Summary: The Rise Of Communism

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A paradox existed in the Soviet Union in 1989, as the movement that led to the eventual overthrow of communism was really launched by the Soviet Union itself. Multiple factors led to this overthrow. In addition, there were three key people who contributed, at least in part, to the demise of Communism. Gorbachev was the Soviet premier at the time and had a hand in the dismantling of the Soviet power structure. While he was not the one who started the ball rolling, he did contribute to where it landed. The Polish trade union ‘Solidarity’, led by Lech Walesa, also played a huge part in the fall of the Soviet Union. The third person to have some influence on the political situation, especially in Poland, was Pope John Paul II. While these factors …show more content…
Leading up to this year, there were several changes that rocked the Communist and Soviet world. The Soviets gained power in the 1920’s in a revolution against the pro-Tsarist White Russians. Communism, when it was first introduced, was largely ignored, as the only people who could have learned about its tenets would also have been against its teachings. It gained popularity in Russia as the anti-Tsarists happened to be Communists. After overthrowing the Tsar, Lenin, the leader of the Soviets, was elected as the Soviet premier. After Lenin’s assent to power and eventual death, Stalin came to power and began to increase the secret police as well as the “cult of personality”. This cult of personality was one of the ways that Stalin had power over the population, as it indoctrinated the people to view Stalin with an almost deity like status, both fearing him and loving him. The other way that Stalin held power was through a secret police that would watch those who did not fall for the propaganda nor bought into the cult of personality. 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 …show more content…
The Soviet Union was hell-bent on obtaining nuclear weapons to rival America. It occupied several nations in Eastern and Central Europe and had every intention to spread communism to those countries and beyond. One of the ways that it could threaten Western powers, gain further control of their satellite countries as well as increase their legitimacy on the world stage would be to develop nuclear weapons and use them to threaten their enemies. This proliferation of nuclear weapons led to what would be called ‘The Cold War’. The Cold War shifted the mind-sets of several countries, both Eastern and Western, from conventional wars to wars of mutually assured destruction. Because of the Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of state, they resorted to fighting each other in non-direct confrontations, such as the war in South East Asia. This created a problem in the Soviet Union, as to fuel its growing military might, it had to detract from its civilian

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