Gorbachev's Political Reforms

Great Essays
Gorbachev came to power as the head of the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, and during his time in office he introduced a series of reforms which were seen to contribute to the communist bloc’s disillusion. His primary reforms were economic and political, but the policies associated with Gorbachev were glasnost (publicity, openness), perestroika (restructuring), uskorenie (acceleration) and demokratizatsaiia (democratisation). The reforms were so destabilising as the economic reforms were unsuccessful and necessitated political reform, the political reforms gave way for criticism and dismantled the power of the Communist Party, whilst the communist bloc took the opportunity to begin acting as independent states. The reforms severely weakened …show more content…
The changes Gorbachev made undermined the party and drastically changed the system of Soviet power permanently. Gorbachev reorganised the party to his own satisfaction and to ensure the passing of his planned reforms, he strengthened his control of party and the government, filling senior positions with his own appointments; by the end of 1988 all but two of the deputy defence ministers and all the direct commanders had been replaced and in October Gorbachev had been made President of the USSR, granting himself additional power. Having weakened the party apparent’s power, Gorbachev retained control over the governing backbone of the Soviet State; the Soviet army, the KGB and the MVD. However, these were ineffective replacements for everyday political dealings, as demonstrated in April 1989 when a small protest in Georgia was violently dispersed, resulting in the death of six people, his reforms were futile. The political reforms diminished the role of the Soviet Party. At the 19th Party Conference in 1988 Gorbachev won backing to create a new Supreme legislative base; the Congress of the People’s Deputies. This was introduced as a result of Gorbachev’s frustration by old party members’ resistance to his attempts to liberalise, Gorbachev introduced constitutional changes to separate the party and state. The firm grip the party held over the Soviet Union was loosened. Gorbachev destabilized the Soviet party base from the inside and this was worsened by the introduction of elections; the election held in March 1989 led to the embarrassing defeat of a number of leading party members, dismantling old Soviet society control and making way for a new political group, many of whom would later be directly accountable for the ending of the Soviet Union. The reform introduced a much wider range of views and

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    After Stalin’s death, Khrushchev came to power and began to dismantle the cult of personality that surrounded Stalin. Gorbachev, who came to power much later, had decided to pursue policies of Glasnost, ‘openness,’ and Perestroika, restructuring of the Soviet economy. These worked in tandem to bring sweeping reforms to…

    • 1123 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The crumbling army, food shortages, numerous uprisings, and taking away people’s right of speech and press in the proletariat class lead to a very successful February Revolution in 1917(Jerry and Ziegler, 1). In Iran, the Shah used a similar method of aloof leadership; he made ties with the West and tried to industrialize Iran. Iran rejected the idea of Westernization because of their disdain of the West caused by previous invasions by America (Michelle Gerken). Along with the Westernization, industrializing…

    • 1056 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Another policy, “Perestroika,” meaning restructuring, led to the inclusion of some capitalist reforms into the Soviet economy. Another important development under Gorbachev’s rule was the transition of the Soviet Union into a more democratic state. Through his reforms, Gorbachev revolutionized the political, social, and economic environment in the USSR, indirectly lead to its collapse, and in effect ended of the Cold…

    • 1125 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    After Stalin died, Nikita Khrushchev came into power and changed many aspects of the way the Soviet Union was run. They had different priorities from each other, which in turn impacted on their position in the Cold War. Khrushchev’s first mission was to try to change the perception of the rest of the world that the Soviet Union was a threat which was how countries like USA perceived it to be. One change that he needed to make was to improve Stalin’s image so he released millions of political prisoners from Gulag labour camps. He allowed information to be released into the media and encouraged international festivals, arts and media into the country in order to get project a better image of themselves.…

    • 1462 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    End The Cold War Analysis

    • 1121 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Additionally, American companies started to spread to Russia, which also promoted a capitalist society. Then in formerly Soviet territories, there was an explosion of revolutions that lead to the redrawing of lines in Eastern Europe. This lead to a great deal of turmoil within the region and left a lot of the countries looking for their self-identity. Meanwhile, in Latin America the is a big decline in communist government. More and more Latin American countries were overthrowing their communist governments and replacing them democratic governments.…

    • 1121 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    In addition he made promises of reforms to revoke Stalin rigid policies. However the speech became public to the Eastern Bloc states and led to a series of protest as a result. In Poland the secret speech spread rapidly and protest broke out in 1956. The riots led to the Red Army being called on by the Soviets to suppress the revolts and as a result over 60 people were killed. Nevertheless Soviet had to make certain amendment in order to appease the public and made kumacto as the new Communist leader who agreed to initiate reforms to an extent.…

    • 2409 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    The development of the two party system, which was caused by the change in political openness, that was not Gorbachev 's intention, continued to cause problems throughout the political system of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev tried to put these problems behind him and started his reinventing of the communist party. In June 1988 Gorbachev and his supporters began their reforms to reduce the power of the communist party and surrounding Governments. This time he called for multi-candidate local and regional elections. Many of the more conservative members of the Soviet Union really discouraged Gorbachev.…

    • 2038 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Superior Essays

    But Perestroika and Glasnost only came about in the Soviet Union because of the population’s discontent with aspects of communism which lead to small revolutions forcing political change in the Soviet Union. Politically, Perestroika was supposed to finally allow citizens to have a slight say in their government and it was supposed to make many changes Economically also. Perestroika was supposed to de-monopolize some semi-private businesses and end the price controls established by the government that had been active for decades. The goal was to create a semi-free market system, reflecting successful capitalist practices. Glasnost was mainly supposed to include more people in the political process through freedom of expression.…

    • 1208 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Fall Of The Berlin Wall

    • 751 Words
    • 4 Pages

    These consequences in nature were both political and institutional, as both components had a role in changing the structure of the Soviet Union. One of the major events to occur from the fall of the Berlin Wall was the German reunification. Gorbachev was initially against this after the fall; however, by January of 1990, the majority of the people living in the German Democratic Republic no longer accepted any idea of having two separate German states. LOSE CONTROL OF EAST GER. On August 18, 1991, Yeltsin launched a coup against Gorbachev’s government.…

    • 751 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    (Gordon F Boreham) This making it hard for him to turn around the Soviet economy, for the mere fact that the society was already in terrible shape. However Mikhail Gorbachev greatly influenced the economic, political, and religious views. By Using his many tactics and strategies. Mikhail Gorbachev…

    • 1462 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays

Related Topics