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The Fifty Years War: The United States and the Soviet Union in World Politics, 1941-1991
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Email: UEA Email. Location: 2. Richard Crockatt. The failure of the Soviet style economic system is, in hindsight, readily apparent. A suppressed nationalism, ready to exert its influence, existed just below the official surface of the European Soviet Empire just as economic failure delegitimised the role of the Soviet sponsored governments. Nationalism was to be the medium through which the revolutions that would end the Soviet Empire were to emerge.
The countries under the effective control of the Soviet Union during the Cold War had all previously been, and are today, free and independent Nation States, with lengthy national memories and national traditions. Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, the Baltic States, Bulgaria, and most notably the German Democratic Republic all had been, if not great powers in Europe, then acknowledged and accepted national entities prior to the Second World War. Russia and most of its constituent republics had been as well. The Long Telegram from Moscow by George Kennan depicted nationalism as the force that would eventually break the communist system.
They were not completely directed against Soviet rule or influence, but the failure of their own governments to provide their ends of the social contract between the nation and the state. The beginnings of Solidarity, with its series of strikes, were directed against food price increases  and spread throughout Poland in Specifically in Poland, which was the most populous, most in debt, and a leader among Soviet occupied occupied nations, the election of Pope John Paul II provided a nationally unifying figure to rally around.
Implemented by Gorbachev, the Sinatra policy, of each nation doing it its own way, cemented the nationalistic nature of the revolutions.
The Case for Nationalism in the Demise of the Soviet Union
The difficult nature of interstate travel in the Soviet system precluded any sort of mass organising across borders, as travel and two-way communications were restricted. This left action from a state-centred perspective as the only viable outlet for enforcing change in Eastern Europe, short of personal abandonment and leaving for the West. The nature of how the individual nations enacted their sovereignty from Moscow, though similar in analogous in result, was very individualistic, lacking ideological or economic uniformity.
In Poland, open elections for a portion of the seats for representation were allowed, in Hungary the focus was on complete and free elections. Every East European country that emerged from Soviet control during reformed its method of governance to include substantial democratic and free market reforms. Could the role of a variance of ideological foundations have been more crucial to the revolutions that overtook communist Europe then?
Possibly, but then the issue that brought the impulse of change to the Warsaw Pact countries was initially economic, and aimed at government reform, and not necessarily revolution. In addition, the existence of statistically notable communists parties has not yet disappeared in Europe to this day. Did the economic crisis in which Eastern Europe found itself in the late s have a principal role in providing the revolutions with a cause?
Probably, but reform of the economic system, the initial goal of the revolutions of , was not necessarily a goal that would cause Soviet control to end. Reform of the state structure, however, could only take one form; moving away from de facto Soviet control and towards a truly independent Nation-State. Arnold A. A secondary but noteworthy factor is the possibility that Moscow was trying to win support from the Marxist branch of the Zionist movement which in turn attempted to gain a foothold in the government of Israel, see Google Scholar.
Even though Truman denied lobbying other states to vote in favour of partition, American Zionists rallied groups of influential Americans, some of whom were Congressmen, to persuade countries such as Haiti, China, Liberia, the Philippines, Ethiopia and Greece to vote in favour. Paul C. Michael B. Robert D. Harry S. Truman, Memoirs, Vol.
The Fifty Years War
Bruce J. Waldman 1 1. Personalised recommendations. Cite chapter How to cite? ENW EndNote.