The collapse of communism in europe
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The Collapse of Communism in Europe. Some points to note …. The Soviet Union from 1953 to 1985 Problems faced by Mikhail Gorbachev Glasnost and Perestroika Reasons for Gorbachev’s failure The end of the Soviet empire. The Soviet Union from 1953 to 1985. Leadership after Joseph Stalin:

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The Collapse of Communism in Europe

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The collapse of communism in europe

The Collapse of Communism in Europe


Some points to note

Some points to note …

  • The Soviet Union from 1953 to 1985

  • Problems faced by Mikhail Gorbachev

  • Glasnost and Perestroika

  • Reasons for Gorbachev’s failure

  • The end of the Soviet empire


The soviet union from 1953 to 1985

The Soviet Union from 1953 to 1985

  • Leadership after Joseph Stalin:

    • Nikita Khrushchev

    • Leonid Brehznev

    • Yuri Andropov

    • Konstantin Chernenko

    • Mikhail Gorbachev


Joseph stalin s legacy

Joseph Stalin’s Legacy

  • Soviet Union was modernised

  • Agriculture and industry in line with the western powers

  • Great cost: 20 million dead

  • Few consumer goods


Nikita khrushchev

Nikita Khrushchev

  • Relaxed the tight control of the government over the people

  • Tried to introduce reforms to improve food production but failed

  • Tried to give people more say in how agriculture and industry should be run


Nikita khrushchev1

Nikita Khrushchev

  • Efforts came to naught as his reforms were not supported by Communist Party members

  • Sacked and replaced by Leonid Brehznev in 1964


Leonid brehznev

Leonid Brehznev

  • Hard-line communist who reversed Khrushchev’s reforms

  • His efforts also came to naught

  • An interesting blame tactic …


Brehznev s blame tactic

Brehznev’s Blame Tactic

“lack of skilled labour, alcoholism, absenteeism, and lack of effort on the part of civil servants who man the vast organization which tries to plan the economy”

- What is Brehznev trying to say?


Yuri andropov

Yuri Andropov

  • Head of the KGB

  • Effectively ran the country while Brehznev was ill

  • Became leader in 1982

  • Died in 1984 after falling ill


Konstantin chernenko

Konstantin Chernenko

  • Succeeded Yuri Andropov in 1984

  • Died in 1985 after falling ill…


The collapse of communism in europe

Gorbachev's Russia


The situation for gorbachev

The Situation for Gorbachev

  • Became the leader of a state that had seen little effective government in almost a decade…

  • Russia was seriously …


The situation for gorbachev1

The Situation for Gorbachev

  • The Problems facing Gorby:

    • The Soviet system of government

    • The lack of consumer goods

    • The burden of Eastern Europe

    • Black Market

    • Failure of Khrushchev’s agricultural reforms

    • Mismanaged finances


The situation for gorbachev2

The Situation for Gorbachev

  • The Soviet system of government

    • Belief in equality and fairness

    • Loss of faith by the people

    • Corruption in the government

    • Double standards


The situation for gorbachev3

The Situation for Gorbachev

  • The lack of consumer goods

    • Comparison with the West

    • Lack of western-style consumer goods

    • Demand for western-style consumer goods

    • Cost of consumer goods


The situation for gorbachev4

The Situation for Gorbachev

  • The burden of Eastern Europe

    • Head of the Warsaw Pact

    • Duty towards the Eastern European Communist nations

    • Drained USSR’s finances

    • Lost confidence of the Russian people


The situation for gorbachev5

The Situation for Gorbachev

  • Black Market

    • High price of consumer goods

    • In 1985, the black market’s value was estimated to be at 7 billion roubles

    • This meant that the Soviet government was losing 7 billion roubles in revenue


The situation for gorbachev6

The Situation for Gorbachev

  • Failure of Khrushchev’s agricultural reforms

    • Khrushchev introduced new systems to grow more grain

    • However, transport infrastructure was not up to mark and many crops rotted before they could arrive in cities

    • Russia had to import grain to feed its people


The situation for gorbachev7

The Situation for Gorbachev

  • Mismanaged finances

    • Not wealthy enough to play superpower

    • Spent too much money competing with the USA

    • Arms race, space race

    • Support to Cuba, Eastern Europe

    • Afghanistan War

    • Goods were not up to mark for export


Gorbachev s slogans

Gorbachev’s Slogans

  • Perestroika

    • Changing the economy of the Soviet Union

  • Glasnost

    • Having more openness in the Soviet economy


Gorbachev s slogans1

Gorbachev’s Slogans

  • Perestroika

    • End command economy and replace it with demand economy

    • End state monopolies and introduce competition

    • 1987 – measures introduced to allow market forces to become part of the state’s economic policies


Gorbachev s slogans2

Gorbachev’s Slogans

  • Perestroika

    • End state monopolies and subsidized prices

    • Reduction on arms spending

    • Disarmament treaty in 1987 with the USA

    • In 1988, EE communist governments were responsible for their own policies

    • Cut Red Army help to the EE countries


Gorbachev s slogans3

Gorbachev’s Slogans

  • Glasnost

    • More openness to allow people to have faith in the government

    • End corruption

    • Inform Soviets about decisions made by the government

    • Free elections held in 1990 for the first time


Gorbachev s slogans4

Gorbachev’s Slogans

  • Glasnost

    • Dissidents (people who criticize the government) were not persecuted

    • The KGB’s powers were restricted and eventually abolished

    • The Lubyanka prison was closed

    • Western ideas and music were allowed

    • 1st McDonalds opened in Russia

    • Restrictions lifted on the Russian Orthodox Church


The collapse of communism in europe

Lubyanka Prison


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