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Implications of Changes in the Soviet Union

This research examines the economic, social, and political changes which occurred in the Soviet Union, with a view towards discerning the implications for the United States (US) of these changes. In March 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) Central Committee, and Chairman of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Council of Defense. He was, at that time, already a member of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet. In the somewhat more than four years that he has been the nation's leader, he has introduced far reaching social, political, and economic initiatives.

In examining the contemporary developments in the Soviet Union, several factors must be considered. First, the economic initiatives of Gorbachev are not unprecedented in socialist states generally, nor in the Soviet Union in particular. The New Economic Policy (NEP) implemented by Lenin in the USSR in 1921 (Mazour, 1967) has served, in many ways, as a model for Gorbachev. Yosif Stalin terminated the NEP in 1928. In the mid1950s, Nikita Khrushchev introduced significant economic reforms in the USSR, which were terminated by Leonid Brezhnev in the mid1960s. Elsewhere in eastern Europe, both Yugoslavia and Hungary implemented economic reforms in the 1960s. Those

1 2in Hungary were curtailed to the point of death, prior to being revived in the 1980s. In 1979, the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) implemented far reaching economic changes. Even in the wake of the violent supression of student protestors in the spring of 1989, the Chinese economic reforms remain largely intact.

The changes initiated in Yugoslavia and Hungary in particular, together with those implemented in the PRC, serve to illustrate the second factor which must be considered in the examination of the contemporary economic developments in the Soviet Union. The economic changes in Yugoslavia, Hungary, and the ...

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Implications of Changes in the Soviet Union. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:49, June 27, 2016, from