Throughout its long history, Russia has been trapped in a continuous cycle of authoritarian regimes; only interrupted briefly with periods of tumultuous democratic transitions that were plagued by poor bureaucracy and weak institutions. Therefore, time and time again, Russia has turned towards authoritarianism. In the late 1900’s to early 2000’s, Russia again saw the fall of democracy coincide with the rise of a competitive authoritarian regime. This rise of competitive authoritarianism in Russia in the late 1900’s to early 2000’s was largely the result of the resource curse which granted Putin’s Administration false economic performance legitimacy. This in turn reinvigorated past strongman ideals, while at the same time solidified negative
Moreover, while things were getting out of control in the Soviet Union, one nation that can illustrate how the Soviet Union finally collapsed is Russia. Things were like as it is when Mikhail Gorbachev came to power following the death of Konstantin Cherenko in 1985. Gorbachev used the policy of Glasnot, or “openness to freedom of
The competition and increasing awareness on democratic rights did force the Soviets to stand back and make some major policy changes in 1980s. The Soviet Premier of the time Gorbachev tried to set some political and social reforms in the soviet society in order to ease the pressure and help Soviets to continue to survive in the international arena. Moreover, the Soviets did not only make shifts in their internal policies but also in their foreign policy understanding as well. For instance withdrawal from Afghanistan, signing of various nuclear deterrence agreements with multi parties including the US are some of the key changes that occurred in the 1980s. However, the reforms of Gorbachev did not prevent the Soviets to stop its collapse and eventually after a series of events in 1991 the Soviet Union formally announced its dissolution.
President Reagan and the White house began a military buildup that stimulated a new arms race. Subsequently, the Reagan administration adopted the Strategic Defense Initiative to build up a space shield for security and drove the Soviet Union into an arms race. As a result of the competition created by the Cold War between the two superpowers, the USSR challenged by the US, heavy industrialization was introduced to accommodate defensive expenditures and as a result a strain was imposed on the Soviet budget. Economically under pressure with the combination of Mikhail Gobrachev’s radical policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (free market economy) the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and gave rise to 15 different nations.
The December of 1991 marked the end of the Soviet Union—and with it, an entire era. Like the February Revolution of 1917 that ended tsardom, the events leading up to August 1991 took place in rapid succession, with both spontaneity and, to some degree, retrospective inevitability. To understand the demise of Soviet Union is to understand the communist party-state system itself. Although the particular happenings of the Gorbachev years undoubtedly accelerated its ruin, there existed fundamental flaws within the Soviet system that would be had been proven ultimately fatal. The USSR became a past chapter of history because it was impossible to significantly reform the administrative
The emergence of the Cold War with the Soviet Union had far reaching impacts on American society, including hindering the pace of social reform in the United States. While some aspects of the Cold War may have helped promote certain social reforms, the net impact, deterred inevitable social reforms. Tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War induced a fear of communism in Americans that had numerous effects on American policies. McCarthyism, a period of controversial accusations on supposedly “communist” Americans, developed from the panic that communism would overcome the United States’ government, leading to loss of individual freedoms. In addition, social reform, especially the Civil Rights Movement, received inadequate attention as American leaders fixated on defeating communism and preventing it from contaminating the United States. Therefore, the United States’ preoccupation with containing communism throughout the Cold War Era hindered social reform domestically. As a result, social reform successes were limited primarily to those exhibiting visible political value by demonstrating the United States’ belief in equality and democracy to the rest of the world.
