- The head of the East German Party explained that East Germany’s terrible economic
- When the East German government realized Moscow was no longer going to come to
their head the head of the East German government resigned and stopped any
- After his resignation in November 1989 the government began to issue exit Visa’s to
those who wanted to leave. In the general celebration the wall eventually came down.
- The Parliament revoked the Communist’ party’s status as the only party and the next
election would have a multi-party system.
- People in West Germany called for re-unification that happened a little more then a year
later in October 1989. The end of communism is most often recognized with the fall of
the Berlin Wall.
- The most violent transitions in 1989 were in Romania. The parliament leader whom was
an un-reformed Stalinist pushed the transition. He hadn’t placed any of the changes the
other leaders had used. While all of the Satellite State’s had already undergone regime
changes to end communism. In December of 1989 he fired on protestors in Romani and
1000’s of people were killed and buried in mass graves.
- After this violent oppression the Demonstrations spread across Romania and the army
decided to side with the people then the police.
- This lead to a coup-d’Etat where he and his wife were trialed for genocide. They were
condemned and executed.
- This was the most violent of the transitions because the leaders had refused the changes
- Historians such as Hobsbawm argued that once the Satellite’s were lost it was solely a
matter of time until the USSR fell. Gorbachev kept an eye on the autonomy of every
- He formally renounced the Brezhnev Doctrine whom believed that any Warsaw Pact
country that attacks the Soviet Union would be attacked in return by the USSR. They
won’t accept any acts of rebellion.
- In 1990 Gorbachev finally ends and guarantees in the Constitution that the Soviet Party is
the only legitimate party. For the first time other parties can run for office in the USSR.
- Indeed, in the next elections reformist candidates win the elections in Russia, Ukraine and
- In Russia the new reformist is Borris Yeltsin. Under his leadership Russia declares it’s
independence from the USSR. 12 of the other republics follow suit. We not have 13
republics that declare their independence.
- He proposed a plan to move Russia towards a free market economy. Gorbachev accepted
this idea of transitioning. But he didn’t fully agree that these republics could have
independence. He didn’t renounce his power at the head of the USSR. He simply said he
recognized there would be a need to readjust the link between Moscow and the Soviet
Republics. Gorbachev made sure there were soviet troops in all the republics.
- This tense situation lasted several months. When it ended with a coup d’état in August
when communists believed Gorbachev wasn’t using “hard-line” tactics. It was a coup to
hold onto the USSR. It would be Yeltsin whom denounced the coup and helped call for a
series of general demonstrations in all the republics. - The coup was eventually foiled and didn’t succeed. It did mean that Gorbachev lost any
authority he had had. Yeltsin had gained in stature because he was the one fully
responding to this crisis.
- Russia was the biggest republic to emerge out of the USSR. It became apparent to
Russian’s that the only good economy in Russia was the black market.
- Yeltsin tried to move as quickly as he could to bring a market economy. The problem with
this transition is that he wanted to put a capitalist economy in place in Russia. He wanted
Russia to function with a capitalist economy immediately. The biggest problem is that
Russia didn’t have any of the institution’s to regulate market capitals.
- Most historians’ talk of Russia in 1991 is the replacement of a Communist Bureaucratic
with a Capitalist Criptocracy.
- In spite of the violence of communism in most cases this transition happened peacefully
with the exception of Romania. The question as to why this happened peacefully is where
we have a lot of disagreement.
- Many of the conflicts of the Yugoslav wars brought back some of the ancient ethnic
hatred in the Balkans.
- Ratthr then thinking of the wars in Yougoslavia it’s important to view it as a quindecential
20 century conflict. Before we arrive in the 1990’s it’s important to view the earlier
“problems” with Yougoslavia.
- We’ll move all the way back to the growth of nationalism.
- We have several nationalist movements that are bound in this Balkan region at the turn of
the 20 century.
- We have several basic patterns at the end of the 20 century. It begins with the Ottoman
Empire and the Hungarian Empire.
- Balkan nationalist whether they were part of the Balkin or Austrian empire started talking
about nationalist movements.
- The first step to creating a national identity is the intellectual movement. A small group of
nationalist intellectuals create the idea of a national identity be it Serbia, Croatia or
- The intellectuals need to promote the idea that there’s a Greek nation it’s unique. After we
have the intellectual bases for the concept of Greece. We have nationalist groups whom
are founded and at their origins have narrow support.
- The next step is for the associations to form a national party and seek political autonomy.
- The goal is to create a State that will eventually become autonomous and will define
borders that encircle the ethnicity.
- Once treaties achieve autonomy or independence the job of nationalists is to convince the
populations of their national identity. In other words the job of Greek Government
officials is to make these individuals to think of themselves as Greek.
- In the context of Yugoslavia each of the different communities in these countries that
became Yugoslavia invented their own type of national belonging. Like any other feeling
they left out any details that left out with the story they tried to create of their past.
- Serbian’s rebuilt the battle of Kosovo that played an important Serbian Nationalist. Events
of languages were forgotten to create a national identity.
- Serbian identity is based on the idea that Serbe’s are the principle defenders of all of the
south Slavic people and defending them from the Ottoman Empire. The fact that the
Ottoman Empire has a religious tint. Serbian nationalist is based on the idea that they’re protecting the Christians from the Muslims. The particular way Serbian nationalism
emerges is important.
- This kind of nationalism that unit’s people disappeared after WWI. We’re stuck with this
Serbian Nationalism. Creating a national unity is called “imagined communities”.
- Imagined communities is a way to deal how national identities came into the way of
being, the way they try to promote a feeling of unity.
- These imagined unities could only come into being in this historical moment. They
depend on mass communication and pass unity. When we