Communist
Party’s Chairman in
March 1985.
Reagan



Took office in 1981
“Soviet Union is the
focus of evil in
modern world.”
First 3 yrs in office, he
increased defense
spending, adjusted
inflation by 40%, and
abandoned Carter’s
human rights policy.
Poland

In 1981 the Soviet
Union forced the
Polish army to impose
martial law in order to
crush Solidarity, a
trade union under the
leadership of Lech
Walesa.
What caused the fall of
Communism in Eastern Europe?
4 decades of containment by NATO
 The burden of the arms race
 The people of Eastern Europe’s refusal to
abandon their hopes for freedom
 Communism as practiced by the Russians
was an awful system.

Fall of Communism in Eastern
Europe
In January 1989 Gorbachev reduced the
Soviet military by 14%.
 The Estonian legislature voted to give
Estonian preference over Russian as the
official language.
 In April 1989 the Polish government
signed an agreement with Solidarity make
it legal and setting open national elections
for June.

Fall of Communism in Eastern
Europe
In June 1989 Gorbachev effectively put an
end to the Brezhnev doctrine.
 In August 1989 Solidarity won 99 out of 100
seats they were allowed to contest and a
Solidarity leader became Prime Minister.
 In November 1989 anti-Communist dissident
Vaclav Havel came out of prison and soon
was elected president of Czechoslovakia.

Fall of Communism in Eastern
Europe
On November 9, 1989 the East German
government announced that “it is now
possible for all citizens to leave this
country through East German crossing
points.”
 Within hours, tens of thousands of East
Germans and West Berliners began
tearing down the Berlin Wall.

Fall of the Berlin Wall
Fall of Communism in Eastern
Europe
President Bush and Gorbachev met at Camp
David and agreed to reduce the number of
their long-range nuclear weapons by 30%
and their chemical weapons stockpile by
80%.
 In 1991 the Warsaw Pact was dissolved.

Fall of Communism in Eastern
Europe

In March 1990 the parliament of Lithuania
voted to secede from the Soviet Union and
the Estonian and Latvian parliaments
declared “transitional periods” to
independence.
Strategic Defense Initiative
(SDI)
Nov. 1985 Gorbachev and Reagan attend
first summit meeting together.
 Reagan earlier had called for a 50%
reduction in nuclear weapons and an
expanded SDI, a missile defense program
that would end the ABM treaty and cause
the US and USSR to greatly increase
defense expenditures.
 Reagan refused to back down and no
agreement was made.

Intermediate Range Nuclear Force
(INF) Treaty



When Gorbachev took over, Soviet military
expenditures accounted for 20-30% of the Soviet
GDP (at the peak of the Reagan defense buildup,
US defense spending was 6.5% of the US GDP.
In December 1987, in Washington D.C., Reagan
and Gorbachev signed the INF Treaty, which called
for the destruction of all short and medium range
nuclear-tipped missiles.
It was a breakthrough because it actually provided
for the elimination of major weapons systems and it
significantly reduced tensions in Europe.
Afghanistan
Gorbachev allocated more money to
defense, and authorized an offensive to
break the stalemate of the Afghanistan
War.
 50,000 Soviet casualties
 In April 1988, Gorbachev ordered a
phased Soviet withdrawal from
Afghanistan that was completed in
February 1989.
 First time in 33 years that the Red Army
had pulled back from anywhere.

Soviet Economy

By the end of the 1980s the entire Soviet
Union had just 200,000 desktop
computers while the US had 25 million.
Perestroika
Gorbachev relaxed central controls of the
economy while keeping state ownership and
oversight of the economic system.
 Begins in 1986 with market-like reforms.
 Legalizes certain kinds of co-operatives and
people begin to open privately owned
restaurants.
 1987—Legalizes foreign investment but not
ownership. Decentralizes economic
planning. Shifts to local levels.

Effects of Perestroika
Economy gets worse.
 Creates party resistance which results in
many of the reforms not be enacted.
 Gorbachev begins to attack bureaucrats
and party conservatives which results in
him creating glasnost.