Socialism offered an ‘ideal’ and classless society in which the state controlled everything, yet the people utilized the practice of controlling politics. He formed a highly centralized government, which was furthered to totalitarian goals by his successor, Joseph Stalin. Stalin focused on military and industrial gains which, by his death in 1953, had “crippled the Soviet state” because his successors could not make any reforms without undermining the CPSU—the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (367). A heavy reliance on secret police and a militarized economy was already in place when Mikhail Gorbachev came on the scene. He was elected General Secretary of the CPSU in 1985 when the USSR was in middle of continually diminishing economic productivity; it became stagnant. With his powers as secretary, he saw room for reform to change the USSR drastically. He planned to do this through instituting glastnost, or openness, in society, which he believed would ameliorate levels of corruption. Corruption was a detriment to democratization, which he believed would heal the economy. He brought back the first contested elections in many years. With democratic procedures in place, Gorbachev lost his power to Yeltsin. Notwithstanding the amended constitution, Yeltsin took liberty to control parliament to “cope with the country’s economic problems” (369). Yeltsin’s successor was chosen as Vladimir Putin who has severely radicalized the
The United States did not have a favorable relationship with the Soviet Union during the Cold War due to the Soviet’s desire to spread communism. In the midst of the ideological battle between the United States and the Soviets, U.S. sought attention to whole Southeast Asia due to the radical dispersion of Communism. North Vietnam formed an alliance with the Soviet Union, and China to unite the country into a communist regime. As an international peace keeper, the United States decided to fund the French and eventually send military troops to Vietnam to help in combat he North Vietnamese guerillas, and contain the spread of communism before it escalates in full-scale across all of Southeast Asia. The Marshall Plan urged the United States to
After World War II, the world was in a state of heightened suspicion that was lead by ideological differences. There were two main “superpowers” that shaped perceptions of the rest of the world. One was the United States, who had come out of the war fairly unscathed, which was due to little to no conflict directly on its soil, in addition to the possession of atomic weapons and a strong navy and air force. The other major player was the Soviet Union, whose industry was recovered during the first few years of the war in addition to a powerful army. These superpowers had a large impact on other countries due to their ideological differences: the United States favored a capitalistic democracy while the Soviet Union believed in communism. One country that was heavily influenced by both superpowers at the same time was Korea, which was ultimately split into two halves. The United States had a heavy impact on the south while the Soviet Union had an effect on the north. During the Cold War from the late 1940s to the early 1950s, The Soviet Union and the United States wanted to set up spheres of influence in foreign countries so that they could observe what the other was doing, which ultimately lead to the exploitation of North and South Korea.
The many long-term internal causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union centralized around weaknesses in their economy. They had an inflexible central planning system, the inability to modernize, and the inefficiency in their agriculture production. Sometime around the 1970's the computer and automation revolution had emerged. This revolution took over the West, but practically missed the Soviet Union, except in the military sector (Baylis & Smith, 2001.) Gorbachev's goal in economic restructuring was to create a separation between the economic and the political. The major changes began with the legalization of private farming and business co-operatives, and the allowing of foreign company ownership over Soviet enterprises (Baylis &Smith, 2001) All of Gorbachev's ideas on economic restructuring backfired on him since the price levels were inconsistent, and a sense of social confusion about the future of their state was created.
What would the History of the world have be if the United States never landed on the moon, but instead the Soviet Union was successful at sending cosmonauts to the moon and were the first humans to ever step foot on a celestial body? This is what I wanted to explore in my research, this is all subjective we cannot go back in time to see what the outcome would have been if it never happened the way it did. The idea has been talked about even with the sceptics who think the whole moon landing in 1969 was a hoax to give the United States the title and make the Soviets stop pursuing the moon landing. In this paper I want to give a little history of actual events and then examine ideas of alternative events.
Coming into 1985, the Soviet Union was a closed off society which had suffered under the leadership of old, delusional men. It was clear that, as Mikhail Gorbachev himself said the night before being appointed the head of the Communist Party, “We can’t go on living like this” (Gaddis, 229). Mikhail Gorbachev was a relatively young and educated leader, ready to change the USSR for the better. But it is here – attempting to juggle his new social reform policies and his desire to stay in power – that Gorbachev stumbled. By the end of 1991, it was evident that Gorbachev was not a good juggler at all – not only did he lose all his power and popularity within his country, but the Soviet Union itself collapsed. Ultimately, it was the reforms Gorbachev
Even as Reagan struggled with communism in Central America, however, the Soviet Union was disintegrating. In reply to serious economic conflict and arising political spawn in the USSR, Premier Mikhail Gorbachev (1931-) started in 1985 and established two policies that redefined Russia’s relationship with the rest of the world. Starting from 1989, every state with a communist state in the region takes over its government with a non-communist
The democratization, economic liberalization, and eventual collapse of the Soviet Union is commonly attributed to Mikhail Gorbachev's Perestroika and Glasnost reforms during the period of 1985-1991. This purpose of these reforms is still a trenchant question as the countries of the old Soviet Union, particular Russia, are being pressured to further liberalize their economies.
Reforms and ethnic problems helped the Soviet Union collapse in 1991. What was the next move to help Russia be a major power in the world? Boris Yeltsin led Russia through most of the decade promoting something known as democracy and better living conditions than the Soviet Union. There were some failures along with success, however once Yeltsin was too old for the job he found a successor. Hence, Yeltsin passed the presidency on to Putin; the promotion of democracy was severely limited by an authoritarian leader wanting more power.