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08.04 The Iron Curtain Comes Down: Assessment

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Hayley Grafton

on 1 May 2015

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Transcript of 08.04 The Iron Curtain Comes Down: Assessment

I believe the greatest factors that contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union were the following (in order), Romanian Revolution, the fall of Berlin Wall, Velvet Revolution, the Solidarity Movement, and Prague Spring. It was so hard to put these in order because these events are all so important in the downfall of the Soviet Union. But in my opinion, it primarily started with the protest between Moscow and Leningrad. It was a true fight for democracy.
Romanian Revolution
This event took place in Romania in 1989, and was a brutal series of protests and riots. The main cause of this revolution was due to Romania's declaration of independence from Soviet control. Because of this, riots began, protests took place, and more than a thousand Romanians died. This is what truly marked the end of the regime of Nicolae Ceauescu, Romania was no longer a communist controlled country.
The Velvet Revolution
The Velvet Revolution was a non-violent revolution that tok place in Czechoslovakia. As well as being know as the Violet Revolution is can also be referred to as the "Gentle Revolution" due to it's peaceful no-violence nature. This revolution was started by a group of students because they were against the one-party government of Czechoslovakia.
The Fall of The Berlin Wall
On August 13, 1961, the construction of the Berlin Wall was initiated. It's main purpose being to separate East and West Berlin, it completed the missing piece of the puzzle that was the Iron Curtain. On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. East German protesters wanted it down. When the Soviets didn't send force against the protestors - it gave them the freedom they needed. East Germany’s leader of the time stepped down, leading to a new leader who demanded the wall come down.
Solidarity was a very famous nation-wide movement against communism and all it stood for. Solidarity was a movement initiated by workers in Communist dominated Poland during the 1980s. They felt this movement needed to start because they wanted and needed political reforms. So the workers went on strike to highlight the terrible working conditions and why they should be improved.
Prague Spring
People were unimpressed with how the Soviet leadership dealt with housing, economic structure, and technology, and it became obvious in 1966. Alexander Dubček, First Secretary of the Czech Communist party, tried to approach the tactic of constitutional reforms towards less repressive policies and increased independence of the people. Sadly, the Soviets proceeded to invade on August 20th.
08.04 The Iron Curtain Comes Down: Assessment
Hayley Grafton
Full transcript