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April 24, 2014

Homework Help: Geography

Posted by y912f on Friday, February 19, 2010 at 2:16pm.

#50. What were the factors that played a significant role in the collapse of Russian control over Eastern Europe?

my answer:

There were a few factors that played a significant role in the collapse of Russian control over Eastern Europe, corruption and inefficiency being two of the biggest ones. Under the Soviet System, a few of the leaders had established a Communist dictatorship. The Soviet Union had a command economy which is one with a central authority deciding on what goods will be produced. Most Russians believed that communism would improve their lives, since most of them had a bad history of being poor peasant farmers. Instead, they found that the Communists had become their new masters. People remained poor, and moreover, had no freedom to make personal decisions or express their opinions. The state controlled their lives and economy. The millions of people who resisted or objected them were either sent to prisons or forced-labor camps. Many more were executed. Terror was the key part of life under communism.
Industry and agriculture was also gone corrupt. Under Soviet rule, farmland was recognized into state farms and collective farms. Most of the farmers were forced to work on them. On state farms, workers received wages as they would in factories, while on collective farms, workers shared any surpluses that remained after products were sold and expenses were paid. Almost all the time, Soviet agricultural production and distribution remained low because of the few reasons for the farmers to work quicker. Despite strict control, many Soviet farmers were permitted to cultivate gardens on small plots of land, and soon these gardens became major sources of fruits and vegetables.
Joseph Stalinís policies also emphasized on the development of heavy industry, which is the production of goods that are used in other industries such as machines or steel. Sometimes workers were assigned to factory work far away from their homes.
Soviet Union was the second largest producer of iron and steel in Europe by 1940. However, the costs of industrialization were very high. As a result, everyday items such as clothing and food were scarce. People got in the habit of waiting in long lines to buy something they could use or trade.
A lot of the decisions made by the Soviet central planners were wasteful and inefficient. Their extreme effort to industrialize used up a lot of resources and also hurt the environment.
Near the end o the 1980s, a new leader named Mikhail Gorbachev began a series of radical reforms. The policy of glasnost (openness) allowed Soviet citizens to say what they wanted without fear of government persecution. The government also eased censorship, and newspapers and television programs began to report openly on issues such as crime.

This is specifically from the pages my teacher told me to look at. I don't know what else to add to it.

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