Gorbachev Mikhael Sergeyevich Essay
Gorbachev Mikhael Sergeyevich was born in 1931 in a small village in the Stavropol region of Russia. His family lived a hard live during the time of Stalin. His family was forced into collective labour in the farms. However, he was able to survive this live because his grand father was on the Stalin side as he was involved in organization of a collective farm. Nazi invasion came when Gorbachev was only eleven years of age. His grand father was involved in the fight and after five years, Gorbachev went to Moscow and found out that everything was on ruin.
Seeing the USSR in this kind of situation could have enhanced his desires to make the USSR prosper. He went to Moscow state university where he took law although his interest was on politics. He joined the communist party in 1952 and experienced rise in the regional party. He was the first secretary of the Stavropol territory a position he attained in 1970 (Cranston & Cranston pg15-17). He was termed as an incorruptible bureaucrat due to his openness to the journalists and farmers. In 1978 he became a member of the hierarchy at that time was number twenty in the ranking among all the leaders in the Soviet.
After the death of Brezhnev in 1982, Gorbachev was appointed as second in command to Yuri Andropov who succeeded Brezhnev. Yuri died in 1985 and Gorbachev became the second powerful man after Cherneko. Gorbachev succeeded Chernko after his death in 1985 when he became the general secretary of the communist party. After the retirement of Gromyko as the president of USSR Gorbachev succeeded him as the president. He became the youngest person to hold that title in USSR after Stalin (Zemtsov & Farrar pg 1-4).
Gorbachev main aim in his leadership was to transform the soviet society by introduction of glasnost and perestroika. Internationally he withdrew the soviet troop from Afghanistan, he also signed a number of arms control agreements with United States president buy then Reagan and Bush. He also normalized the relationships with china and assisted the United States of America during the gulf war. He was awarded the noble prize in 1990 for allowing the former Soviet Union in Eastern Europe and for making the cold war to come to an end. Glasnost, which in Russian means openness, was for the people. Hewett & Winston pg 385-386). This openness allowed the people and the media to be able to discuss Soviet social problems for the first time in history. On the other hand, Perestroika stood for the restructuring of the soviet economy, which was not an easy t6ask to accomplish. Mikhael Gorbachev made great impact in the world. He set into action some changes, which led to the end of the cold war, rise in democracy in Europe and contributed to the fall of the Berlin war. Despite the problems, which existed in the soviet system, he kept faith in the system even as a child (Kimura pg 20-23).
He strived to bring political reforms in order for the soviet system to work efficiently. He made the proposals of changing the communist system to become a system, which had less government control. Along with the key political positions, which he held, he strived to pursue the incompetence of the communist party organization. He made announcement on campaign against consumption of alcohol. He made closed two thirds of the liquor stores and increased fines for public drunkenness by ten times. He had a belief that he would solve the economic problems, which existed in the Soviet Union through hard work and determination.
He did this by introduction of light capitalism and but cutting the consumption of vodka. However, the economic problems, which existed, were so deep that solving them was not an issue task for the country. There was need more radical solutions to the problems which existed. The Glasnost philosophy was also a problem. This is because by living in such a closed society the Soviet people thought that their country provided good life, technological standards, education and they thought that their country was a military superpower.
After the introduction of the Glasnost, the Russian people started to have an open mind, as they were able to learn about life in other countries for example Western Europe and the United States of America. This made them discover that their country was a third world country. This helped them in realization of how poor they were and they lost their national pride. He was a single initiator of many events in 1990, which lead to the end of the cold war. He voiced his support for reforms. By the summer of 1990 agreed for reunification of West Germany and East Germany (Shumaker pg 3-5).
However, most of his policies backfired because he went so far on some of the elements in the Soviet communist party. He also failed to put enough concentration of some of his elements. By the end of the 1990 he, faced a lot of pressure, which came from the fifteen republics, which made the USSR. The soviet economy weakened and there was much instability of politics, which led to the fall of the USSR. In 1991, he resigned as the secretary general of the communist party. By October in the same year all, the republics in the soviet republic except Russia and Kazakhstan had declared their independent from the USSR.
