An introduction to the shocking fall of communism in eastern and central europe

Geographically, the country has to be Slovakia, which only recently gained its independence, but some readers think it more closely resembles Hungary. Steinhauer's cycle spanned the years fromwhen the Soviet Empire consolidated its hold on the nations directly to its West, untilwhen the USSR and the Warsaw Pact collapsed. Victory Square is the fifth and final novel in Steinhauer's Eastern European cycle, and in some ways it's the best. Steinhauer, an American who has lived for extended periods in several countries in the region, spent months, perhaps years, meticulously researching the fall of Ceausescu's regime in Romania.

An introduction to the shocking fall of communism in eastern and central europe

Queue waiting to enter a store, a typical view in Poland in the s Socialism had been gaining momentum among working class citizens of the world since the 19th century. These culminated in the early 20th century when several states and colonies formed their own communist parties.

Many of the countries involved had hierarchical structures with monarchic governments and aristocratic social structures with an established nobility. Its champions suffered persecution while people were discouraged from adopting it.

This had been the practice even in states which identified as exercising a multi-party system. During the period between the world wars, communism had been on the rise in many parts of the world, especially in towns and cities.

This led to a series of purges in many countries to stifle the movement. Violent resistance to this repression led to an increase in support for communism in Central and Eastern Europe.

Germany then turned against and invaded the USSR: The USSR fought the Germans to a standstill and finally began driving them back, reaching Berlin before the end of the war.

Nazi ideology was violently anti-communistand the Nazis brutally suppressed communist movements in the countries it occupied. Communists played a large part in the resistance to the Nazis in these countries. As the Soviets forced the Germans back, they assumed temporary control of these devastated areas.

The Soviets retained troops throughout these territories. The Chinese Revolution established communism in China in During the Hungarian Revolution ofa spontaneous nationwide anti-authoritarian revolt, the Soviet Union invaded Hungary to assert control. Emergence of Solidarity in Poland[ edit ] Main article: On 13 DecemberPolish Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski started a crackdown on Solidarity by declaring martial law in Polandsuspending the union, and temporarily imprisoning all of its leaders.

An introduction to the shocking fall of communism in eastern and central europe

Mikhail GorbachevPerestroikaGlasnostand Democratisation in the Soviet Union Although several Eastern bloc countries had attempted some abortive, limited economic and political reform since the s e.

During the mids, a younger generation of Soviet apparatchiksled by Gorbachev, began advocating fundamental reform in order to reverse years of Brezhnev stagnation. After decades of growth, the Soviet Union was now facing a period of severe economic decline and needed Western technology and credits[ clarification needed ] to make up for its increasing backwardness.

The costs of maintaining its military, the KGBsubsidies to foreign client states etc. The first signs of major reform came in when Gorbachev launched a policy of glasnost openness in the Soviet Union, and emphasized the need for perestroika economic restructuring.

While glasnost ostensibly advocated openness and political criticism, these were only permitted within a narrow spectrum dictated by the state.

The general public in the Eastern bloc was still subject to secret police and political repression. Gorbachev urged his Central and Southeast European counterparts to imitate perestroika and glasnost in their own countries.

However, while reformists in Hungary and Poland were emboldened by the force of liberalization spreading from the east, other Eastern bloc countries remained openly skeptical and demonstrated aversion to reform.

In Novemberthe Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic issued a declaration of sovereignty[17] which would eventually lead to other states making similar declarations of autonomy.

The Chernobyl disaster in April had major political and social effects that catalyzed or at least partially caused the revolutions of One political result of the disaster was the greatly increased significance of the new Soviet policy of glasnost.

Third Wave Democracy In Februaryin one of the first peaceful, mass-movement revolutions against a dictatorship, the People Power Revolution in the Philippines peacefully overthrew dictator Ferdinand Marcos and inaugurated Cory Aquino as president. The domino effect of the revolutions of affected other regimes as well.

Exact tallies of the number of democracies vary depending on the criteria used for assessment, but by some measures by the late s there were well over democracies in the world, a marked increase in just a few decades.

Quotes By Topic

Blank spaces remain after the government censor pulled articles from page 1 right, "What happened at Bydgoszcz? The printers— Solidarity-trade-union members— decided to run the newspaper as is, with blank spaces intact.Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century – and After, 2nd ed.

(London and New York: Routledge, ), Chapter 15 Fowkes, Ben, The Rise and Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, 2 nd ed. transition taking place in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Each year’s Report contains an update on AFTER THE FALL 1 1 INTRODUCTION On November 9, , thousands of protestors broke through the most and women in the region since the fall of communism.

The Centre’s MONEE project, created in. The Downfall of Communism in Eastern and Central Europe The shocking fall of communism in Eastern and Central Europe in the late eighties was remarkable for both its rapidity and its scope.

Strong ties with Central and Eastern Europe, countries in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Also had an alliance with the People's Republic of China. Strong imperialist federation/parliamentary republic. The Downfall of Communism in Eastern and Central Europe The shocking fall of communism in Eastern and Central Europe in the late eighties was remarkable for both its rapidity and its scope.

While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of economies played the key role in driving its decline and collapsed because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people.