Early Soviet Union under communism Lenin comes to power by means of a disciplined hierarchical party, soon including what would become the KGB. First four years, civil war with Czar supporters, aided by U.S. 1921 Introduced the New Economic Policy 1924 Lenin dies
The General Secretary emerges Lenin’s testament By 1927 Stalin emerges as most powerful figure 1929 rejects NEP, begins forced industrialization in the countryside, collectivization millions starve 1930s, purges and show trials 100,000s executed, maybe 5 million died in gulag
US response 1947 Truman announces that US will aid any country resisting “outside pressures” lesson learned from appeasing Hitler Marshall Plan US provides 13 billion to western Europe (then Japan, Korea, and Taiwan) to rebuild
Cold War intensifies 1948 Berlin blockade and airlift 1949 Soviets test the atomic bomb China “goes communist” America “goes McCarthyite”
China--since 1949 1958-60 “Great Leap Forward” Mao orders collectivization, backyard foundaries 20-30 million die through starvation 1962 break with Soviet Union obvious 1966-76 “Cultural Revolution” universities close, Red Guards run amok, “counter-revolutionaries” killed 1978 period of (economic) liberalization begins under Deng Xiaoping
Proxy wars “minor conflicts” around the world http://www.learner.org/channel/courses/worldhistory/unit_video_22-2.html Major troop deployments: 1950-53 Korea 1965-73 Vietnam 1979-89 Afghanistan
Close call for World War III Cuban missile crisis 1962
The big surprise The end of European communism 1970s and 80s religious and cultural dissent failing economies Reagan’s role?
New blood at the Kremlin 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev becomes General Secretary initiates reforms--glasnost and perestroika 1988 allows contested elections within the Communist Party
Movement in Eastern Europe 1980s rise of “Solidarity”--suppressed 1988 illegal “Solidarity” shipworkers, with encouragement from the Pope, go on strike 1989 Polish Communist party (and Gorbachev) allows Solidarity to compete in national elections Solidarity victory
East Germany Very little reform--the Stasi Gorbachev calls for change in East Germany East German tourists go through Hungary to Austria--at first a few, then 10,000s Berlin Wall is torn down 1990 Germany reunified
Back in USSR 1991 hardliners in the military wage a coup against Gorbachev, coup fails Communist Party is abolished in Russia Soviet Union is dissolved by decree CIS is formed
Russia--backsliding under Putin since 2000? nostalgia for “good old days”, and Chinese model increasing control over media--especially TV arrest of oligarchs on trumped up charges-- Khodorkovsky using Chechen war to make governorships appointed, not elected
continuing revolutions “color revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgistan http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4459224.stm#
Who is left among Communists? 5 countries: China, Vietnam, Laos, North Korea, Cuba And several post Communist societies have changed little
In China... 1989--crackdown at Tiananmen Square in 1990s, some signs of loosening up local contested elections more freedom to criticize local governments 1000s of NGOs allowed to organize on the other hand, since 1999 Falun Gong outlawed, etc.