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Encyclopedia > Revolutions of 1989
The Eastern Bloc prior to the political upheavals of 1989.

The Revolutions of 1989 were a revolutionary wave that swept across Central and Eastern Europe in the autumn of 1989, ending in the overthrow of Soviet-style communist states within the space of a few months.[1] The names for this series of events hark back to the Revolutions of 1848, also known as the "Spring of Nations." [1] Image File history File links Eastern_bloc. ... Image File history File links Eastern_bloc. ... A map of the Eastern Bloc 1948-1989. ... A revolutionary wave is a series of revolutions occurring in various locations. ... Central Europe The Alpine Countries and the Visegrád Group (Political map, 2004) Central Europe is the region lying between the variously and vaguely defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe. ... Pre-1989 division between the West (grey) and Eastern Bloc (orange) superimposed on current national boundaries: Russia (dark orange), other countries of the former USSR (medium orange),members of the Warsaw pact (light orange), and other former Communist regimes not aligned with Moscow (lightest orange). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Soviet redirects here. ... A map of countries who declared themselves to be socialist states under the Marxist-Leninist or Maoist definition (in other words, Communist states) at some point in their history. ... The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations or the Year of Revolution, were a revolutionary wave which erupted in Sicily and then, further triggered by the revolutions of 1848 in France, soon spread to the rest of Europe and as far afield as...


The political upheaval began in Poland[2], and led to a surge of mostly peaceful revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Bulgaria. Romania was the only Eastern-bloc country to violently overthrow its communist regime and execute its head of state.[3] GDR redirects here. ... A map of the Eastern Bloc 1948-1989. ...


The Revolutions of 1989 greatly altered the balance of power in the world and marked (together with the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union) the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the Post-Cold War era. Balance of power is a central concept of realist theories of international relations. ... The rise of Gorbachev Although reform stalled between 1964–1982, the generational shift gave new momentum for reform. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... The post-Cold War era is a time period following the end of the Cold War. ...

Contents

The advent of "new thinking"

Although several Eastern bloc countries had experimented with some limited economic and political reform since the 1970s (Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Prague Spring 1968), the advent of reform-minded Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 signalled the irreversible trend towards greater liberalization. During the mid 1980s, a younger generation of Soviet apparatchiks, led by Gorbachev, began advocating fundamental reform in order to reverse years of Brezhnev stagnation. The Soviet Union was facing a period of severe economic decline and needed Western technology and credits to make up for its increasing backwardness. The costs of maintaining its so-called "empire" – the military, KGB, subsidies to foreign client states – further strained the moribund Soviet economy. Combatants Soviet Union; ÁVH (Hungarian State Security Police) Ad hoc local Hungarian militias Commanders Ivan Konev Various independent militia leaders Strength 150,000 troops, 6,000 tanks Unknown number of militia and soldiers Casualties 722 killed, 1,251 wounded[1] 2,500 killed 13,000 wounded[2] The Hungarian Revolution... People in a café watch Soviet tanks roll past The Prague Spring (Czech: Pražské jaro, Slovak: Pražská jar, Russian: пражская весна) was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia starting January 5, 1968 when Alexander Dubček came to power, and running until August 20 of that year when the... Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (Russian: ), surname more accurately romanized as Gorbachyov; (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian politician. ... Year 1985 (MCMLXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link displays 1985 Gregorian calendar). ... Period of stagnation (Russian: , translitrated zastoy), also known as Brezhnevian Stagnation, the Stagnation Period, or the Era of Stagnation, or the Period of Stagnation (), refers to a period of socio-economic slowdown in the history of the Soviet Union that started when Leonid Brezhnevs become chairman of the Communist... The KGB emblem and motto: The sword and the shield KGB (transliteration of КГБ) is the Russian-language abbreviation for Committee for State Security, (Russian: ; Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti). ...


