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The factors that led to the collapse of Communism was due to poor leadership and economy. Russia was using the eastern countries to help build their own economy were angry. They were irritated with communism after years of fighting and defeating the Soviets in Afghanistan. The Eastern European countries were angry with Russia toward the end of WWII, and after the Helsinki Accords in 1975, many of these countries dropped their communist regimes (Schubert, 2012).
Nationalism gave aid by bringing the countries together so they would come to an agreement and refuse communism. There was an association during this time, that was located in Poland, who helped the people and the Catholic Church to stay together in agreement. It took thirteen years until communism fell, and then the Solidarity movement gained the control to govern. In 1989, Hungary was able to switch over to a democracy, because there was a change in Poland and strong Hungarian nationalism (Schubert, 2012). Germany and Berlin became determined and wanted to be reunited and German Nationalism helped to tear down the Berlin Wall, and was finally able to break the Iron Curtain for good in 1989.
There was distrust and anger toward the communist governments, which seemed to be the cause revolutionary protest movements to arise in communist countries. After Hungary and Poland were able to gain independence, nationalism took place in other countries and seemed to follow in the same manner. Several members of the regimes fought against to try and remain in power, but all were beaten by the people and caused communism to fall.
After 1964, our book explains that the next 20 years of Soviet rule was known as the Era of Stagnation (Schubert, 2012). The average age of a politburo member in 1980 was 70 years old, which lead us to believe that many of the policies that were drafted didn’t focus on the issues that used with the baby boomer generation. They felt that a change was necessary, so they chose Gorbachev to lead. He tried to connect with the citizens. Gorbachev was the first party leader who was born after the revolution and was the first to begin his career after Stalin had died (Schubert, 2012). The important thing was that Gorbachev not influenced by any of the old ways, unlike many of the leaders before him. He was more open and allowed transparency in the government, which was not something that communism would allow.
Schubert, A., & Goldstein, R. J. (2012). Twentieth-century Europe. [Ashford Constellation]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUHIS306.12.1
Schubert, A., & Goldstein, R. J. (2012). Twentieth century Europe. San Diego, California: Bridge Point education.