Gorbachev And The Fall Of The Soviet Union Essay

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Running head: TITLE Gorbachev and the fall of the Soviet Union

Gorbachev and the fall of the Soviet Union

Charles Rasmussen

Grand Canyon University

HIS 460

Gorbachev and the fall of the Soviet Union

There were several underlying reasons as causing the eventual failure of the Soviet Union. This failure would also take down the Communist regime and all this was economically based. This situation of economic, social, and political crisis and uncertainty was the setting for the final drama, which brought down the whole Soviet system (Riasanovsky & Steinberg, 2005, p.604) There were factors due to the financially unsuccessful Cold War through unregulated spending on a substandard military and a race for space with the United States that the Communist leaders could not match either technically or economically. The Centralized way the Russians ran their financial matters could not compete in the world with other countries that had a free market system. The argument for free-market economics was more than just an ideological debate about the direction of economic policy (Matthews,2000.p.83) The Russian factories were issued strict orders that adhered to a quota system. The government officials literally told the farmers what crops they could produce and set the price they could receive. The workers were issued strict conditions and set amounts that were expected to be produced. The workers received no benefits or incentives and therefore had little pride or care in their area of employment. Economists had been warning that this system was flawed for a long time (Riasanovsky & Steinberg, 2005.p.606) In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s all economic progress in the Russian working class of people had ceased to exist. There was literally nothing on the shelves of stores in the form of domestic products. The Russian mafia or black market criminals began to assume control and daily gained more and more power that the people had no choice but to suffer through and accept. By the Brezhnev era, corruption was so widespread that many of its manifestations were accepted a routine (Matthews, 2000.p.73)

The Soviets under appreciating and not respecting or using their female work force properly added more to the woes. Women constituted half, at times considerably more than half, the population of the Soviet Union, and they certainly contributed their share to its history. But, for the Soviet leaders, feminist ideals were always ancillary to the fundamental Marxist vision of class struggle and the building of socialism. And they were crushed, together with other autonomous views, once the USSR was set in the firm Stalinist mold (Riasanovsky & Steinberg, 2005, p.565-566) The race to dominate the upper atmosphere was another money pit that the Soviets could not fill. The United States had many times over the resources that the Soviets could not match. The United States also had superior scientific technology that the Soviets could not match thus enabling the United States to land a man on the moon on July 20th, 1969. The U.S. moon landing all but killed the Russian space program if not financially and technology, also spiritually. The next major hurdle that would be a nail in the Soviet coffin was the Cold War arms race. The Soviets felt the need to hedge all their bets and funds into a military campaign so grand along with weapons of mass destruction that no other nation especially the United States would pose a threat. The Soviets were so determined at this agenda and being number one they risk nuclear war on a global scale with complete disregard for all humanity. The Russian high command had the audacity to ship nuclear armed missiles by ships to Castro ninety miles off the U.S. mainland and set them up in Cuba. The Soviets for some reason believed the United States would somehow just swallow their pride and fear and allow this to occur. Encouraged by Fidel Castro’s successful establishment