European Political Science
Lecture 4: Polish Solidarity
Midterm Next Week
• Definitions of democracy/authoritarianism
• Sources of democracy/authoritarianism
o Structural (development, culture)
o Voluntarist (leadership, institution design)
o International (snowballing)
o Cold War and Western Europe
• NO Essay. Terms on Blackboard.
• The soviets controlled all of Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia,
Hungary, Poland, Yugoslavia, ect.). The Soviets imposed a
totalitarianism style government that had no elections, total control over
the individual, state controlled economy, and terror.
• There were many difficulties imposing communism on Poland. The Polish
population was very anti-Nazi, and formed an anti-Soviet movement in
the early 1950s. The soviets failed in Poland due to the Catholic Church
• Communism in Europe was very totalitarian until 1953, when Joseph
Stalin died. The USSR instated a leader in Poland after this, and Poland
began to struggle. GDP drops 2.3% in 1979, and 6% in 1980. There are
widespread shortages for food and other necessities and line-ups down
the street were common.
• By the 1980s, the Soviets had invaded a lot of Eastern Europe, but the
rich people didn’t really believe in communism.
New International Climate
• The US created a new moralism that was signed through the Helsinki
Final Act 1975, which recognized East Germany by the West. Jimmy
Carter was elected a year later and focused on human rights.
• This created the Rise of Solidarity in Eastern Europe. The First
Independent Union in Communist East Europe was created in 1980, and
had about 10 million supporters. In 1981 martial Law surpasses the