Glasnost


In April 1986 the
world’s worst
nuclear disaster
took place at
Chernobyl.
The denials by
Soviet officials
forced openness
or glasnost.
Glasnost
During 1986-87, the Soviet media set out
to demonstrate a necessity for change by
publicizing many previously forbidden
topics.
 People viewed it as more party
propaganda not openness.

Glasnost
Gorbachev wanted openness in the
Communist Party not the public.
 Was concentrated mostly in Moscow and
Leningrad
 New publications emerged, including
uncensored newspapers.

Glasnost
Banned books were now available.
 Many people were learning about Soviet
tragedies such as Stalin’s actions,
pollution, nuclear power and waste
including Chernobyl for the first time.
 Began to learn of the standard of living in
Europe and the US which resulted in
people feeling that there country was
uncivilized.

Glasnost
Allowed for freedom of assembly which
allowed for the creation of political groups
who aimed to reform the USSR.
 After Glasnost the old system was rejected
by most of the citizens of the Soviet Union.
 Most people under 30—1/4 of the Soviet
population—were simply not interested in
reforming Communism.

Congress of People’s Deputies

In July 1988 Gorbachev attempted to
decentralize the authority of the Party’s
Central Committee by authorizing open
elections for a new body, a Congress of
People’s Deputies (CPD), which would in
turn choose representatives to the USSR
Supreme Soviet, or parliament.
CPD
2,250 deputies
 Divided into groups of 750 from territories,
ethnic regions, and party chosen.
 2/3 were elected. 1/3 chosen
 Nominations, registration, and campaigning
began in 1989
 Voting occurs March 26, 1989; 90% turnout
 Boris Yeltsin, Gorbachev’s protégé, became
the representative from Moscow.

CPD
Meets for the first time on May 25, 1989
 The election process shows how inept the
Communist Party (CPSU) was.
 Party officials losing elections was
humiliating and made the CPSU lose
legitimacy and confidence.

Constitutional Reforms
1990
 Creates office of the President who is
elected by the CPD
 Removal of Article 6 which gives the
CPSU the “leading role”

Russian Republic CPD
Holds elections in 1990.
 Results: 1/3 Democratic Russians, 1/3
CPSU deputies; 1/3 independent deputies.
 First meets in May 1990
 Boris Yeltsin become chairman of Russian
CPD and he wants to write a new
constitution and create a Russian
president.

Russian Republic CPD
Begins to pass laws that contradict USSR
CPD which results in a conflict.
 Yeltsin passes a law that gives the
Russian Republic economic sovereignty
which results in other republics doing the
same. All of this results in the economy
ceasing to function.

Russian Republic
Yeltsin resigns from CPSU in summer of
1990 and thousands of Russians follow
him.
 1990 is the beginning of a depression in
Russia that lasts 10 years.
 Gorbachev is blamed for everything
 Fall 1990 Gorbachev turns to the right and
away from reform in order to keep his job.

End of Reform
Jan 1991 Soviet CPD made censorship legal
again.
 April 1991 Russian presidency is created.
 April 1991 Gorbachev calls for the creation
of a Union Treaty which would give more
power to the leaders of the republics. This
threatens the national institutions.
Conservatives begin to plan a coup.
 Yeltsin is elected Russian president in June
1991.

The Collapse of the Soviet Union
In August 1991, reactionaries in the Red
Army and the Communist Party staged a
coup against Gorbachev. Begins August 18,
public becomes aware Aug. 19 and it ends
Aug. 21.
 In Moscow, Russian President Boris Yeltsin
called for a general strike and resistance to
the coup on Aug. 20 after receiving a note of
support from Pres. Bush.
 The coup collapsed in 3 days.

Collapse of the Soviet Union
Coup bestowed an incredible amount of
legitimacy on Yeltsin.
 Gorbachev returns but is discredited.
 Yeltsin passes a decree that makes the
Soviet CPSU illegal.
 December 25, 1991 Gorbachev signs over
control of the nuclear arsenal to Yeltsin
which is a symbolic end of the USSR.

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