The first signs of major reform came in 1986 when Gorbachev launched a policy of glasnost (openness) in the Soviet Union, and emphasized the need for economic reform, perestroika (economic restructuring). By the spring of 1989, the USSR had not only experienced lively media debate, but had also held its first multi-candidate elections. Glasnost means also "laud speaking" but in these days it was allowed to present political views only to communists. Regular people in Eastern block were still threatened by secret police also because Gorbacev's Sinatra Doctrine was intentionally misinterpreted. "New thinking" was a parole for communists to show their willingness for change, while people just demanded "normal thinking" again. //   (Russian: IPA: ) is politics of maximal openness, transparency of activity of all official (governmental) institutes, and freedom of information. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about secret police as organizations. ... The Sinatra Doctrine was the name that the Soviet government of Mikhail Gorbachev used jokingly to describe its policy of allowing neighboring Warsaw Pact nations to determine their own internal affairs. ...


From East to West

Moscow's largest obstacle to improved political and economic relations with the Western powers remained the Iron Curtain that existed between East and West. As long as the specter of Soviet military intervention loomed over Eastern Europe, it seemed unlikely that Moscow could attract the Western economic support needed to finance the country's restructuring. Gorbachev urged his Eastern European counterparts to imitate perestroika and glasnost in their own countries. However, while reformists in Hungary and Poland were emboldened by the force of liberalization spreading from East to West, other Eastern bloc countries remained openly skeptical and demonstrated aversion to reform. Past experiences had demonstrated that although reform in the Soviet Union was manageable, the pressure for change in Eastern Europe had the potential to become uncontrollable. These regimes owed their creation and continued survival to Soviet-style authoritarianism, backed by Soviet military power and subsidies. Believing Gorbachev's reform initiatives would be short-lived, orthodox Communist rulers like East Germany's Erich Honecker, Bulgaria's Todor Zhivkov, and Czechoslovakia's Gustáv Husák obstinately ignored the calls for change. "When your neighbor puts up new wallpaper, it doesn't mean you have to too," declared one East German politburo member. [4] Warsaw Pact countries to the east of the Iron Curtain are shaded red; NATO members to the west of it — blue. ... GDR redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Todor Hristov Zhivkov (Bulgarian: ; IPA: ) (September 7, 1911–August 5, 1998) was the Communist leader of Bulgaria from March 4, 1954 until November 10, 1989. ... Gustáv Husák (January 10, 1913 in Dúbravka (today part of Bratislava, Slovakia) - November 18, 1991 in Bratislava) was a Slovak politician, president of Czechoslovakia and a long-term Communist leader of Czechoslovakia and of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s. ...


Gorbachev's visit to the People's Republic of China on May 15 during the first (and only failed) revolution of 1989, the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, brought many foreign news agencies to Beijing, and their sympathetic portrayals of the protesters helped galvanize a spirit of liberation among the Eastern Europeans who were watching. The Chinese leadership, particularly Communist Party General Secretary Zhao Ziyang, having begun earlier than the Soviets to radically reform the economy, was open to political reform, but not at the cost of a potential return to the disorder of the Cultural Revolution. is the 135th day of the year (136th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 were a series of demonstrations led by students, intellectuals, and labour activists in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) between April 15, 1989 and June 4, 1989. ... Beijing (Chinese: 北京; pinyin: BÄ›ijÄ«ng; IPA: ;  ), a metropolis in northern China, is the capital of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ... Zhao Ziyang (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chao Tzu-yang) (October 17, 1919–January 17, 2005) was a politician in the Peoples Republic of China. ... The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ; literally Proletarian Cultural Great Revolution; often abbreviated to 文化大革命 wénhuà dà gémìng, literally Great Cultural Revolution, or even simpler, to 文革 wéngé, Cultural Revolution) in the Peoples Republic of China was a struggle for power within the...


Reform in Poland and Hungary

Image:W samo poludnie 4 6 89-Tomasz Sarnecki.jpg
"High Noon, 4 June 1989"
Polish Solidarity Citizens' Committee election poster for elections of 1989.

