What factors lead to the collapse of communism?
There are many factors that lead to the collapse of communism. Such as anti-Soviet nationalists which put the nation and their needs above those of communism. This was also fueled by the members of the Soviet Union wanting nicer consumer goods such as blue jeans and newer music such as Michael Jackson and Jazz. These were things that the Soviet Union tried to keep out due to wanting to be able to control their citizens and how they portrayed the outside world. However, with the Soviet Union having control over much of Eastern Europe this was very hard for them to do considering Eastern Europe knew much about these types of consumer goods. By the time all of this happened about 50% of the Soviet Union population was anti-Soviet nationalists. The Soviet Union also began to have issues when the average Soviet citizen was facing issues such as poverty and starvation while the communist party itself was thriving in wealth and power. Many of these citizens were not able to have basic needs thins such as shoes, food, and clothing which helped turn many into anti-Soviets. Things such as sanctions helped by hurting the economic flow for the Soviet Union which resulted in them losing ground in Eastern Europe.
What role did nationalism play in the collapse of communism?
Nationalism played a significant role with the fall of communism and the Soviet Union. There was a group known as the anti-Soviet nationalists which ended up consisting of 50% of the Soviet Unions population. This is due to many citizens not having the basic needs to survive such as shoes, clothing, shelter, and food. Sanctions also helped lead to the Soviet Union losing ground of Eastern Europe which then showed consumer goods to the world such as music(Michael Jackson, Jazz) and clothing items such as jeans. This was things that the Soviet Union citizens wanted, but they couldn’t have due to communism. Nationalism helped give way to the fall of communism by creating a need for something better and creating a love for the people and a better nation.
What caused revolutionary protests movements to arise in communist communities?
“A massive purge of about 5,000 “liberal” Communist followers of the deposed 1968 Slovak Communist leader Alexander Dubcek had “cleansed not only the party itself but also cultural, educational, and economic institutions” (Shubert, Goldstein, 2012). These citizens where then given unskilled jobs. After this a group known as chapter 77 came together and decided that the Czech government were violating promises it had made and guaranteed in its civil liberties. Students in Czech then protested again to demand the resignation of many communists’ leaders. This protest gained many followers and eventually spread to many other parts of Eastern Europe challenging the governments.
How did the movements affect communist governments?
It caused many of the leaders to be challenged and resign from their posts. Many also spent time in jail due to not following up on promises at which they had once made. All of this together helped form the collapse of the Soviet Union due to the Soviet Union losing ground and support by many Eastern European countries. Many governments then started to do things such as offering basic human rights and elections of their leaders.
What role did generational differences play in the collapse of communism?
The younger generation lead many of the protests against the communist government. This is because many of the newer generation had not seen what all the war had done in the past. Unlike in past cultures the youth culture didn’t have to work as much because wages had begun to rise. Therefore, they were able to use their time for other things such as their own style and music. Fashion and music also helped drive this generation and the collapse of communism because with new music such as Elvis, Rolling Stones, and the Beetles everyone wanted to get their share of it. Which pushed communist countries citizens to push and challenge the government, but it was mainly the younger generation that wanted these new consumer goods and luxuries. Many younger citizens wanting these goods lead the student protests and revolutions that collapsed the communist government. “May 1968 becomes famous for student riots in Paris, and many changes in society and behaviour become associated with the so-called ‘68 generation’” (1960-1969, Swinging Sixties).
Shubert, A. & Goldstein, R.J. (2012). Twentieth-century Europe [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/
The History of the European Union (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://europa.eu/about-eu/eu-history/index_en.htm):
- 1945-1959: A peaceful Europe – the beginnings of co-operation(Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://europa.eu/about-eu/eu-history/1945-1959/index_en.htm)
- 1960-1969: The “Swinging Sixties” – A period of economic growth(Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://europa.eu/about-eu/eu-history/1960-1969/index_en.htm)
- 1970-1979: A growing Community – the first Enlargement(Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://europa.eu/about-eu/eu-history/1970-1979/index_en.htm)
- 1980-1989: The changing face of Europe – the fall of the Berlin Wall(Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://europa.eu/about-eu/eu-history/1980-1989/index_en.htm (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.)