HI109 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Mikhail Gorbachev

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3 Aug 2016
The Unification of Germany
Soviet Collapse:
It seemed like it could never collapse and it was a huge shock when it did
Three Acts of Gorbachev’s time in power:
1. 1985-1987: Promises and Sanctions
- Gorbachev- law degree (and his wife- sociology degree; she is hated because she acts
like a westerner) were of a different generation; Generational shift. He wants to get
the state moving as well as get out of any arms race with the US while retaining the
hegemony of power the state has
- Promise of housing, and a call of responsible accounting
- Call for hard work and support for the Church
- Anti-alcohol campaign related to the decline of male life expectancy; destruction of
vineyards and to stop homebrew he banned the sale of yeast, also closed most liquor
- Chernobyl (1986)
He used the word Perestroika= rebuild; many people did not believe this though, if
anyone was going to gain it was going to be the elite
2. 1987-1989: Glasnpst’ and Perestrioka (backfire)
- The opening of a massive can of worms
- He wants to light a fire under the party (10% of the pop.) because the masses aren’t
buying into it; to do this he embarrasses the party
- In 87 he gave the speech: October and Perestioka: The Revolution Continues
- An author at this time wrote: “Sources”; he said that Stalin made errors so maybe
Lenin made errors so maybe the Revolution was an error, poorly timed
- Film: “Repentence” it was like opening up the worst wounds for the Soviets
3. 1989-199: Rapid Dissolution
- Eastern Europe sudden disappearance
- The Republics began forming and the central power lost control
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