When the Soviet Union fell in December 1991

When the Soviet Union fell in December 1991

When the Soviet Union fell in December 1991, it left Russia unable to provide for itself. This was the process of the last 52 years reaching its end. In order to understand what happened over the 52 years , you will have to understand Russian ideology was a direct result to the downfall of the USSR.

The first Five Year Plan was introduced in 1928, And Stalin made it clear that he wanted to use his power to help the economy. It was manly on the development of iron and steel. Stalin made them work hard and wanted fast industrialization. He wanted a 250% increase in industrial development and a 330% expansion in heavy industry. All industry and services were nationalized, trade unions were used as a method for increasing worker productivity.

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The First Five-Year Plan also transformed individual farms into large collective farms. Stalin focused particular conflict on the wealthier peasants. Although the First Five-Year Plan only wanted 20% of peasant households to be forced in collectivization, by 1940 approximately 97% were forced. This helped Stalin with fast industrialization.

The Great Purge (Great Terror) involved the persecutions of wealthy peasants. The Great Purge is characterized by imprisonments and executions not only of these usual suspects but of Communists leaders and party members. People who were called enemies were charged with treason. There was strong persecution against those who practiced favoritism and inappropriately used state funds.

The assassination of Sergei Kirov (1935) was killed by Leonid Nikolayev who people suspected was ordered by Stalin, this is how the Great Purge begun. Kirov was a popular and faithful Communist that threatened Stalin’s power. Kirov’s death created 3 trials. The party began cleaning itself of outcasts as tension and suspicion increased. Hundreds of thousands were executed or died. Many were not released until the end of Stalin’s leadership.

During World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union became allies and fought together. The relationship between them were tense. Americans were cautious of The Soviet Union’s communism and concerned about Stalin’s blood-thirsty need for his own country. The Soviets despised the Americans because they refused to treat the USSR as a part of the international community and how they were delayed into WWII (caused millions of Russians to die). After the war ended, this caused Americans and the USSR to distrust each other.

Stalin was in poor health and did not trust his doctors. January 1952, he had prisoned a doctor after they suggested that he should retire to improve his health. On March 1, 1953, Stalin’s staff found him semi-conscious on the bedroom floor. He had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage(stroke). He was moved onto a couch and remained there for three days. He was hand-fed and given various medicines and injections.

Stalin died on March 5, 1953. An autopsy confirmed that he had died from a cerebral hemorrhage and that he also suffered from severe damage to his cerebral arteries due to atherosclerosis. It is possible that Stalin was murdered. Stalin’s death was announced on March 6. The body was placed on display in Moscow’s House of Unions for three days.

During the Khrushchev regime some positive changes were traced. During World War II, Khrushchev organized troops to fight Nazi Germany in the Ukraine and Stalingrad. By the time Stalin died in March 1953, Khrushchev had positioned himself as a possible inheritor. Six months later, he became head of the Communist Party and one of the most powerful people in the USSR.

Once a loyal Stalinist, Khrushchev gave a long speech in February 1956 that criticized Stalin. By that June, however, the U.S. State Department had published the complete text. Starting in 1957, Khrushchev made some minor attempts to change Stalin’s image. But he switched ideas again in 1961, when the city of Stalingrad was renamed and Stalin’s remains were removed from Lenin’s mausoleum in Moscow’s Red Square.

Emboldened by Khrushchev’s so-called “secret speech,” protestors walked in the street in Poland and Hungary. The Polish revolt was settled peacefully, but the Hungarian revolt was violently settled with troops and tanks. At least 2,500 Hungarians were killed in late 1956. Khrushchev tried to increase agricultural production and raise living standards. Some examples is that he reduced the power of the Soviet Union’s feared secret police, released many political prisoners, opened up more of the country to foreign visitors.

Administration of the Communist Party at the October Congress of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union dismissed Khrushchev. Despite of partial destalinization, the Soviet centralized regime remained unchanged. Christians were persecuted, churches were destroyed, and former political prisoners were persecuted. During Khrushchev’s rule Ukraine, with its substantial resources and powerful fuel and energy base, became a resource appendage for Soviet political and economic system

The USSR used force in Czechoslovakia. In 1968, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia began to modify their rules and strengthen Western ties. In response, Soviet troops entered Czechoslovakia and created a new regime. This created the Brezhnev Doctrine, which stated that the Soviet Union would act to maintain its political system in Eastern Europe. Soviet controller of the reform movement made gestures of disobedience lessen on part of Romania and was a threat to Polish trade union movement in 1980. But it also helped dissatisfy communist parties in Western Europe that made them like Eurocommunism, an approach to the ideology that allowed them to pursue political programs independent of the USSR.

Soviet influence in the developing world expanded somewhat during the 1970s. New communists that had a relationship with the Soviet Union stole power in several countries, (Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Nicaragua). the Soviet Union fought for influence in the Middle East by helping the Arabs in their disagreement with Israel.

One of the things Gorbachev (general secretary of the Communist Party in March, 1985) did when he joined the communist party was, he created 2 programs. The first one was perestroika (restructuring) and the second was glasnost (openness). These programs introduced changes in economic practice, internal affairs, and international relations. Gorbachev’s actions also helped with the 1991, collapse of the Soviet Union. He resigned from office on December 25, 1991.

In the Soviet Union reactions to the new policies were different. Reform policies shocked traditional power in the party, economy, and society. Some things undermined the Soviet Union’s authoritarian structures, such as, freedoms of assembly, speech, and religion, the right to strike, and multicandidate elections. But bitter inter-ethnic, economic, and social injustice led to strikes and created more crime rates.

Gorbachev helped by establishing a market economy. This helped encourage limited private ownership, industry and agriculture. But the Communist control system for power and privilege were saved and new policies did not help economically. Instead, lines got longer for goods in the stores, and strikes claimed lives. This happened mostly in Caucasus and Baltic states.

A conference in Leningrad (October, 1990), demanded heavy changes in Gorbachev’s policy of perestroika. Participants in the conference accused Gorbachev of wanting to restore capitalism in the Soviet Union. Resolution by the Society (October 28, 1990,) showed their lack of confidence in the policies of Gorbachev as General Secretary of the Central Committee.

In December of 1991, something stunned the world. The reason behind this was the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 separate countries. Its collapse was addressed as a victory for freedom, a celebration of democracy over totalitarianism, and evidence of capitalism over socialism. The United States exulted as the USSR was brought down (this ended the Cold War). The downfall of the USSR helped transform the worlds political situation. Which lead to a complete renewal of political, economic and military alliances all over the world.

After the Bolshevik Revolution (1917), the government developed a philosophy of socialism and the transition to Communism. What the Bolsheviks created was supposed to overcome national differences and was supposed to create one imposing state based on an economic and political system. This state (built on a Communist ideology), was eventually transformed into where the Communist leadership had complete control over the country.

In conclusion, what happened over the 52 years did have an impact on Russian ideology. Russian ideology is manly made of how they were determined to achieve communism. The Ideology of the USSR was developed by theories, policies and political people. As showed throughout this paper there were many instances that proved the communist ideology of Russians.


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