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LEONID BREZHNEV Coalition that brought down Khrushchev included anti-Stalinists and diehard Stalinists –Settled on compromise successor in Brezhnev Bland.

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Presentation on theme: "LEONID BREZHNEV Coalition that brought down Khrushchev included anti-Stalinists and diehard Stalinists –Settled on compromise successor in Brezhnev Bland."— Presentation transcript:

1 LEONID BREZHNEV Coalition that brought down Khrushchev included anti-Stalinists and diehard Stalinists –Settled on compromise successor in Brezhnev Bland enough to be acceptable to both groups

2 PROFILE OF BREZHNEV Born in 1906 First leader to have been too young to participate in 1917 Revolution Belonged to generation of communists who made their careers as party bureaucrats Trained as an engineer –Climbed ladder as protégé of Khrushchev Imposing and conventional –Would hold power for nearly 20 years despite declining health during last decade of his life

3 SOCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT Brezhnev brought Soviet society closer to Western societies –Population became more urban 66% of people lived in urban areas by 1968 Industrial development –12-15% annual growth rate continued into the 1970s Soviet Union became worlds leading producer of oil, iron ore, steel, and chemical fertilizers by 1970 Profits invested in the military –Arms expenditures increase by annual rate of 4% between 1964 and 1976 –Allowed Soviet Union to achieve nuclear parity with U.S. and superiority in naval strength

4 CONSUMER PRODUCTS Eighth Five-Year Plan ( ) and Ninth Five-Year Plan ( ) emphasized consumer production –50 million apartments built between By 1980, 75% of all families in Moscow had their own apartments –By 1983, 83% of families had a television, 82% had refrigerators, and 58% had a washing machine But only 25% had a car and country had fewer phones than France and fewer miles of paved roads than Texas

5 REPRESSION CONTINUES Brezhnevs rule can be described as Neo-Stalinist –First political trial of an intellectual since 1953 held in 1966 –Alexander Solzhenitsyn forbidden from accepting Nobel Prize in literature in 1970 and forced into exile in 1974 –Impromptu open-air art exhibit demolished by bulldozers in 1974 –Andrei Sakharov exiled for speaking out against war in Afghanistan in 1980 Sakharov Solzhenitsyn

6 SELF-PERPETUATING ELITE Brezhnev never interested in mass support or popularity –Viewed shared by the bureaucratic oligarchy of top Party officials His real source of support A self-perpetuating elite Soviet society had fewer chances for social mobility than Western societies –Only 11% of Soviet young people went to college –Children of top party officials and factory managers were five times more likely to go to college than children of ordinary people They thus continued to enjoy privileges of the elite

7 BREZHNEVS SORRY LEGACY Unscrupulous officials gathered around Brezhnev who used their connections and power to amass tremendous wealth for themselves –Often simply through embezzlement Meanwhile, economic growth began to slow down and stagnated by 1976 –Mainly because of huge military expenditures –Soviet workers felt powerless and manipulated Brezhnevs legacy was the impulse to cynical self- gratification

8 DEATH OF BREZHNEV Quality of Soviet life actually began to decline by 1980s –Brezhnev responds by refusing to face the problem Brezhnev dies in 1982 –Replaced by Yuri Andropov Dies in year and a half –Followed by Constantine Chernyenko Died within a year Andropov Chernyenko

9 MIKHAIL GORBACHEV Mikhail Gorbachev elected General Secretary in March 1985 at age 54 Had worked his way up in CP youth organization and studied law the University of Moscow Both grandfathers had been arrested under false charges during Stalin era Charming, flexible, and determined –Master of CP politics Knew that fundamental reforms, ones in which Soviet people would actively participate, were necessary Spoke opening of failure of economic planning –But was convinced that communism could be rescued by reforms, once the inefficiency and brutality of Stalinism had been eliminated

10 BIG ECONOMIC PROBLEMS Soviet Union no longer keeping up with tremendous pace of economic and technological change of the 1980s Problem was that only 5% of its GNP came from international trade –Raw materials that USSR exported suffered from depressed prices How could they generate revenue needed to buy necessary technology? –Soviet manufactured products not competitive in world market Poor quality because Soviet factories were out-of-date and workmanship was poor –High rates of absenteeism, alcoholism, and worker turnover

11 GORBYS DILEMMA For the USSR to improve productivity, it had to acquire new technology and provide greater incentives to a workforce that wanted, but couldnt afford, sophisticated consumer products –But how could the USSR do this and simultaneously keep up in the arms race, retool its factories, and improved its underdeveloped transportation network? USSR was caught in a vicious circle –It needed greater investment and greater incentives to stimulate greater productivity. –But as long as productivity remained low, the Soviet economy could not generate the resources for greater investment and more incentives

