Homework Question on Soviet control
- What were the 2-3 main factors that contributed to the breakdown of Soviet control in Eastern Europe?
- How did Germany evolve in the process?
- What were the 2-3 main factors that contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union itself?
Homework Answer on Soviet control
The principal factors that contributed to the breakdown of Soviet control in Eastern Europe were economic stagnation in the 1970s and the reforms of Gorbachev, particularly abandonment of the Brezhnev Doctrine. In the mid-70s, the USSR experienced economic stagnation from which it was unable to emerge, forcing its reliance on Europe, especially West Germany, through huge loans and use of gold reserves developed under Stalin to increase availability of consumer products.
Limited economic reforms and foreign trade proved incapable of overcoming the command economy in the USSR, influencing a decline in USSR economic (and hence political) influence over Eastern Europe(Castellano para. 2-4).The Brezhnev Doctrine concerned the USSR’s declared policy of intervention in other socialist states’ internal affairs in cases of perceived threats to the leading roles of such states’ communist parties.
In the background of continuing economic stagnation, the rise to leadership of the USSR by an independent thinker educated in Western political theory, Gorbachev, influenced the adoption of radical reforms to address the problem(Castellano para. 12-16). Abandoning the Doctrine to concentrate on local economic reforms in the USSR influenced greater freedom across Eastern Europe, promoting the rise of opposition towards the USSR.