The End of the Soviet Union.
Using ONLY the material provided in the lecture, thoroughly discuss in as much detail as you can provide the material discussed in lecture 15, which deals with the collapse of Communism in the Soviet Union.
Here is the link to Lecture 15:
The End of the Soviet Union
The collapse of the Soviet Union started during the great economic depression that affected most European countries, especially Germany and most eastern European countries. However, other political events that would follow also led to the end of the Soviet Union rule. For example, the death of Joseph Stalin was an essential event towards the decline of the rule. Nikita Khrushchev became the leader of the Soviet Union. However, he did not denounce the weaknesses of Stalin. He continued the Stalin way of leadership. Primarily, the system was bound to fail by 1990 since the new administration did not change the earlier inhuman practices of the regime. The freeing of one million people from the Stalin Gulag camp was instrumental to the genesis of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The new leadership set the detainees free. However, they did not address the heinous charges that were wrongfully leveled against the prisoners. Besides, there was recognition of the harm that they experienced while in detention. The union experienced a period of de-Stalinization. Authors, especially those who had experienced the brutality of Gulag camps established by Stalin, began to write dirty things that they experienced while in detention for the crimes they dint commit.
Economic miracle between 1963 and 1965 took place in most European countries. They experienced an increase in per capita income and employment rates. For instance, the USSR experienced an impressive 3.8 percent individual growth rate. Khrushchev created a housing system that helped to develop the sector. However, they were not of quality, and they were tiny. Besides, he revived soviet agriculture through his program of the Virgin Lands. The Soviet population was not used to agriculture, and the resources that he committed to the program never realized productivity. Thus, he failed to address the immediate agricultural challenges before setting to embark on such a practice. Brezhnev took over from Khrushchev and introduced a more robust system by rejuvenating the arms development and taking an active role in the cold war. Brezhnev era, however, experienced meager economic progress. The main export of Russia is oil, and its economy was highly influenced by the fluctuating oil prices; that is, the economy improved when the oil prices went high and slumped when the prices of oil went down.
One of the main challenges that faced the Soviet Union in the late 80s was health. Some hospitals operated on electricity, which was provided for only twelve hours a day. Thus, scheduling important health practices such as operations became difficult. Besides, the problem of alcohol also affected the health of many people. The life expectancy significantly reduced. During 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan as part of the grand plan to control the Gulf oil and this had negative influence to soviet rule. The ascending of Mikhail Gorbachev to the leadership of the Soviet Union in 1985 realized a generational change of leadership. His leadership was based on the aftermath of the Second World War. He realized that the Soviet economy was backward and embarked on an economic recovery process. He recognized the failure of the agricultural sector in the country. Although there was no much change since the shelves were empty of agricultural products, he eventually succeeded in opening up the Soviet society. For instance, he established independent publications that the government did not influence. He realized the economy and freedom would be achieved through openness.
Mikhail Gorbachev brought some political changes to the leadership of the Soviet Union. For instance, he established the congress of people deputies in 1988, a legislature system. The remaining seats in the legislature were reserved for the communists. However, some seats were challenged on free and fair elections. The men who would emerge and the leader of the chamber of the deputies would be the leader of Russia as the Soviet Union ends. Nonetheless, he developed an open foreign policy, where Russia was ready to engage other countries to realize the desired economic development.
For instance, he meets the United States of America president, President Reagan, in 1986 at Reykjavik. He signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1986 to prevent further manufacturing of nuclear from both sides. This was a hopeful step that one day there would be zero manufacturing of nuclear weapons. The Soviet armies were withdrawn from Afghanistan under the leadership of Gorbachev. Primarily, what marked the end of the Soviet Union is the November 1989 crossing into West Berlin. Besides, Gorbachev gave a speech at the UN conference in 1988 that ideological differences were not to cause problems in the global stage. He encouraged people not to limit or lock themselves within the confines of values. Gorbachev allowed the nations of Eastern Europe to gain independence. He failed to send troops into those states to enforce the communist ideologies. After the attempted coup on the Soviet government, the Soviet Union stopped to exist in 1991.