What are perestroika and glasnost? - FamousWhy
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What are perestroika and glasnost?

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What are perestroika and glasnost? In the Soviet Union the Communist Party controlled almost every aspect of people's lives. However, by the 1980s Soviet people were aware that their standard of living was slipping far behind that of the West. When Mikhail Gorbachev become party leader in 1985, he began a process called perestroika, or restructuring.

Some political activities were allowed, and economic reforms enabled people to run their own businesses. Gorbachev's policy of glasnost, or openness, allowed people to express themselves freely.

Gorbachev became Soviet president in 1990, but was thrown out in a coup the following year. He returned to power to ban the activities of the Communist Party. The Soviet Union swiftly fell apart, breaking up into its original 11 republics in 1991.

After relations between the USSR and her former allies, Britain, France and the USA, deteriorated, the iron curtain divided Europe and the Berlin Wall was constructed to prevent people from escaping to the West. It finally fell in 1989, as the Soviet system collapsed and Eastern European countries became independent once more.


Tags: communism, soviets



Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 04 January '12


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