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Mikhail Gorbachev & Helmut Kohl

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- Explain Mikhail Gorbachev's vision and why it failed
- Explain how Helmut Kohl was able to reunify Germany and remain in NATO

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Solution Summary

This solution compares Gorbachev to Kohl in their visions for their respective countries as well as their success or failure in achieving their goals. Over 750 words of original text along with links to sources for further research.

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• explain Mikhail Gorbachev's vision and why it failed

Gorbachev's vision called for a restructuring and rejuvenation of the Soviet economy. When he came to power as General Secretary in 1985 he realized that years of military struggles against the West had severely weakened the USSR. He desired to institute reforms that would cause the Soviet economy to become stronger, eliminate goods of inferior quality and allow for competition against other nations through the exportation of Russian manufactured goods.

As he attempted to revitalize and restructure the economy, Gorbachev realized that this would be impossible without a reform of the political structure and societal realities in the Soviet Union. He therefore began to seek political and social reforms not for their own merits but because these reforms would allow for a stronger and more competitive national economy. Examples of these reforms are the significant tax on the sale of alcohol and the effort to combat corruption in the Communist Party. The campaign against alcoholism was somewhat effective but cost the state millions in lost taxes as alcohol sales migrated to the black market. The effort to combat corruption was also successful though it created many enemies for Gorbachev.
Gorbachev also made significant strides ...

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