Fall of the Soviet Union Saint Basil's Cathedral.
Post on 13-Dec-2015
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Fall of the Soviet Union Saint Basil's Cathedral Slide 2 Brezhnev's Big Stick Leonid Brezhnev oversaw a massive expansion of the military that significantly expanded Soviet influence, but also crippled the economy. Estimates vary, but consensus is that somewhere between 15% and 33% of the Soviet GDP was spent on the military. The period from the late 1960s until perestroika is commonly referred to as the Era of Stagnation. Slide 3 Why Stagnation? Massive military spending definitely didn't help. But spending had been extremely high since the Khrushchev years. Brezhnev was able to oust Khrushchev only because economic growth fell under his tenure. But Brezhnev and his cohort increasingly regressed toward Stalinism and were unable to implement any reforms under the new policy of collective leadership. Slide 4 RIP Brezhnev 10 November 1982 Slide 5 Yuri Andropov Slide 6 15 Glorious Months By the time he took office (1982), Andropov was already 68. Had been head of the KGB. Recognizing the trouble with the economy and determined to take action, he initiated a massive anti-corruption campaign, firing dozens of ministers who were protected by Brezhnev without altering the fundamental structures of the economy. Korea Air Flight Incident, 1983 Slide 7 RIP Andropov 9 February 1984 Slide 8 13 Months of Glory In February of 1984, Konstantin was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party, against the wishes of Andropov. Chernenko was already ill when he took office, and barely got through the eulogy at Andropov's funeral. He died 13 months later. Throughout his term, other party leaders, including Gorbachev, fulfilled most of his duties. Slide 9 Ronald Reagan, upon hearing the news of Chernenko's death. How am I supposed to get anyplace with the Russians if they keep dying on me? Slide 10 Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev b. 2 March 1931, the first Soviet head of state to be born after the fall of Tsarist Russia. Slide 11 The Rise of Gorbachev As a young man, led the Young Communists League in Stavropol and then in his region. Slide 12 Slide 13 The Rise of Gorbachev As a young man, led the Young Communists League in Stavropol and then in his region. Went to the prestigious Moscow State University, then went back home to go to work for the provincial Communist Party. In this role, gained the patronage of Suslov, whom he succeeded as provincial head. Slide 14 Wait... Suslov? Suslov was an ardent, anti- reformist hardliner. Many even considered him a Stalinist, and he led the opposition that toppled Khrushchev and replaced him with Brezhnev. Why patronize Gorbachev? Ultimately, it came down to his staunch anti-corruption stance and pragmatism. Slide 15 . "A spoon is valuable at dinner." Slide 16 1980 and Onward Elected to the Politburo in 1980; quickly became a high profile reformer. Worked with Andropov to replace 20% of high level CPSU leaders with younger people. Visited many European countries, which opened his eyes to the world. Maintained a very close relationship with Andropov. Slide 17 Ascension 1985 In the period from 1985 to 1987, Gorbachev worked to increase efficiency and productivity in government, industry, and agriculture. Slide 18 Mikhail Gorbachev, speaking to a meeting of Warsaw Pact economists, 1985 Many of you see the solution to your problems in resorting to market mechanisms in place of direct planning. Some of you look at the market as a lifesaver for your economies. But, comrades, you should not think about lifesavers but about the ship, and the ship is socialism.. Slide 19 Ascension 1985 In the period from 1985 to 1987, Gorbachev worked to increase efficiency and productivity in government, industry, and agriculture. Replaced almost half of the Politburo and Central Committee, more than half of the provincial party secretaries (governors), and two thirds of government ministers. Faced opposition from low-level CPSU leaders. --> Social modernization Slide 20 Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World In 1987, Gorbachev took a page out of the American politician's book and wrote a book detailing his ideas for the USSR. In 1988, he succeeded Chernenko and began to implement perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (openness). Slide 21 Mikhail Gorbachev, Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World (1987) Our rockets can find Halley's Comet, and fly to Venus with amazing accuracy, but side by side with these scientific and technical triumphs is an obvious lack of efficiency in using scientific achievements for economic needs, and many Soviet household appliances are of poor quality. Slide 22 In 1988, Gorbachev called an emergency meeting of the Central Committee. At this meeting, three hardliners were ejected, and Gorbachev was elected Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, giving