The loosening Soviet grip on Eastern Europe

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  • The loosening Soviet grip on Eastern Europe
    • Gorbachev's reforms spread out to Eastern bloc countries not as he intended
      • Instead of making the Soviet system better, the countries of the Eastern bloc and many of the republics of the Soviet Union wanted to become independent
    • Brezhnev believe that whenever something in an Eastern bloc country makes it turn towards capitalism, the rest of the Eastern bloc must make it back to communism
      • Whereas, Gorbachev believed Easter bloc countries should be free to run themselves how they want and the Soviet Union will not stop them
    • Gorbachev stopped the Brezhnev Doctrine because...
      • Believed openness would make all Eastern bloc countries better
      • Eastern bloc communist government were only planning a little reform
      • Reform would end unrest in countries such as Poland, where the trade union Solidarity and the Roman Catholic Church had challenged the government
      • USSR had to improve trade relations with west to rebuild economy, west would only improve trade if repression was reduced
      • Cost of troops and military hardware was crippling the economy, could not longer maintain the Warsaw Pact
    • The Break up of the Eastern bloc
      • Dec 1988 - Gorbachev announced ideology should play a smaller role in foreign affairs
        • Mean that troops would no longer intervene in Easter Europe to support communism
          • Weakened the communist governments in Easter Europe, resulting in many revolutions between 1989 and 1990, only Romanian revolution was violent
            • In all old Eastern bloc countries, non-communist governments now came to power
  • Timeline
    • Dec 1988 - Gorbachev announced end of Brezhnev Doctrine
      • Aug 1989 - Hungary opens borders to E. Germans
        • Oct 1989 - Gorbachev announced Eastern bloc countries can go their own way
          • Nov 1989 - Fall of Berlin Wall
            • Dec 1989 - Communist governments fall in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Romania


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