Gorbachev's reforms

  • Created by: susana96
  • Created on: 22-04-15 11:44


Economic: stagnation/punishing emphasis on heavy industry.

Political: creating identity of change to consolidate own position as general secretary(had been running it under Chernenko) by promoting supporters (Ligachev, Cherbinkov,Ryzhkov) to counter enemies in the Politburo/address corruption and inefficiency(under Brezhnev.

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Reconstructing economy to address stagnation.


1985-1987 = acceleration

1987-89 = radical reform from above

1989-1990 = attempted market based reform and reaction

1990-1991 = break up Support: intellectuals/scientists

Opposition: established political elite (as they benefitted from privileges of system)/defence and heavy industry sectors (the 'military-industrial complex'

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  •  Openness and publicity/complete freedom of media (but still monitored marginally)
  • Motives: believed there would be no effective reform unless faults were admitted (this got off to bad start with Chernobyl disaster - international publicity as a result of liberal Glasnost)
  • Support: intellectuals
  • Opposition: conservatives (wanted control; majority for personal protection from scandal/fearful of western criticism)
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Economic situation

  • Declining,stagnating because of sabotage, corruption and siphoning off of the state supplies for personal gain.
  • Perestroika made things worse= theoretical/ not planned/ lack of coordination.
  • Stupid decisions= jan 1991 Gorbachev withdrew all high denomination bank notes & public lost savings.
  • Faults= ols central control mechanism were being dismantled yet new market was still resctricted/ can't combat stagnation without incentive( contradicts communism)
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Political situation

  • Developments began 1988= new constitution guaranteed individual rights/ legal changes to make the system independent of the party/ democratic congress of the  people's deputies people elected by the people not the party.
  • Criticism= 750/250000 of congress peoples' deputies were reserved for specific organisations- communist party had 100 seats minimum reserved= limited democracy.
  • Impact= two political bodies (Congress & Supreme Societ) & the relationships between them was not clarified they would oppose & antagonise each other- forum for Yeltsin to oppose Gorbachev vocally/ impedingly long democratic procesures before anything is changed. 
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Death of Communism

  • New programme for party drafted in 1991.
  • No formal commitment to the idea of a communist system.
  • Old Bolshevik commitment to instigating global revolution was abandoned along with Marxism & Leninism.
  • Very similar to western democratic idea.
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Economy reforms= Perestroika

  • ACCELERATION= G wanted to speed up the economy with a Command Economy (communist) with Market Based Economic ideas (capitalist).Major contradiction.
  • RADICAL REFORM= wanted to reduce the power of the party to interfere in the economy, this proved they weren't part of the problem. Results of this were disappointing, made things worse.
  • POLITICS/ECONOMY=Politics affected the economy= Political changes undermined the role of the Party. Republics took measures for their own survival as nationalist tensions grew; soviets striking...
  • INDECISION,CRISIS & BREAK UP= Economic Plan Oct 1990. However this was still ambiguous as there was no clear distinction between whether it was a command economy or market based economy.
  • Economy failed due to bad planning, confusion & lack of coordination, stupid decisions, unhappy workers & corruption.
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Political reforms

  • G wanted to preserve the party, local soviets &economy.
  • G wanted to change democratisation, feeling of participating in decision making.
  • WHAT CHANGED= Legal changes to make judges & law ssytem independent form the Party
  • A new constitution would guarantee individual rights.
  • A new law making body= Congress of People's Deputies.
  • Supreme Soviet would become a working parliament.
  • Local soviets were to be made more accountable & more professional.
  • WHAT STAYED THE SAME= wanted tomaintain the leading role of the party.
  • PROBLEMS CAUSED= contraditory, wanted party dominance but also wanted to create a separation of powers.
  • There could be no real separation of powers with the perty subordinated to the law.

G's ideas weren't well thought out & resulted in a flawed democracy. 

Made the USSR worse & contributed to its break up.

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