During 1989 the world looked on with amusement as communist governments in Eastern Europe collapsed and were replaced with governments committed to democracy and the free market. The Soviet Union and its republics started to break apart and eventually got their independence. Political, Social and Economical factors all contributed to the fall of communism is Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the 1980 s and 1990 s.
A major political factor was the ruling of Mikhail Gorbachev. He set up a reform known as Democratization. This allowed citizens to vote on people from one political party. He believed that if people had say in government it would fix some of the problems. Democratization led the Soviet Union into the transformation of a communist country to a democratic one. This did not happen over night but over a period of time. The people were angry at the fact that the Communist Party had not lived up to what it had promised which was in return for their obedience they would receive employment, free health care and a level of comfort. Once the Soviet Communist system began to fall, it would not stop until it was completely wiped out, just like the domino theory (Doc 2). Many people no longer liked the controlling ways of communism. Soviets wanted their freedom and right to make the track in which their life would follow instead of being told what job they had and what they would do. In document 3 the Rock Lyrics form the song Get out of Control portrayed the ideas of many people. This showed how communism controlled too much of people s lives and it needed to end. These lyrics say that people should have the right to control their own lives. The Soviet Union was also losing a lot of power due to the Communist system. The countries that were being controlled wanted to rule themselves and set up their own governments. Most of the countries wanted to set up democratic governments. Document 7 shows how the Soviet Union began to break apart. The egg cartoon showed the reality of the other countries independence. Overall the Soviet Union couldn t afford to hold onto these countries and gave them independence.
Another factor that caused the collapse of Communism was social things. Drugs and Alcohol, Lack of Freedom/Human rights and poor living conditions all led to the governments fall. The Soviets problem with alcohol was so bad that set hours and days were made when alcohol could be bought. People were also told which books they could read, the job they would hold, and no one could get any profits that were made. Another big issue was the closings of churches. Gorbachev introduced glasnost, which was called openness. This allowed the US to come into Russia and see all their on going problems. When glasnost was made, it took peoples concentration away from the government and people began wanting more and more good things. Overtime education had gotten very bad and was not being tended to (Doc 1). The Russian s were too busy in the arms race to take care of their schools and buy new stuff. When people realized all these problems they looked to the government for answers. Communist could no longer fix any of its problems and began caving in.
The last factor that helped end the Communist system was economical problems. The economy problem just kept growing and people thought that eventually the problem would explode leaving the society with horrible consequences to pay (Doc 4). The economy was in such bad condition that Gorbachev created his last reform, which was Perestroika. This was a Soviet Program of economic restructuring, which included a relaxation of government controls and the establishment of limited free enterprise. At this point private business were allowed to be opened and people could keep their profits. This still left the economy in ruins. The outputs were down, number of people unemployed kept on growing and inflation was increasing (Doc 5). Document 5 said that the solution to the problems would be abandoning Communism and becoming more capitalist with a democratic government. Another economical problem that got many Soviets angry was the price for goods. The work time in the U.S. was a lot lower then in the USSR. People in Russia had to work more hours to get food, clothing, and appliances to use in their everyday life (Doc 6). Since the economy was going downhill, communism was coming to an end too.
Overall contributed factors of political, economical, and social led to the end of Communism. Many people thought the government was the only problem but as seen here the Soviet Union had many other issues that led to the fall of Communism.
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