By 1989, the Soviet Union had repealed the Brezhnev Doctrine in favor of non-intervention in the internal affairs of its Warsaw Pact allies, termed the Sinatra Doctrine in a joking reference to the song "My Way". Poland, followed by Hungary, became the first Warsaw Pact state country to break free of Soviet domination. Solidarity (Polish: ; full name: Independent Self-governing Trade Union Solidarity — Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy Solidarność) is a Polish trade union federation founded in September 1980 at the then Lenin Shipyards, and originally led by Lech Wałęsa. ... Poster from the Spanish Revolution A poster is any large piece of printed paper designed to be attached to a wall or vertical surface. ... Contract Sejm (Polish: ) is a term commonly applied to the Polish Parliament elected in the Polish parliamentary elections of 1989. ... The Brezhnev Doctrine was a Soviet policy doctrine, introduced by Leonid Brezhnev in a speech at the Fifth Congress of the Polish United Workers Party on November 13, 1968, which stated: When forces that are hostile to socialism try to turn the development of some socialist country towards capitalism, it... Unofficial Seal of the Warsaw Pact Distinguish from the Warsaw Convention, which is an agreement about airlines financial liability and the Treaty of Warsaw (1970) between West Germany and the Peoples Republic of Poland. ... The Sinatra Doctrine was the name that the Soviet government of Mikhail Gorbachev used jokingly to describe its policy of allowing neighboring Warsaw Pact nations to determine their own internal affairs. ... This article is about the song made famous by Frank Sinatra. ...


Labour turmoil in Poland during 1980 had led to the formation of the independent trade union, Solidarity, led by Lech Wałęsa, which over time became a political force. On December 13, 1981, Communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski, fearful of Soviet intervention started a crack-down on Solidarity, declaring martial law in Poland, suspending the union, and temporarily imprisoning most of its leaders. Throughout the mid-1980s, Solidarity persisted solely as an underground organization, supported by the Catholic Church and the CIA. However, by the late 1980s, Solidarity became sufficiently strong enough to frustrate Jaruzelski's attempts at reform, and nationwide strikes in 1988 forced the government to open a dialogue with Solidarity. Solidarity (Polish: ; full name: Independent Self-governing Trade Union Solidarity — Niezależny SamorzÄ…dny ZwiÄ…zek Zawodowy Solidarność) is a Polish trade union federation founded in September 1980 at the then Lenin Shipyards, and originally led by Lech WaÅ‚Ä™sa. ... Lech WaÅ‚Ä™sa (IPA: ; born September 29, 1943, Popowo, Poland) is a Polish politician, a former trade union and human rights activist, and also a former electrician. ... December 13 is the 347th day of the year (348th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ... Wojciech Jaruzelski in 2006 Wojciech Witold Jaruzelski (pronounced: ) (born July 6, 1923) was a communist Polish political and military leader, Prime Minister from 1981 to 1985, head of the Polish Council of State from 1985 to 1989 and President from 1989 to 1990. ... The name Catholic Church can mean a visible organization that refers to itself as Catholic, or the invisible Christian Church, viz. ... The CIA Seal The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an American intelligence agency, responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and individuals, and reporting such information to the various branches of the U.S. Government. ...

In August 1989, Polish Solidarity member Tadeusz Mazowiecki became the first non-Communist Prime Minister in Eastern Europe since World War II.

In April 1989, Solidarity was again legalized and allowed to participate in parliamentary elections on June 4, 1989 (incidentally, the day following the midnight crackdown on Chinese protesters in Tiananmen Square). A political earthquake followed. The victory of Solidarity surpassed all predictions. Solidarity candidates captured all the seats they were allowed to compete for in the Sejm, while in the Senate they captured 99 out of the 100 available seats. At the same time, many prominent Communist candidates failed to gain even the minimum number of votes required to capture the seats that were reserved for them. A new non-Communist government, the first of its kind in Eastern Europe, was sworn into office in September 1989. from http://www. ... from http://www. ... 1989 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Tadeusz Mazowiecki (born April 18, 1927 in Płock) is a Polish author, journalist, social worker and politician, formerly one of the leaders of the Solidarity movement, and the first non-communist prime minister in Central and Eastern Europe after World War II. Tadeusz Mazowiecki as Prime Minister of Poland... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... June 4 is the 155th day of the year (156th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Tiananmen Square as seen from the Tianan Gate Tiananmen Square (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; Pinyin: ) is the large plaza near the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen (literally, Gate of Heavenly Peace) which sits to its north, separating it from the Forbidden City. ... The Sejm building in Warsaw. ...

