Presentation Outline. Nations of the Soviet Union. Legitimacy in the Soviet Union. Political Institutions. The Command Economy. Gorbachev’s reforms (perestroika, glasnost, and . novoye. . mneniya. ID: 368825 Download Presentation
Download Presentation - The PPT/PDF document "The Former Soviet Union (1917-1989)" is the property of its rightful owner. Permission is granted to download and print the materials on this web site for personal, non-commercial use only, and to display it on your personal computer provided you do not modify the materials and that you retain all copyright notices contained in the materials. By downloading content from our website, you accept the terms of this agreement.
Presentation on theme: "The Former Soviet Union (1917-1989)"— Presentation transcript:
The Former Soviet Union (1917-1989)
Nations of the Soviet Union
Legitimacy in the Soviet Union
The Command Economy
Gorbachev’s reforms (perestroika, glasnost, and
The collapse of the Soviet Union
1) Nations of the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union was a federal state with 15 republics in total
However, in reality it was run by the Communist Party and administered centrally from Moscow
A multi -nation state
Russians were the largest nation within the Soviet Union, though they only made up just over half the population. Russian was also the official language of the Soviet Union.
2) Legitimacy in the Soviet Union
Attempt at rational-legal legitimacy
Stalin created a cult of personality. He had complete control over the media and press and portrayed himself as the wise and caring leader.
Soviet citizens were forced to worship Stalin, Some did so genuinely, while others did so out of fear. Nonetheless, even after his death , and despite his ruthlessness, he is still rated quite favorably by Russians even today.
Ruled from 1927-1953
Propaganda posters which fueled the cult of personality
Stalin supporters marching in Moscow’s Red Square in 2010
Attempts at rational-legal legitimacy
guaranteed freedom of religion, the right to work, rest, and leisure, the right to health, and the right to education
In practice, the right to work, education, and health were realized
All Soviet citizens were guaranteed employment and all were provided free state medical care
Freedom of religion was not fully practiced in the Soviet Union- Churches, mosques, and synagogues remained closed throughout the 1950s and 1960s
Elections in the Soviet Union
The Soviet Union was officially a one party communist state
Nevertheless, there were
to the Soviet Assembly from 1936-1991
In order to be eligible to run candidates had to be nominated by the Communist Party
The results of the 1979 Legislative elections show that the Communist Party won 549/767 seats, a large majority. It was possible to vote for “independent” candidates as long as they did not belong to another political party.
Were these really competitive elections?
Soviet citizens voting in a non-competitive election
3) Political Institutions
The Communist Party
The Soviet Legislative Assembly
(The Supreme Soviet)
The Politburo (Central Committee)
Real power resided with the Communist Party and the Central Committee
The Communist Party
The Party controlled all three branches of the government, all interest group activity, and supervised elections. All access to power was through the Party. The Party used
to nominate and choose Party members for promotion.
The Supreme Soviet
The Supreme Soviet was a
rubber stamp legislature
with little real power. The decisions were made by the Central Committee.
The Politburo (Central Committee)
Members of the
salute during a military parade. The politburo consisted of 15 top party officials who ran the Central Committee. The
of the Communist Party was the head of the politburo.
All major policy decisions were made by this group.
4) The Command Economy
The Soviet economy was
Full employment was assured and the government set production
(how much should be produced)
The emphasis was on
such as steel and coal
Soviet steel workers
Consequences of a command economy
Limited choice of consumer goods: Soviet car below (1975)
Above: bread lines were common during the Soviet Union as
connected to demand
There were often bare shelves and little selection in Soviet supermarkets.
5) Gorbachev’s reforms
became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985. He was young reformer who wanted to democratize and improve the Soviet Union. Little did he know at the time that his reforms would unravel the Soviet empire.
“novoye mneniya”new thinkingIncreased communication with Western powersIncreased arms reduction
“glasnost”opennessAllowed free speech and open debate in newspapers, discussions and gatheringsAllowed publication of facts about Stalinist regime
“perestroika”restructuringAllowed limited free enterpriseAttempted to reform state enterprises towards greater efficiencyCreated an elected legislature with real power
The three big reforms
6) The collapse of the Soviet Union
Gorbachev’s reforms had gone too far too quickly
The Soviet Union was rapidly losing legitimacy
One by one the major republics of the Soviet Union began declaring their independence and separating
Communist hardliners staged a coup to get rid of Gorbachev
Ukrainians demonstrating in the streets demanding independence from the Soviet Union. This was confirmed by
Backed by the people, former Communist party member
declares a new democratic Russian republic in 1991.