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Gorbachev and Change

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by

Cresson Sorby

on 23 May 2016

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Transcript of Gorbachev and Change

Stagnation
The USSR had become stagnant and they realized that they were falling behind the US and a quickly emerging China.
Why change?
They couldn't keep control of pricing through subsidy programs because they were going bankrupt.

But without subsidies, price rose and people couldn't afford goods, causing more problems.
Chernobyl Incident
Nuclear Reactor in Ukraine explodes
USSR downplays the problem
Radiation reaches Sweden and International community learns of the problem.
Citizens find out what really happened and express their criticisms
"Openness"
Created to allow re-examination of Soviet history during Stalin era
Wasn't seen as a problem since Stalin supporters were dead
However it lead to reexamine of collectivization and its success.
Seeking Repair
Gorbachev was not a capitalist seeking to destroy communism. He wanted to create policies that would help rebuild communism in the USSR.
Age as a factor?
Gorbachev was 49 years old when he entered the Politburo. The average age of the Politburo was 70. How do you think age played a factor in the changes that Gorbachev made?
Gorbachev and Change
New Programs
Glasnost
- open discussion of political and social issues

Perestroika
- restructure of the Soviet economy (more non-state run businesses)
Foreign Policy
Soviet debt leads to big changes
Pull out of Afghanistan
Allow satellite nations to pursue their own path to socialism
Eased tensions with the US and created pursuit of peace between the two sides.
Full transcript