Comrades it's Over! Political poster in Hungary in 1989.
Comrades it's Over! Political poster in Hungary in 1989.

Following Poland's lead, Hungary was next to revert to a non-communist government. Although Hungary had achieved some lasting economic reforms and limited political liberalization during the 1980s, major reforms only occurred following the replacement of János Kádár as General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1988. That same year, the Parliament adopted a "democracy package", which included trade union pluralism; freedom of association, assembly, and the press; a new electoral law; and a radical revision of the constitution, among others. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 417 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (548 × 787 pixel, file size: 105 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Comrades its Over! File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 417 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (548 × 787 pixel, file size: 105 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Comrades its Over! File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... János Kádár, né Giovanni Csermanek (his Italian first name was due to the laws of Fiume, his father denied paternity and refused to support his mother Borbála[1]) (May 26, 1912–July 6, 1989), was the communist leader of Hungary from 1956 to 1988, and twice...


In October 1989, the Communist Party convened its last congress and re-established itself as the Hungarian Socialist Party, which still exists as of today (see MSZP). In a historic session from October 16 to October 20, the parliament adopted legislation providing for multi-party parliamentary elections and a direct presidential election. The legislation transformed Hungary from a People's Republic into the Republic of Hungary, guaranteed human and civil rights, and created an institutional structure that ensured separation of powers among the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government. The Hungarian Socialist Party (Hungarian: Magyar Szocialista Párt) is a socialist party in Hungary. ... October 16 is the 289th day of the year (290th in leap years). ... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Look up peoples republic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Main article: Fall of the Berlin Wall East German construction workers building the Berlin Wall, November 20, 1961. ...

Germans celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall, the defining symbol of the East-West divide.

After Hungary's reformist government opened its borders, a growing number of East Germans began emigrating to West Germany via Hungary's border with Austria. By the end of September 1989, more than 30,000 East Germans had escaped to the West. Thousands of East Germans also tried to reach the West by staging sit-ins at West German diplomatic facilities in other Eastern European capitals. The mass exodus generated demands within East Germany for political change, and mass demonstrations with eventually hundreds of thousands of people in several cities – particularly in Leipzig – continued to grow. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... East German construction workers building the Berlin Wall, November 20, 1961. ... Leipzig ( ; Sorbian/Lusatian: Lipsk from the Sorbian word for Tilia) is, with a population of over 506,000, the largest city in the federal state of Saxony, Germany. ...


On 6–7 October, Gorbachev visited East Germany to mark the 40th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic, and urged the East German leadership to accept reform. However, the elderly Erich Honecker remained opposed to any internal reform, with his regime even going as far as forbidding the circulation of Soviet publications that it viewed as subversive. This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Faced with ongoing civil unrest, the ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED) deposed Honecker in mid-October, and replaced him with Egon Krenz. Unable to stem the flow of refugees to the West through Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland, the East German authorities eventually caved into public pressure by allowing East German citizens to enter West Berlin and West Germany, via all border points, on November 9. Hundreds of thousands of people took advantage of the opportunity; new crossing points were opened in the Berlin Wall and along the border with West Germany. The opening of the Berlin Wall proved to be fatal for the GDR. By December, Krenz had been replaced, and the SED's monopoly on power had ended. This led to the acceleration of the process of reforms in East Germany that ended with the reunification of East and West Germany that came into force on 3 October 1990. The party emblem represented the handshake between Communist Wilhelm Pieck and Social Democrat Otto Grotewohl when their parties merged in 1946 The Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) (German: Sozialistische Einheitspartei Deutschlands) was the governing party of East Germany from its formation in 1949 until the elections of 1990. ... Egon Krenz (born 19 March 1937) is a former German Communist politician, who briefly served as leader of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1989 before the end of Communist rule. ... is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... East German construction workers building the Berlin Wall, November 20, 1961. ... German reunification (German: ) took place on October 3, 1990, when the areas of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR, in English commonly called East Germany) were incorporated into the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, in English commonly called West Germany). The start of this reunification process is commonly referred to... is the 276th day of the year (277th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ...