him much more unilateral power than before. Slide 23 What was perestroika? Gorbachev proposed and implemented more fundamental reform than had ever occurred. He and his closest advisers allowed free enterprise and opened up markets. They argued that markets didn't contradict socialism. Slide 24 Yegor Ligachev, Deputy to Gorbachev (1985-88) I would sum it up this way: The stagnation was not in the workplace, but in the leading political body of the country and in Marxist- Leninist theory as well. Slide 25 Tenets of Perestroika Decentralization Commercialization/consumerism Foreign investment Slide 26 To what extent did perestroika succeed? Basically, it didn't. Instead of being a closely controlled ride toward market socialism, la China, the CPSU lost control. Production bottlenecks (supply-demand relationship crumbled. Price controls remained, as did gov't control of production. Government spending increased, while tax revenues decreased. Slide 27 Glasnost Glasnost is commonly translated as "openness", but transliterated it means "loudness" or "publicity". Basically, he argued that the Soviet people wanted democracy, that socialism needed democracy, and that "Dangers await only those who do not react to life." Initially, demokratizatsiya meant single-party but multi- candidate elections, but in reality, it created the infrastructure for a multiparty system. The first elections ever held in the USSR occurred in March 1989. Slide 28 Mikhail Gorbachev We said very directly, 'Our people are free to speak their minds, free to write, free to assemble and discuss.' And what glasnost meant was that the entire society was set in motion. Slide 29 Mikhail Gorbachev, on Russian television. Two men were standing in a queue, trying to buy some food--an invetitable part of daily life in the USSR. One of them said: what's wrong with our country? Why do we always have to queue for daily food? His friend said: It's our leaders' fault. They are responsible. His friend said: I'll make them responsible. I shall go and shoot them! After two hours he came back. What happened, his friend in the queue asked? Well, I gave up. The queue was longer there! Slide 30 Results of Glasnost Congress of People's Deputies and a new Supreme Soviet Censorship collapsed, revealing numerous and fundamental issues in society (alcoholism, housing, pollution, chauvinism) Nationalism and move toward independence in the satellite states Dissidents, political prisoners freed. Socialism with a human face. Slide 31 Slide 32 The Breakup of the USSR "...it is time to realize that neither socialism, nor friendship, nor good- neighborliness, nor respect can be produced by bayonets, tanks, or blood." Eduard Shevardnadze, Foreign Minister Slide 33 Sinatra Doctrine Brezhnev Doctrine forced tight control of satellite states; Sinatra Doctrine allowed them to conduct their internal affairs on their own. Led to the collapse of the Iron Curtain. Slide 34 Poland Lech Wasa had been a revolutionary/reformer since the early 1970s, when he led strikes as a shipyard worker. In 1980, formed the Solidarity Trade Union, the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc. It quickly transformed into a social movement advocating workers' and people's rights. Supported by a broad base of external actors, from the Pope to Reagan. Slide 35 Solidarity From 1982, when the movement was suppressed via marshal law, it was pushed into the underground. Used those years to build up support and plan. By 1988, Poland's economy was in really rough shape. This moved the government to negotiate with Solidarity, which had been partially legalized in 1987. In 1989, Solidarity won almost every single seat in both houses. Slide 36 Velvet Revolution Czechoslovakia Slide 37 What happened? On International Students' Day (Nov 17) 1989, hundreds of students took to the streets to protest the Czech Communist government. This escalated into protests lasting from November 19 to late December, drawing half a million people to the streets at its peak. In late November, the Czech Communist Party relinquished power and free elections were held. Slide 38 Fall of the Berlin Wall With the Sinatra Doctrine in place, Hungary and Czechoslovakia both allowed the free flow of people through their states. This allowed East Germans to reach the West, thereby rendering the wall useless. Thus, German president, hardliner, Erich Honecker, attempted to cut off ties with the rest of the communist world. In 1989, he falls ill, not coming back to power until September. Slide 39 Krenz to Reunification Egon Krenz replaces Honecker as the Gen. Sec. when massive protests move the Politburo to eject him. Krenz and his team crafted an east-west crossing policy, but that was quickly overwhelmed by crowds trying to cross over. Thus, the wall effectively fell in November 1989. In December, the Politburo revised the constitution to remove the single-party provision and resigned. Slide 40 Discussion: Effects