19.3 Gorbachev Moves Toward Democracy

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					Gorbachev Moves Toward
    Modern World History
       Chapter 19.3
         Setting the Stage
 After WWII, the Soviet Union and the US
engaged in a Cold War. They tried to increase
 their influence worldwide, with the Soviets
 extending their power over most of Eastern
   Europe. By the 1960’s it appeared that
        Communism was here to stay…
                 or was it??
       Who will be the new Communist
• Leonid Brezhnev and the
  Politburo- the ruling
  committee of the Communist
  party, crushed all political
  disagreement. The Communist
  party restricted rights; freedom
  of speech, and worship.
  Brezhnev died in 1982.
• Mikhail Gorbachev- youthful,
  energetic, great political skills.
  Became new Communist
  leader, had many ideas for
  Communist reform.
Gorbachev’s Reforms
   • Glasnost Promotes Openness
      – Under past Communist rulers Soviet society
        rarely changed.
      – Gorbachev realized that economic and social
        reforms could not occur without a free flow
        of ideas.
      – 1985: Glasnost; openness. He encouraged
        Soviet citizens to discuss ways to improve
        society. This was never allowed in the past.
      – Glasnost brought changes: churches were
        opened, dissidents were released from
        prison, books were published by banned
        authors. Reporters were allowed to
        investigate and openly criticize the
   Perestroika Reforms the Economy
• Since people could now complain
  publicly about economic problems
  Gorbachev noticed the inefficient
  system of central planning.
• Under central farming, party officials
  told farmers how much to produce and
  wages to pay.
• Because individuals could not increase
  their pay by producing more there was
  little incentive to improve efficiency.
• Gorbachev introduced Perestroika-
  economic restructuring. He made
  changes to revive the Soviet economy.
• Farmers gained more authority over
  their own farms and factories. People
  were allowed to open small private
Democratization Opens the Political
            • 1987: Democratization- a gradual
              opening of the political system. An
              election of a new legislative body.
              Gorbachev’s third new policy.
            • Voters could now choose from a
              list of candidates for each office.
            • Voters even elected outspoken
              reformers instead of party leaders.
            • Gorbachev realized the Soviets
              could no longer afford the costly
              arms race, arms control would
              become one of his top priorities.
   Democratization Opens the Political
             System Cont.

• 1987: Gorbachev & President Reagan signed
  the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty
  (INF), banned nuclear missiles with ranges of
  300 to 3400 miles.
• Gorbachev urged other Eastern European
  countries to do the same and open up their
  economic systems.
• In the past the Soviet Union kept the Eastern
  nations in check, now they could make their
  own choices on democracy or communism.
“Each people determines the future of its own
 country and chooses its own form of society.”
            -Mikhail Gorbachev
        Reforms in Poland and Hungary
• Poland and Hungary were the
  first to embrace the spirit of
• Reforms were occurring in
  Poland long before Gorbachev
  came to power, Pope John Paul
  II lent his support to the anti-
  communist movement.
• 1980: shipyard workers went on
  strike. Demanding the gov’t
  recognize their union, Solidarity.
• The gov’t gave in to the
  demands and union leader Lech
  Walesa became a national hero.
Hungarian Communists Disband
         • Inspired by the work done in
           Poland, Hungarian leaders
           launched a sweeping reform
         • Reformers encouraged private
           enterprise and a small stock market
         • A new constitution permitted a
           multi-party system with free
         • Finally a European Communist
           party voted itself out of existence.
           1990: finally a non-Communist
           government in Hungary.
Communism Falls in East Germany
• While Poland and Hungary changed their political outlook
  Germany remained stubborn.
• Vacationing Eastern Germans escaped to Western Germany
  through Austria, something that was never allowed before.
• Erich Honecker closed the German borders allowing no one
  to cross, he was forced to resign in October 1989.
• The new East German leader Egon Krenz argued that he
  could restore stability by allowing people to leave East
• November 9, 1989 he opened the Berlin Wall.
• Thousands of East Germans poured into West Berlin
  erupting into celebration.
             “The wall is gone! The wall is gone!”
         Germany is Reunified
• Reunification- the merging of the two
• Many people feared that a united Germany
  would again try to dominate Europe.
• Germany assured leaders that Germany had
  learned from the past and was now on a path
  to Democracy and human rights.
• Germany was officially reunited on October 3,
Democracy Spreads
   • Czechoslovakia reforms; Czechs
     inspired by the fall of the Berlin wall
     demanded the resignation of
     Communist leaders and an end to
     Communist rule.
   • November 24, 1989: 500,000
     protesters crowded into downtown
   • Within hours Milos Jakes and his
     entire Politburo resigned.
   • One month later, a new parliament
     elected Vaclav Havel President of
          Overthrow in Romania
• Romanians were aware of what was going on
  throughout the rest of Eastern Europe, however
  Nicolae Ceausescu maintained a firm grasp.
• The Romanians began a protest of their own
• The army along side the common people
  worked to defeat the secret police and their
• Ceausescu and his wife attempted to flee, they
  were captured and killed Christmas Day 1989.
• Romania held elections in 1990 and 1992, and
  made economic reforms to introduce

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