The Kremlin's willingness to abandon such a strategically vital ally marked a dramatic shift by the Soviet superpower and a fundamental paradigm change in international relations, which until 1989 had been dominated by the East-West divide running through Berlin itself.


The Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia

Non-violent protesters "fight with flowers" against armored policemen in Czechoslovakia.
Non-violent protesters "fight with flowers" against armored policemen in Czechoslovakia.
Main article: Velvet Revolution

Emboldened by events in neighbouring East Germany, and the absence of any Soviet reaction, Czechoslovaks rallied in the streets to demand free elections. On November 17, 1989, a peaceful student demonstration in Prague was severely beaten back by the riot police. That event sparked a set of popular demonstrations from November 19 to late December, and a general two-hour strike of the population on November 27. By November 20 the number of peaceful protesters assembled in Prague had swelled from 200,000 the day before to an estimated half-million. Image File history File links Policemen_and_flowers. ... Image File history File links Policemen_and_flowers. ... Non-violent protesters face armoured policemen The Velvet Revolution (Czech: , Slovak: ) (November 16 – December 29, 1989) refers to a non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia that saw the overthrow of the communist government there. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... 17 November is also the name of a Marxist group in Greece, coinciding with the anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic uprising. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Nickname: Motto: Praga Caput Rei publicae Location within the Czech Republic Coordinates: , Country Czech Republic Region Capital City of Prague Founded 9th century Government  - Mayor Pavel Bém Area  - City 496 km²  (191. ... is the 323rd day of the year (324th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 331st day of the year (332nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 324th day of the year (325th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


With other Communist regimes falling all around it, and with growing street protests, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announced on November 28 they would give up their monopoly on political power. Barbed wire was removed from the border with West Germany and Austria in early December. A sign seen in Prague summed it up this way: "Poland—10 Years; Hungary—10 Months; East Germany—10 Weeks; Czechoslovakia—10 Days." [1] ("Romania-10 Hours" was added after the revolution in Romania) is the 332nd day of the year (333rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


On December 10, the Communist leader Gustáv Husák appointed the first largely non-Communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948, and resigned. Alexander Dubček was elected speaker of the federal parliament on December 28 and Václav Havel the President of Czechoslovakia on December 29. December 10 is the 344th day (345th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, 21 days before the next year. ... Gustáv Husák (January 10, 1913 in Dúbravka (today part of Bratislava, Slovakia) - November 18, 1991 in Bratislava) was a Slovak politician, president of Czechoslovakia and a long-term Communist leader of Czechoslovakia and of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in the 1970s and 1980s. ... Alexander Dubček (November 27, 1921 – November 7, 1992) was a Slovak politician and briefly leader of Czechoslovakia (1968-1969), famous for his attempt to reform the Communist regime (Prague Spring). ... is the 362nd day of the year (363rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Václav Havel, GCB, CC, (IPA: ) (born October 5, 1936 in Prague) is a Czech writer and dramatist. ... is the 363rd day of the year (364th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


Upheaval in Bulgaria

People on the streets of Sofia during 1989
People on the streets of Sofia during 1989

On November 10, 1989 – the day after the Berlin Wall was breached – Bulgaria's long-serving leader Todor Zhivkov was ousted by his Politburo. Moscow apparently approved the leadership change, despite Zhivkov's reputation as a slavish Soviet ally. Yet, Zhivkov's departure was not enough to satisfy the growing pro-democracy movement. By the time the impact of Mikhail Gorbachev's reform program in the Soviet Union was felt in Bulgaria in the late 1980s, the Communists, like their leader, had grown too feeble to resist the demand for change for long. In November 1989 demonstrations on ecological issues were staged in Sofia, and these soon broadened into a general campaign for political reform. The Communists reacted by deposing the decrepit Zhivkov and replacing him with Petar Mladenov, but this gained them only a short respite. In February 1990 the Party voluntarily gave up its claim on power and in June 1990 the first free elections since 1931 were held, won by the moderate wing of the Communist Party, renamed the Bulgarian Socialist Party. Although Zhivkov eventually faced trial in 1991, he escaped the violent fate of his northern comrade, Romanian President Nicolae Ceauşescu. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Todor Hristov Zhivkov (Bulgarian: ; IPA: ) (September 7, 1911–August 5, 1998) was the Communist leader of Bulgaria from March 4, 1954 until November 10, 1989. ... Petar Toshev Mladenov (Bulgarian: ) (August 22, 1936 - May 31, 2000) was a Bulgarian communist diplomat and politician. ... Nicolae CeauÅŸescu (IPA , in English, sometimes (and erroneously) ) (January 26, 1918–December 25, 1989) was the leader of Romania from 1965 until December 1989. ...


