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    Changes in Eastern Europe between 1989 and 1991

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    Summarize the effects of the rapid political changes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union that took place between 1989 and 1991. Include the breakup of the Soviet Union, the end of the Cold War, and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact.

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    Changes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union

    After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, Eastern Europe and the USSR began to see revolutionary changes. Reformers assumed power throughout this region and put an end to 40 years of communist rule. With the reunification of Germany in 1990, and "after surviving a hard-line coup attempt in 1991, Gorbachev was forced to cede power in Russia to Boris Yeltsin, who oversaw the dissolution of the Soviet Union" (US Dept of State, 2001). This development also officially marked the end of the Cold War.

    In April 1985, the general secretaries of the communist and workers' parties of the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and Romania gathered in Warsaw to sign a protocol extending the effective term of the 1955 Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance, which originally established the Soviet-led political-military alliance in Eastern Europe (Pike, 2011). The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the collapse of the German Democratic Republic's communist government eventually led to a unified Germany. The negotiations for these changes were a series of international agreements that recognized Germany as a single, unified nation, effective October 3, 1990. While these events unfolded, the Warsaw Pact collapsed. "This collapse was a direct consequence of the "velvet" revolutions in Eastern Europe in 1988-89 as the peoples of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria rejected their communist governments" (Pike, 2011). Equally important was the fact that Gorbachev and the leaders of the Soviet Union allowed the revolutions to proceed. Previous attempts by Warsaw Pact nations to depart from communism had resulted in forceful Soviet military intervention.

    These are the changes that took place in Russia and Eastern Europe politically, socially, and economically after the collapse of communism.

    Political change:
    ?The post Soviet and Communist era was sudden and Eastern Europe found transition from a Marxist ideology to democracy a confusing and sudden one.
    ?Even though they found a change to democracy as a natural alternative, they lacked the skills and the experience for a successful change. This included skills such as "the ability to engage in political discourse, the ability to compromise, and political initiative (The Power of ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution summarizes the effects of the rapid political changes in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union that took place between 1989 and 1991 due to the reprecussions of the Cold War. Specifically, it describes the political, social and economic changes that took place during this timeframe.