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Peaceful Coexistence Policy and the Changing Personalities in Soviet Leadership - Essay Example

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Peaceful Coexistence Policy and the changing personalities in Soviet Leadership Name: Instructor: Course: University: City: Date: The Soviet Union was structured to the tastes of the leader at the helm, and so served his interests. The policies in place served not to improve the economic, social or economic fortunes of the entire nation but to concur with the ideological leanings of the leader in office…
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Peaceful Coexistence Policy and the Changing Personalities in Soviet Leadership
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"Peaceful Coexistence Policy and the Changing Personalities in Soviet Leadership"

Download file to see previous pages However, not all policies resulted in failure and devastating suffering (Allen 1964). One notable exception was the policy of Peaceful Coexistence instituted by Khrushchev. Until then, the country had been led by Josef Stalin. Under Stalin’s leadership, many oppressive and rigid policies were put in place. After his death, there was a significant incentive to revise them as they had weakened Soviet standing, both abroad and at home. The United States had outpaced the Soviet Union in the nuclear arms race (Mc Dougall 2000). The Soviet Union was surrounded by United States bases located all over Europe. As a result, the Soviet Union had to buy time so as to catch up with its rival. Peaceful Coexistence was the perfect resort. By declaring its interest in peace, the Soviet Union could fend off any likely attacks from the United States at its weakest hour. By no means was Khrushchev a radical departure from Stalin. However, small changes took place, and they were the embodiment of the policy of Peaceful Coexistence. These small changes and how the person at the top helped brought them about shall be at the centre of this writing. Stalin was a dictator. He used all means, mostly brutal, to achieve his selfish aims. He eliminated enemies at an alarming rate and with great ferocity. Its worth pointing out that the name Stalin means ‘man of steel’. His brutality was evident in the way that he expelled Trotsky from the Communist party. He subsequently organized for his murder even while in exile, in Mexico City. He did not believe in political competition (Allen 1964). He eliminated several of his close allies. When his son tried to commit suicide unsuccessfully all he could say was, “the idiot can not even shoot straight”. From this character, it would also be fair to assume that the Soviet Union would also take on a more aggressive attitude to international affairs. On the political front, the Soviet Union under Stalin dealt brutally with Poland. They corrupted the politics of Soviet member countries like Poland and Ukraine. Generally, the Soviet Union under Stalin was a reflection of the man himself, brutal. Enter Khrushchev; an extremely different man when compared to Stalin. He could tolerate a little competition. He closed the Gulag labor camps which had thrived under Stalin. He criticized Stalin as a brutal despot. His preference to indulge in negotiations is well documented. Taking after his character, the Soviet Union also adopted a more conciliatory tone with regard to international conflicts. When the fate of East Berlin was at stake, he issued a sixth month deadline which he subsequently withdrew in the interests of peace. His approach to the Cuban Missile Crisis is also worth mention. In the depth of the Cold War, he clandestinely stacked nuclear weapons in Cuba, a few miles off the United States border (Mc Dougall 2000). After this plan was unmasked by the Kennedy administration, he respectfully abided by the truce. These differing approaches to politics in the Soviet Union directly derive from the leader at the helm. This is very much in consonance with the Soviet maxim that the revolution begins at the top. With regards to economic affairs, the approach also depended on the attitude and character of the leader at the helm. Under Stalin, the Soviet Union depended entirely on agriculture. It was Stalin’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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