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Flashcards in Gorbachev Deck (9):
1

How did leadership change after Andropov's death?

Andropov died in February 1984 and was replaced by Konstantin Chernenko, a cautious man. He decided to reopen negotiations with the US for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty which had been broken off in 1983. They opened at Geneva in March 1985. Mikhail Gorbachev entered power.

2

What problems did Gorbachev face?

Problems: Financial problems from renewed arms race, global overstretch from fighting in Afghanistan and giving military aid to regimes set up in Angola and Horn of Africa, stagnating economy.

3

What were USSR economic issues?

Economic weakness of the USSR: After the 1968 Prague Spring the USSR returned to the Stalinist style of centralised economy. Détente and Ostpolitik saw generous loans come in to pay for energy prices and industrial projects. By the 1980s Eastern Europe was falling behind the West. The GNP of the USSR was 37% of the US’s and Western European economies were hit by the 1973 economic depression. They had modernised but the satellite states had failed to do this.

4

What reforms did Gorbachev have?

Gorbachev’s reforms: Increasing technology investment, restricting the economy so it was less centralised (perestroika), and giving workers more freedom and incentives to inspire harder work.

5

What was glasnost?

Glasnost – needed to discuss political and economic issues. 1986 censorship eases and foreign broadcasts allowed. This enabled Chernobyl to be discussed in 1986 alongside Soviet fails in the Afghanistan War. Investigative journalism exposed Soviet corruption in the Communist Party elite.

6

When was the Democratic Union introduced and the Congress of People's Deputies?

1988-9 Democratic Union introduced, opposition to Communist Party. Books by dissents allowed and Churches, mosques, and synagogues re-opened alongside religious texts being sold. In May 1989 the Congress of People’s Deputies were elected in contested national elections by the Communists. Represented public’s opinion and selected members for Supreme Soviet, a Parliament in session.

7

What was Article 6?

Feb 1990 Article 6 cancelled from Soviet Constitution, guaranteeing Communist Party leading role in USSR. Party officials had to have 50% of electorate backing to remain in office and in March elections for the Congress of People’s Deputies most long-term officials were rejective. Gorbachev became first executive president.

8

What diplomatic measures did Gorbachev make with US?

April 1985 stopped increasing SS-20s being installed in Europe, October, reduced number. At Reykjavik conference, he failed to persuade Reagan to give up SDI plan in return for negotiation of arms control treaties but he accepted NATO plan for withdrawal of medium range missiles by both sides of Europe at Dec 1987 Washington summit. In Dec 1988, UN, he conceded Marxism-Leninism was not the key to ultimate truth.

9

How was Afghanistan resolved?

In Nov 1986 Gorbachev felt Soviet troops had to be withdrawn as soon as possible. Babrak Karmal was replaced with Mohammed Najibullah who could form a government of national unity to negotiate peace.