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Flashcards in The role of Gorbachev Deck (10):
1

What was the problem with Rationalisation within Perestroika?

It led to a decline in economic growth which worsened economic conditions which undermined faith in the party. The failure of these reforms led Gorbachev to make more radical economic and political reforms.

2

How did Glasnost undermine the Party?

Glasnost exposed the crimes and failures of previous Soviet leaders undermining not only the faith in the Communist Party but also the basic ideology on which it was built. Arguably, Glasnost had a bigger impact on the government than rationalisation as nobody held faith in them anymore.

3

What were the effects of Democratisation?

Democratisation weakened the Communist Party as other candidates were allowed to stand in newly democratic elections. Furthermore, it weakened Gorbachev's control and the Party's power as Soviet voters could choose their candidates and who to vote for; The Party had lost their monopoly of patronage.

4

What happened during the transformation stage?

Gorbachev abandoned the essential features of Communism on which the Union was held together.

5

Was reform necessary in 1985?

No, not necessarily. The Union was facing a decline, not a crisis. Equally, between 1979 and 1982 Andropov successfully suppressed the dissident movement. Finally, there was acceptance of more conservative reform within the Party itself. Therefore, it Gorbachev can be seen as extremely important as he reformed radically with little immediate pressure to do so.

6

What impact did the reforms themselves have?

The reforms led to the crisis that required more reforms which led to the break-up of the Union.

7

Why did Gorbachev avoid the word "Reform"?

Because it had negative connotations with the time of Khrushchev, instead he used "Perestroika" as part of the new language.

8

What did Gorbachev's willingness to embrace reform allow?

It allowed radicals within the Party, intellectuals, and other members of the public to propose / advocate alternatives to Communism such as free speech, market economy, and democratic elections.

9

How did Gorbachev go about "Westernising" the Union? + What are some examples?

Gorbachev embraced Western ideas that previous leaders had rejected. The relaxation of long-standing Soviet policies that had been introduced during the Stalinist era meant that the Communist Party lost power throughout the Union; Commitment to Western values undermined the Party's power and position as the total power- the weakening of the Party's power, which had held the Union together since its creation, was a very large contributor to its downfall.
- The renunciation of the Brezhnev doctrine.
- In 1986, travel restrictions were lifted for all Soviet citizens.
-In March 1990, Gorbachev removed Article 6 which involved the legalisation of other parties.

10

What were some of Gorbachev's mistakes?

Gorbachev severely miscalculated the effects of many of his reforms.
-Glasnost, Old Party crimes damaged the reputation of the Party
-Having embraced democratisation, he refused to stand for election.