Despite the fact that his efforts were aimed at building a strong soviet union, he ended to destruction. However, he had made great impacts in the whole world by making great contribution to the end of the cold war and engaging in other policies aimed at maintenance of peace. The oppression, which existed in Russia, stopped when he came into power in the late 1980’s. The oppression was ended by his policies of perestroika and glasnost, which helped in opening Russia to the rest of the world. (Hewett & Winston pg 385-386). The first part of the policy that Gorbachev exercised was by bringing reforms of the electoral system.
This is because previously there was no privacy, there were much suspicion and spying while people voted. This made people to feel intimidated during the voting process. The reforms that he brought held that there could be no limit of the number of candidates who would vie for each positions. The reforms showed their impacts in the 1989 elections where the old hard style communists leaders were ousted and were replaced with young representatives which was one of the ideologies of Mikhael Gorbachev.
The reforms also gave the people their freedom to make their own choice, which would lead them through the difficulty reform times. Rosecrance pg 43-45). Gorbachev also brought reforms of the Russian law where those people who abused their power often started to be imprisoned for making up charges. He set a system of law council, officials who only focused on law and reforms and formed a system of judges at each level for example city, state and national which were checked and balanced each other. Everything social issues were supposed to be made public by encouragement of holding pf free press conferences. (Hewett & Winston pg 385-386). The new laws were aimed at go after the corrupt officials and crime rings that were organized.
Glasnost was a major theory of Gorbachev politics. This is a theory which was aimed at the government knew how the people viewed it and the government had to listen to what people had to hears the opinions of the people. Gorbachev held that it was time for fear to end and that people needed to know what was good and what was bad. This was enhanced by the oppression that Gorbachev saw in Russia during his early lives. He wanted to liberate the people from such kind of oppression. This is what gave him the fire that he had. The theory of Glasnost gave the people the right to criticize the government.
The people were allowed to be part of the governance where they would say of what they liked about the government and what they did not like about the rule of the law. This was something that was unheard of in the past years. The media, for example, newspapers, articles and books would write about new ideas and say things as they were in the reality without hiding information out of fear. There was the freedom of speech where speeches like that of Khrushchev could no longer be done in secret like it happened in the past years in the Soviet Union.
He gave the freedom to the media because he understood that press was supposed to be used maximally by the people to share and distribute information (Hewett & Winston pg 385-386). Gorbachev also allowed the freedom of thinking. This resulted to release of many books which were previously been banned from being written or distributed, for example, Orwell’s animal farm which had called for the root of the Soviet Union. In order to push for his glasnost policy Gorbachev released many prisoners who had been jailed simply because of disagreeing with the government. There were also those who had been jailed for creative thinking.
For example, in 1986 he freed Andrei Sakharov who won Nobel prize for his fight for human rights and who had been imprisoned because of his fight for the rights of the people. The overall idea of glasnost was for the people to understand what was good and bad and be able to make decision by themselves (Cranston & Cranston pg15-17). The impact of Gorbachev leadership was far more reaching that just Russia. By contributing to the end of oppression, he made Russia to be opened to the entire world. This also made the Russians to realize the reality and the truth about their country.
He rewrote history books, which had previously given glory to leaders who were incompetent, for example, Stalin and Lenin. (Breslauer, pg 159-160). He used his political power to reform one of the countries that was most oppressed in the world history and let people make their own decisions. However, Glasnosts opened ways for the critics. Republics such as Georgia, Baltic States and Ukraine started to ask for their independence. While Gorbachev was a way in Crimea during summer vacation, some hard liners communist individuals decided to perform a coup. They detained Gorbachev and ordered tanks into the streets of Moscow.
However, this coup did not succeed as it was performed in a sloppy way. They group also lacked convictions even as they made the announcement public on the media. This raised demonstration as people went to the streets in order to give protection to the Russian elected parliament by the coup. Boris Yeltsin who was a charismatic leader took the opportunity to climb the tank and spoke against the illegal coup and confronted the tanks. Since then Boris Yeltsin became a hero in Russia. The soldiers who were on the streets refused to fire him and the plotters fled away.
When Gorbachev was brought from where he had been detained was very down. This was one of the signs that he would leave the power to Boris Yeltsin (Brown pg 109-113). After quitting his leadership, he dedicated his time traveling in all parts of the world. He used this opportunity to explain his ideas and telling about his vision for Russia. He tried to vie for presidency in the past elections without success. He was unable to attract significant support from the masses. People in Russia may not forgive him for dismantling the soviet empire and by changing their lifestyle from that of communism to the real life.