The Romanian Revolution

Main article: Romanian Revolution
People on the streets of Bucharest during the 1989 Romanian Revolution.

Unlike other Eastern European countries, Romania had never undergone even limited de-Stalinization. In November 1989, Ceauşescu, now aged 71, was re-elected for another 5 years as leader of the Romanian Communist Party, signalling that he intended to ride out the anti-Communist uprisings sweeping the rest of Eastern Europe. As Ceauşescu prepared to go on a state visit to Iran, his Securitate ordered the arrest and exile of a local Hungarian-speaking Calvinist minister, László Tőkés, on 16 December, for sermons offending the regime. Tőkés was seized, but only after serious rioting erupted. After learning about the incident from Western radio stations, years of repressed dissatisfaction boiled to the surface throughout the Romanian populace and even among elements in Ceauşescu's own government, and the demonstrations spread. People on the streets of Bucharest The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a week-long series of riots and protests in late December of 1989 that overthrew the Communist regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu. ... This work is copyrighted. ... This work is copyrighted. ... People on the streets of Bucharest The Romanian Revolution of 1989 was a week-long series of riots and protests in late December of 1989 that overthrew the Communist regime of Nicolae Ceauşescu. ... For architecture, see Stalinist architecture. ... The Securitate (Romanian for Security; official full name Departamentul Securităţii Statului, State Security Department), was the secret police force of Communist Romania. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Calvinism is a theological... László TÅ‘kés, (born April 1, 1952), is an ethnic Hungarian citizen of Romania, now bishop of the Reformed Church District of Királyhágómellék, Transylvania, Romania and President of the Hungarian National Council of Transylvania (Hungarian: Erdélyi Magyar Nemzeti Tanács). An effort to... is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

Ceauşescu on trial.

Returning from Iran, Ceauşescu ordered a mass rally in his support outside Communist Party headquarters in Bucharest. However, to his shock, the crowd booed as he spoke. At first the security forces obeyed Ceauşescu's orders to shoot down protesters, but on the morning of 22 December, the Romanian military suddenly changed sides. Army tanks began moving towards the Central Committee building with crowds swarming alongside them. The rioters forced open the doors of the Central Committee building in an attempt to get Ceauşescu and his wife, Elena, in their grip, but they managed to escape via a helicopter waiting for them on the roof of the building. This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... December 22 is the 356th day of the year (357th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Elena CeauÅŸescu (IPA: ) (January 7, 1916 - December 25, 1989) was the wife of Romanias Communist leader Nicolae CeauÅŸescu and the Vice Prime Minister of Romania. ...


Although elation followed the flight of the Ceauşescus, uncertainty surrounded their fate. On Christmas Day, Romanian television showed the Ceauşescus facing a hasty trial, and then suffering summary execution. An interim National Salvation Front Council took over and announced elections for May 1990.


Aftermath of the upheavals

By the end of 1989, revolts had spread from one capital to another, ousting the regimes imposed on Eastern Europe after World War II. Even the isolationist Stalinist regime in Albania was unable to stem the tide. Gorbachev's abrogation of the Brezhnev Doctrine was perhaps the key factor that enabled the popular uprisings to succeed. Once it became evident that the feared Red Army would not intervene to crush dissent, the Eastern European regimes were exposed as vulnerable in the face of popular uprisings against the one-party system and power of secret police. Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The Brezhnev Doctrine was a Soviet policy doctrine, introduced by Leonid Brezhnev in a speech at the Fifth Congress of the Polish United Workers Party on November 13, 1968, which stated: When forces that are hostile to socialism try to turn the development of some socialist country towards capitalism, it... This article is about secret police as organizations. ...


