To what extent can the government of Gorbachev be held responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union? The collapse of the USSR came about from a number of factors and was most definitely pushed by Gorbachev’s policies, however the collapse of the USSR can be directly linked to Gorbachev is still widely debated. Gorbachev's policies of Perestroika, Glasnost and his Foreign policies brought him a huge reputation outside the Soviet Union. The West perceived him as liberator and a progressive leader, but USSR had still felled under his rule. Therefore the question of whether the collapse of the USSR is unavoidable, could be solved differently or should have been more radical had all came up.
When the war started off, U.S.S.R didn't expect it to be a decade-long war. Approximately one million Soviet soldiers were fighting in the war with some tens of thousands of them that were killed and injured. By 1986, the Afghan freedom fighters had already won many battles with the Soviet army as they were equipped heavily with US arms such as missiles and rockets. The numbers of of Soviet casualties were rapidly increasing and it was clear that the Soviets were losing this war. This is where the criticism and talks about Soviet leaders comes in.
However, the German economy was not really ready for a long war and was struggling by 1939; its capacity was only strong enough to sustain a couple of short campaigns. The fact that the Four-Year Plan was over estimated made it hard for the Germans to establish a new economic strategy quickly to combat the increasing offenses. Also during this time period, there was the problem of the shortage of labour. From the outset, Germany was struggling to produce workers to keep up with the demands of the amount labour need to maintain the war effort. Millions of workers were required to keep up the industrial and
How far do you agree with the view that the Cold War came to an end because of mounting economic pressure on the Soviet Union during the 1980s? There were numerous factors that led to the end of the Cold War; amongst them economic pressure can be considered a more significant one. Supporting communist regimes in Eastern Europe had become an economic liability like Cuba, Vietnam and Afghanistan had been in the past. In the 80’s approximately $40 billion was being spent annually, which was draining the USSR’s economy, hence it can be said that the end came about partially due to mounting economic pressures. However, other factors such as: people power, role of the Pope, Gorbachev and Reagan must not be overlooked - as mentioned by Williamson ‘breaking the Soviet economy was a lobby not a strategy.’ By 1980’s it was evident that Eastern Europe was unable to compete with the West in terms of industrial production or arms, as the ‘Soviet bloc was suffering a steady economic, ideological, moral and cultural decline.’ (Williamson source 10) The decline of the Soviet Union was due to ‘its own economic inefficiencies and inability to match the West’s economic growth,’ Williamson highlights the economic pressures USSR faced and therefore backs up the statement that the war came to an end as a result of this.
This proved to be a vital factor in the ending of the Cold War however it is by no means the only one; indeed a variety of different factors ultimately caused the collapse of the USSR in 1991 and thus the end of the Cold War. The economic decline of the Soviet Union over the 1980s was an essential reason for the end of the Cold War. Various factors explain the Soviet Union’s economic crisis which led to its collapse. The Soviet soft power (that is to say its political, social and culture influence) was undercut by the exposure of Stalin's crimes in 1956 and by the repression in Hungary in 1956. Communist ideology aimed to establish justice for all, however, the lethal purges and gulags of the Stalinist era led to a general loss of confidence in the system and thus a low level of motivation in the work force.
Russia was isolated from these developments and was therefore economically and intellectually backward in comparison with Western Europe. There were many factors that contributed to the downfall of the Romanov Dynasty. Some were short term, some long term. Nicholas’ unsuitability to be an autocrat, Russia’s enormous land area, Alexandra’s incompetency as the Tsarina, Rasputin’s influence over the Romanovs, revolutionary acts against the Tsar, Bloody Sunday, the 1905 revolution, hardships of war (Russo-Japanese war and the first world war) were some main factors that contributed to the collapse of Tsardom. Tsar Nicholas II inherited the throne after his father’s death on 20 October 1894.
“US- Soviet relations did not fundamentally improve in the 1970s” how far do you agree with this view? When Brezhnev had succeeded Khrushchev as leader in 1964 and Nixon had taken office in 1969, a new age known as the détente had surfaced. Détente was the period during the 1970s where both superpowers pursued to lessen tensions by reaching general agreements on the arms reductions and trade relations. This innovative reinventing of the foreign policy by the two leaders had been pressured by many problems at home, particularly economy, as both nations suffered economic problems mainly due to the extensive amount of capital going towards the arms race. The term fundamentally in the title can be perceived as the relations improving during the 1970s by events such as the improvement on economy, many summits limitations on arms production and agreements signed; agreeing with post-revisionist historians such as Gordon Craig who believed the 1970s relations caused less dangerous and more useful international relations.
Who was to blame for The Cold War? The Cold War happened over a long period time, unraveling and developing after the horrors of the Second World War. Throughout the course of the years that have followed the Cold War, mixed opinions of who is to blame for the war have arisen. It was believed, before the 1960s, that Stalin and his Communist ideologies brought the war to the attention of the world. Soon after, various evaluations of the war dictated that USA and the “western” supporters (i.e.
Competition of the United States was causing the Soviets to spend a lot of money (Miller, The U.S.S.R. in 1991). The communists began printing more money, causing inflation to increase (Miller, The U.S.S.R. in 1991). When consumers had money to buy food, they were not able to purchase any, because there was not much food for them to purchase (Miller, The U.S.S.R. in 1991). Reagan’s sabotages were also putting them deeper in debt during the
According to Darwin (1988: 65), twenty five percent of the national wealth was needed for war supplies, restoration of industries and reconstruction of the buildings. In addition, Britain did not have a strong military base as a result of industrial decline: the country was short of manpower and could not re-arm itself because of mobilizing man for war. As a result the development of new technologies declined especially in the aviation and Britain could barely defend itself during the war (Darwin, 1991: 43). Although the USA allowed Britain to have large amounts of ammunition without paying for it to be able to defend herself, Britain still had difficulties financially. American aid was very important to Britain as the means given could be used to restore industries and pay for imports of food and raw material (Darwin, 1991: 44).To pay for imports of