Fall of Soviet Union

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Fall of Soviet Union

The Fall of the Soviet Union

SSWH20bDescribe the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 that produced independent countries: include Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and the Baltic States.

Causes of the Breakup: >Tension between the US and the Soviet Union>Economy was very inefficient>Reform plans failed

Cold WarThe struggle for power over the world between the Communist party and the Western allies.

TensionsCold WarArms RaceSpace RaceOther War Related Conflicts

Inefficient EconomyConstantly trying to keep up with the West: Between the Arms Race, Space Race, and support of the communist regime, a lot of money was wasted.

Gorbachev's Plans to ReformGlasnost, or political openessPerestroika, or economic restructuring

Arms RaceThe US began making weapons to protect themselves. The Soviet Union felt threatened and began to complete with them. Luckily nuclear war was avoided.

Space RaceBoth wanted to be the first into space. The Soviet Union won that contest by launching a satellite but the US was the first to land on the moon.

Other ConflictsKorean and Vietnam WarsBay of Pigs InvasionCuban Missile Crisis

Glasnost gave new freedoms to the Soviet citizens. Political prisoners were released, newspapers could have criticisms of the government, and parties other than Communists could participate in elections. Perestroika was a way to revive the economy. People were able to own businesses for the first time since the 1920's. Workers were given the right to protest for better work conditions and wages. These plans failed which just left everyone frustrated.

Important Events in 1989Gorbachev and George W. Bush met and ended the Cold War.Fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany, signifying the end of communism in East Germany. The communist governments in Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria fell.

11 days before Christmas in 1991, 11 countries broke away from the Soviet Union including Ukraine and Kazakhstan. On Christmas Day, the Soviet Union broke up.

In 1987, Estonia, in the Baltic region, demanded autonomy. This move was later followed by similar moves in Lithuania and Latvia, the other two Baltic republics. The nationalist movements in the Baltics constituted a strong challenge to Gorbachev. This opened the door to other countries wanting independence.

Mikhail GorbachevSoviet Union president from 1985-1991Launched Reform Plans“The old system collapsed before the new one had time to begin working.”


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