Coit D. Blacker wrote in 1990 that the Soviet leadership "appeared to have believed that whatever loss of authority the Soviet Union might suffer in Eastern Europe would be more than offset by a net increase in its influence in western Europe." [5] Nevertheless, it is unlikely that Gorbachev ever intended for the complete dismantling of Communism and the Warsaw Pact. Rather, Gorbachev assumed that the Communist parties of Eastern Europe could be reformed in a similar way to the reforms he hoped to achieve in the CPSU. Just as perestroika was aimed at making the USSR more efficient economically and politically, Gorbachev believed that the Comecon and Warsaw Pact could be reformed into more effective entities. However, Alexander Yakovlev, a close advisor to Gorbachev, would later state that it would have been "absurd to keep the system" in Eastern Europe. Yakovlev had come to the conclusion that the Soviet-dominated Comecon could not work on non-market principles and that the Warsaw Pact had "no relevance to real life." [4] Dr. Coit Dennis Blacker served as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council under National Security Advisor Anthony Lake during the Clinton administration. ... A Soviet poster reading COMECON: Unity of Goals, Unity of Action The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON / Comecon / CMEA / CEMA), 1949 – 1991, was an economic organization of communist states and a kind of Eastern Bloc equivalent to—but more inclusive than—the European Economic Community. ... Alexander Yakovlev (left) with Mikhail Gorbachev. ...


End of the Cold War

On December 3, 1989, the leaders of the two world superpowers declared an end to the Cold War at a summit in Malta. In July 1990, the final obstacle to German reunification was removed when West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl convinced Gorbachev to drop Soviet objections to a reunited Germany within NATO in return for substantial German economic aid to the USSR. is the 337th day of the year (338th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... This page is a candidate to be copied to Wikisource. ... Helmut Josef Michael Kohl (born April 3, 1930) is a German conservative politician and statesman. ... NATO 2002 Summit in Prague. ...


On July 1, 1991, the Warsaw Pact was officially dissolved at a meeting in Prague. At a summit later that same month, Gorbachev and U.S. President George H.W. Bush declared a U.S.-Soviet strategic partnership, decisively marking the end of the Cold War. President Bush declared that U.S.-Soviet cooperation during the Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991 had laid the groundwork for a partnership in resolving bilateral and world problems. is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... Order: 41st President Vice President: Dan Quayle Term of office: January 20, 1989 – January 20, 1993 Preceded by: Ronald Reagan Succeeded by: Bill Clinton Date of birth: June 12, 1924 Place of birth: Milton, Massachusetts First Lady: Barbara Pierce Bush Political party: Republican George Herbert Walker Bush, KBE (born... See also: 2003 invasion of Iraq and Gulf War (disambiguation) C Company, 1st Battalion, The Staffordshire Regiment, 1st UK Armoured Division The Persian Gulf War was a conflict between Iraq and a coalition force of 34 nations led by the United States. ...


Collapse of the Soviet Union

Main article: History of the Soviet Union (1985-1991)

As the USSR rapidly withdrew its forces from Eastern Europe, the spillover from the 1989 upheavals began reverberating throughout the Soviet Union itself. Agitation for self-determination led to first Lithuania, and then Estonia, Latvia and Armenia declaring independence. Disaffection in other Soviet republics, such as Georgia and Azerbaijan, was countered by promises of greater decentralization. More open elections led to the election of candidates opposed to Communist Party rule. This is a history of the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1991. ...


Glasnost had inadvertently released the long-suppressed national sentiments of all peoples within the borders of the multinational Soviet state. These nationalist movements were further strengthened by the declining Soviet economy, whereby Moscow's rule became a convenient scapegoat for economic troubles. Gorbachev's reforms had failed to improve the economy, with the old Soviet command structure completely breaking down. One by one, the constituent republics created their own economic systems and voted to subordinate Soviet laws to local laws. This box:      A planned economy is an economic system in which a single agency makes all decisions about the production and allocation of goods and services. ...


