Soviet Union and Europe Background Gorbachev Essay

Submitted By brownmamba
Words: 2050
Pages: 9

Collapse of the Soviet Union
Perestroika: Background
Gorbachev discovered the deep seeded economic problems and tried to fix them with moderate reforms.
Positioned himself among people who would challenge him to try to fix problems.
Perestroika was intended to work with other reforms(glasnost) to help the social and economic problems facing the USSR.
Gorbachev’s plan was to restructure both political and economic systems with this policy.
Perestroika was attacked by the radical left and conservative right of Gorbachev’s own party.
Aspects of Perestroika
Encouragement and rewards for private initiative.
Encouragement of cooperative business ventures.
Adopting more elements of a market economy so the economy was based more around supply and demand as opposed to a planned economy.
The policy also allowed the various government ministries to be more independent in their operation.
Part of the reforms was also private ownership of businesses in the services, manufacturing, and foreign-trade sectors.
Historical Significance Of Perestroika
Perestroika had disappointing results in the economy as it didn’t decollectivize agriculture.
Led to economy suffering further and there being less food for the populace to consume.
Tax hikes of up to 90% on small businesses destabilized the economy further.
Much of the Soviet Union’s collapse and the unpopularity of Gorbachev can be attributed to the failing economy and the failure of perestroika.
Perestroika has had a major long term impact on the current Russian Federation as it has made it possible for a better and freer economy for the people.
Glasnost: Background
Direct translation of glasnost means openness and emanated from Gorbachev’s hatred of lies.
The concept is from 18th century Russia but was introduced by Gorbachev in the 1980’s.
The main goal of this policy was to reduce government corruption and mismanagement while making everything as transparent as possible.
Gorbachev also wanted to give the people more freedom as the Soviet system was quite repressive at that time.
Glasnost and perestroika were intended to work together to reform the system to get the Soviet Union back on track.
Aspects of Glasnost
Less censorship led to greater media freedom.
People were able to learn more about the short history of the Soviet Union and the doings of the government including Stalin’s atrocities.
Permitted the criticism of government officials to a certain extent.
Allowed open discussion of political and social issues.
Allowed the Western society a rare glimpse into the life in the Soviet Union.
Freedom of expression exceeded what Gorbachev had intended and led to the people discovering ways to use their new found power within the system.
Historical Significance Of Glasnost
Exposure of severe economic and social problems within the government that were covered up or denied.
Positive view of the Soviet Union was torn to bits by the media leading to people changing their views towards the government.
People were betrayed as they learned that the idea of their society was built on lies and crimes committed by the government.
The freedom of information and expression was a part of the reason as to why the Soviet Union was dissolved.
Much like perestroika glasnost had bad short term consequences in terms of destabilization but the policy has given more freedom to the people in the long run.
Demokratizatsiya: Background
Gorbachev realised that actual reforms were needed instead of just pouring dirt on the previous administrations.
Proposed a restructuring of the CPSU political structure at the 19th Party Conference.
Gorbachev observed that, “deep transformations in the management of the economy cannot be realised without corresponding changes in the political system.“
The reform wasn’t a complete overhaul but rather infusion of democratic elements into the current system at that time.
He called for multi candidate elections for