Presentation on theme: "Unexpected Outcomes: The End of an Era. Yes, Détente had come to an end in 1979, with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. And the Sandinista revolution."— Presentation transcript:
Yes, Détente had come to an end in 1979, with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. And the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua (1979) also increased tensions: The Soviets supported the Marxist Sandinistas. The U.S. sponsored their enemies, the Contras. So, the latest arms treaty (SALT II - 1979) went unratified!
But the Soviet Economy was stagnating. A. There were shortages of consumer goods. B. Soviet citizens waited on long lines. C. Yet communist officials lived lavishly.
Mikhail Gorbachev inherited a Soviet Union on the verge of collapse (1985-1991) -He decided a thorough reform was in order!
Gorbachev’s Reform: Perestroika (“restructuring”) 1. Tried to strengthen the Soviet economy A. Allowed limited free enterprise B. Loosened rules regarding private property
Gorbachev Reform: Glasnost (“openness”) 1. Provided for greater freedom of the press and media A. Hope that greater freedoms would lead to greater motivation in the economic sphere
Gorbachev even began to loosen the Soviet Union’s grip on Eastern Europe! A. His stance toward Eastern Europe contributed to a Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 1- Yes, Gorbachev informed East European communist leaders that the Soviet Union would not go to the financial expense of supporting them militarily
A.Solidarity, a Polish labor union and political party under the leadership of Lech Walesa, was allowed to take part in nationwide elections in 1989, winning a huge victory and bringing a noncommunist leadership to power B.The Hungarian Communist Party voted itself out of existence C. And in Czechoslovakia’s “Velvet Revolution,” Vaclav Havel’s dissident movement, Civic Forum, swept to power
But with freedom came unexpected consequences! - On December 25, 1991, Gorbachev resigned as leader of the Soviet Union and at the same time declared an end to the USSR itself. - When people have choices and can vote, the outcome may surprise you.