In an attempt to halt the rapid changes to the system, a group of Soviet hard-liners represented by Vice-President Gennadi Yanayev launched a coup overthrowing Gorbachev in August 1991. Russian President Boris Yeltsin rallied the people and much of the army against the coup and the effort collapsed. Although restored to power, Gorbachev's authority had been irreparably undermined. In September, the Baltic states were granted independence. On December 1, Ukrainian voters approved independence from the USSR in a referendum. On December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union was officially disbanded, breaking up into fifteen constituent parts, thereby ending the world's largest and most influential Communist state, and leaving China to that position. Gennadiy Yanayev (born 1937) was Vice-President of the Soviet Union and leader of the August Coup of 1991. ... During the Soviet Coup of 1991 (August 19-22, 1991), also known as the August Putsch or August Coup, a group of members of the Soviet government briefly deposed Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and attempted to take control of the country. ... Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin (Russian: ) (February 1, 1931 – April 23, 2007[1]) was the first president of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999. ... is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 360th day of the year (361st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ...


See also

Color revolutions or Flower revolutions are the names given collectively to a series of related movements that have developed in post_communist societies in Eastern Europe and are possibly spreading elsewhere. ...  Member state  Associate member Headquarters Minsk, Belarus Working language Russian Type Commonwealth Membership 11 member states 1 associate member Leaders  -  Executive Secretary Viktor Yanukovych Establishment December 21, 1991 Website http://cis. ... The January Events (Lithuanian: Sausio įvykiai) were a series of events that occurred on January 11-13, 1991 in Vilnius, Lithuania. ... The Yugoslav wars were a series of violent conflicts in the territory of the former Yugoslavia that took place between 1991-2001. ...

References

  1. ^ a b E. Szafarz, "The Legal Framework for Political Cooperation in Europe" in The Changing Political Structure of Europe: Aspects of International Law, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 0-7923-1379-8. p.221.
  2. ^ Sorin Antohi and Vladimir Tismăneanu, "Independence Reborn and the Demons of the Velvet Revolution" in Between Past and Future: The Revolutions of 1989 and Their Aftermath, Central European University Press. ISBN 963-9116-71-8. p.85.
  3. ^ Piotr Sztompka, preface to Society in Action: the Theory of Social Becoming, University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-78815-6. p. x.
  4. ^ a b Steele, Jonathan. Eternal Russia: Yeltsin, Gorbachev and the Mirage of Democracy. Boston: Faber, 1994.
  5. ^ Coit D. Blacker. "The Collapse of Soviet Power in Europe." Foreign Affairs. 1990.

Sorin Antohi is a Romanian historian, currently working as head of the History department at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. ... Vladimir Tismăneanu, photo by Eduard Koller Vladimir Tismăneanu (b. ... Piotr Sztompka is a Polish sociologist. ...

External links

  • Lévesque, Jacques (1997). The Enigma of 1989: The USSR and the Liberation of Eastern Europe. University of California Press, 275. ISBN 978-0520206311. 

  Results from FactBites:
 
Revolutions of 1989 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2546 words)
The Revolutions of 1989, sometimes called the Autumn of Nations, were the series of events in Central and Eastern Europe in the autumn of 1989, when various Soviet-style Communist governments were overthrown in the space of a few months
By 1989, the Soviet Union had repealed the Brezhnev Doctrine in favor of non-intervention in the internal affairs of its Warsaw Pact allies.
In April 1989, Solidarity was again legalized and allowed to participate in parliamentary elections on June 4, 1989.
Talk:Revolutions of 1989 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1204 words)
In the decade after 1989, accounts of the events in the West have generally reflected the views of the key actors who had participated in them, but a much more nuanced picture is emerging among historians and scholars in other fields.
To them the "revolutions" of 1989 were subsumed under a much larger wave of democratization that started in Southern Europe in the 1970s and then swept through Latin America, and into the Soviet bloc, culminating in the "revolutions" of 1989, which is a thesis most popularly associated with Samuel P. Huntington.
Revolutions of 1989 is certainly more popular (40k for Google, and hundreds of books).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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