Reasons the Soviet Union Collapsed

Below is a Paper on The Reasons the Soviet Union Collapsed

Even though, there are multiple reasons why people believe the Soviet Union collapsed, the most logical ideas come from the political, economic, and nationality problems in the country. Although, the Soviet economy had achievements in rapid industrialization and victory during World War II, the incomplete principles of communism damaged the Soviet economic system and proved majorly insufficient to meet new requirements for population growth and social changes in Soviet lifestyles.

Many changes were made in the dictatorial leadership after Stalin’s death. Even though, Stalin saw local nationalisms as a potential threat and preferred to rely on a Sovietized Russian elite for controlling the country. The new leaders also saw the Russian elites as a possible threat, therefore deciding to limit the controlling decisions made by the elites. (Strayer 73) The government continued to attack actions of the people regarded as “dangerous expressions of national feeling.” (Strayer 74) People objected to the deportation of certain nationality groups.

The new Soviet Union fixed its internal political – administrative boundaries on territorial units based on nationality. Ultimately there were “more than fifty such units: fifteen union republics, twenty autonomous republics, eight autonomous regions, ten autonomous areas” – each of which provided an officially recognized homeland for some national group. (Strayer 73) With numerous nationality assemblies, there are definitely going to be some problems. The leaders of the Soviet Union wanted to have complete control over all of the cities and communities in their possession. “National elites were established in the various republics, but the leaders maintained Russian control at the center.” (Strayer 73)

The Soviet economy had an increase regarding income for permanent employees and necessities in life became more abundant. “There were cheap and reasonable prices for basic goods such as housing, food, books, transportation, free medical care, and education.” (Strayer 56) These achievements contributed to the fact that the Soviet economy was able to improve material life for most people. (Strayer 56) Increased pressure began to develop as the Soviet Union's low prices on products were combined with the deficiency of products available. This fact helped the prices increase rapidly. (Strayer 135) Problems in the Soviet government’s budget intensified the economic difficulties for the nation. As a result of unnecessary costs by state revenues, financial assistance to unsuccessful interests continued to develop economic concerns, and foreign debt with significant amount of interest began to increase financial suffering for the Soviet Union. (Strayer 136)

The transition to a new economic system depended on flexibility, speedy modification to new knowledge, and the abilities of the employees. The consequential economic failures had significant consequences. The system released private information regarding financial problems of the government which created an approaching crisis. Economic problems continued to destroy the community support for the government and reduced the amount of error and time available to create significant outcomes for the political leaders. (Strayer 60) Many people lived below the poverty line as considerable parts of the population spent over 60 percent of their income on only food supplies. (Strayer 137)

“The various nationalisms emerged after Stalin’s death because of Soviet policies and practices, which were based on various historical and cultural legacies.” (Strayer 71) Soviet leaders wanted to combine nations, “resulting in the creation of a new Soviet identity.” (Strayer 72) “Fifteen new independent nations emerged into Soviet Union community in the late 1980s.” (Strayer 71) Gorbachev made some poor decisions, because he was surprised by the impact which democratization had on Soviet Union society. Gorbachev’s “freedom of choice foreign policy” provided the opportunity to improve the nationalist feelings among citizens in the nation. (Strayer 151) His plans included “contested elections, competing political parties, a more independent legislature, and a much reduced role for the Communist party". (Strayer 106) Democratization was crucial to progress toward reformist actions to politically connect with the people of the Soviet Union.

The important changes were an attempt to protect the nation from the past political problems, improve the economy, and make advancements in the Communist Party and Soviet socialism. (Strayer 86) Gorbachev wanted the improvements to promote peace and hoped that the chance of freedom would convince Soviet people to support the government and all political decisions. (Strayer 88) However, the developments provided more power to the city states of the Soviet Union and ultimately permitted the city states the control to receive freedom from the Communist Party. The Gorbachev ideas for improvement served as a method for the expansion of nationalism in the Soviet Union. His reforms gave people “both opportunity and stimulus for their expression”. (Strayer 170) The extreme consequences of Gorbachev’s plans to revive Soviet socialism actually caused political failures, by destroying his efforts to keep the central Soviet socialist system together, which eventually contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.