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Decline of USSR after the Cold War - Essay Example

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The power and influence of USSR as the most dominating power in the world started diminishing after the world wars. One could notice the gradual decline of USSR and the development of USA as the most influential power in the world. The cold war lasted from the mid-1940s until the end of the 1980s and this intense rivalry between the US led allies and the USSR led Allies is best understood in terms of the opposing political ideologies that they upheld: "democracy and capitalism in the case of the United States and its allies, and Communism in the case of the Soviet bloc." (Cold War)…
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Decline of USSR after the Cold War
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Download file to see previous pages The collapse of the Soviet Union is regarded by the West as "a victory for freedom, a triumph of democracy over totalitarianism, and evidence of the superiority of capitalism over socialism." (Fall of the Soviet Union). The fall of the Soviet Union can rightly be understood as the fall of communism and the subsequent spread of democracy as a better form of government.
The growth of communism in the USSR can be traced back to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. The newly formed Government after the revolution was based on socialistic and Communist ideologies and the aim of the Bolsheviks was "to overcome national differences, and rather to create one monolithic state based on a centralized economical and political system." (Fall of the Soviet Union). Later, the state was transformed into a totalitarian state which was controlled by the communist leadership. However, the totalitarian government could not assimilate the non-Russian ethnic groups in the country and the economic planning g of the state proved to be inadequate to meet the need of the time and its arms race with the United States proved to be disastrous for the nation. By the time, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's last leader, assumed power in the nation, the economic and political problems in the country was at its peak.
In 1985, the election of Mikhail Gorbachev to the position of General Secretary of the Soviet Union led to more political and economic liberalization in the Moscow regime. The Gorbachev era witnessed many radical economic reforms like perestroika in the USSR. The Glasnost offered greater freedom of expression and offered freedom of press which can be marked as the first step towards democracy in the nation. The Glasnost had far reaching effects in the USSR as the media brought to spotlight many of the social and political issues that the people were dissatisfied with, and this brought about a sort of new nationalism and resulted in ethnic tensions. In January 1987, Gorbachev moved a step forward to democratic way of multi-candidate elections and later his reforms were aimed at reducing the Communist party's hold in governmental affairs. The ultimate result of these reforms was that the central Moscow government lost its absolute control over the USSR's constituent republics and brought about decentralization of power. Gorbachev's radical reforms, in a way, offered opportunity for the constituent republics to demand autonomy and independence. It was the Baltic region under the government of Estonia that protested against the Moscow regime in 1987. Later Lithuania and Latvia came out with similar upheavals and culminated in the coup d'etat of 1991. There were massive protests in the nation and the military refused to suppress the protestors who were led by Yeltsin. After the failed coup attempt there were public demonstrations demanding democracy in the nation and finally on December 25, 1991, Gorbachev had to resign and the "Commonwealth of Independent Republics" replaced the communist regime. Boris Yeltsin resigned from the communist party and declared Russia's independence. This stirred the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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