12 NEW POLICIES To break vicious circle, Gorbachev launched: –Perestroika (restructuring) Economic revolution –Glasnost (openess) Re-examination of Soviet history and encouragement of public discussion in an unprecedented way Teach Soviet citizens to understand their relationship with the government in a new way

13 PERESTROIKA Not a complete abandonment of socialism –State continued to own factories and set broad economic targets –But role of huge planning bureaucracy was targeted for huge reduction Managers told they would be responsible for their own finances –No longer receive subsidies No more subsidies to keep prices on consumer goods artificially low 50% of service sector and 20% of consumer industry turned over to private ownership Begin to reverse collectivization Work to attract foreign investment

14 GLASNOST Gorbachev knew that the way to make USSR a more productive society was to make it a more open society Every subject that had formerly been taboo was now openly discussed –Gorbachev stated Stalins guilt in the horrors of the Great Purge and collectivization –Public officials subjected to tough questions –Documentaries probed damaging effects of long war in Afghanistan –Environmentalists stated sit-ins to prevent destruction of historic buildings

15 MIXED REACTION TO GLASNOST Reaction of ordinary people to glasnost was mixed –Many older people resented attacks on Stalin –Soviet conservatives saw talk about multi-party democracy and the right to emigrate as evidence of social decay Insisted that freedom in Russia always led to anarchy and that Russia needed a strong master

16 RACE AGAINST TIME Gorbachev insists on multiple candidates and voting by secret ballot for factory managers and members of parliament –Knew that his program would provoke obstruction of Soviet power structure –Wanted to win wide popular support before unrest with short-run hardships caused by his reforms and resistance of the bureaucracy doomed his plans to failure

17 PROBLEMS WITH PERESTROIKA Perestroika did create economic hardships –Less planned economy meant higher prices and rising unemployment Soviet people had been taught that socialism would protect them from high prices and unemployment –Also resented new class of entrepreneurs Finally, reforms did not dramatically increase consumer products maybe even decreased their supply

18 INTRODUCTION OF DEMOCRACY To make it more difficult for conservative elements to depose him, Gorbachev begins fundamental democratic reshaping of political institutions in late 1988 –Drew up new constitution –Called for elections to new National Congress of Peoples Deputies 2250 seats 750 seats chosen from various organizations such as Communist Part 1500 seats left to democratic choice of voters First free election in Russia since 1917

19 ELECTIONS Results of election –Deeply humiliated CP hierarchy –Demonstrated that opportunity to make real changes had shaken the Soviet people out of apathy Only 25% of districts were uncontested –Even in uncontested districts, CP leaders who were critical of Gorbachev were defeated –Election pitted younger, reform minded CP members against older generation Younger generation usually won

20 DEMOCRACY IN ACTION New Parliament meetings broadcast on television –Intense criticism of KGB –Gorbachev elected president of body But only after days of intense grilling Gorbachev won more secure political position –Could not be removed unless majority of Parliament agreed to it –Gave him alternative power base to the CP hierarchy Which he also continued to purge

21 RISE OF NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENTS Glasnost gave national minorities freedom to express their discontent with Soviet government and also their hatred for each other in many regions Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia were most discontented –Gorbachev tried to appease them by setting up mixed economy Did not work demanded complete independence

22 GORBACHEVS PANDORAS BOX Gorbachev had no intention of presiding over dismantlement of Soviet Union –Alternately employed concessions and threats to keep non-Russian republics in USSR But nothing seemed to work Demands of Baltic states inspired others to demand independence –Georgians, Ukrainians, Armenians, and others Gorbachev did not want USSR to fragment but the only way to handle problem was to back off from glasnost and stifle talk of independence –This would jeopardize all the other progress Gorbachev had made and perhaps represent a return to bad old days of Brezhnev

23 BACKGROUND TO AFGHAN WAR King of Afghanistan overthrown by his prime minister Mohammed Daoud in 1973 –Daoud overthrown and killed by military officers in 1978 and power turned over to a Marxist- Leninist party –Islamic fundamentalist guerillas launch guerilla war and push regime to verge of collapse –in December 1979, USSR airlifts troops into country to protect regime Ultimately commits 100,000 men But guerillas prove impossible to defeat

24 BLEEDING WOUND Reaction from world to Soviet invasion swift and harsh –Condemned by UN –56 countries boycott Moscow Olympics in 1980 –Criticism of Islamic countries fierce –U.S. supplies Afghan rebels Wounded veterans from war become dissonant element in Soviet society Gorbachev vows to end bleeding wound of Afghanistan and pulls troops out in January 1990

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