The End Of Communism In Europe

A new era was emerging in the 1980s for Europe.

It was the people power that was the most important factor that ended communism in Europe however, the people power had been influenced by several factors. These included factors such as leadership, media, censorship, poverty, living conditions, reparations and empty promises that prompted the people to do so.

Leadership was a major factor in contribution to the fall because essentially it was the leaders command that controls a country. Kremlin being thought of as the centre state for communism had a domino effect on the other countries. There was struggle in USSR when frequent changes of leaders occurred, adjacent to poor economy with increased unemployment and rise of alcoholism. When Gorbachev came into position, he stated his intentions of having a reform (perestroika and glasnost) within the already placed social system emphasising on leaders pursuing communism as they liked and letting the public also know that there would not be any military intervention. This heated debate within communist parties. Having seen leaders quarrel, citizens demanded better quality for life through rebellion and protests. Hence people power is important to the end of communism in Europe but only because the leaders had a mess unlike the time of Stalin or others where leadership was commandment and servitude was first nature. An event that occurred was the Polish government signing an agreement with an underground labour union called Solidarity, granting them under martial law, free elections, which eventually had led them to win, gaining control as with a first non-communist leader in eastern europe. Hungary also changed its political system, allowing a multi-party system.

What gave the people insight of the social, political and economic situation was media and education.

With many no longer peasants and now middle-class workers who had some form of education and the easy access to media meant knowing about the world, not censored and hence having an influence in thought. It was easy for communism to spread and have many followers because the uneducated were easy to direct. Even with the Berlin wall blocking interaction with west Germany, signals to channels were easily accessible in east Germany. Hence people power and unity only occurred when heavy censorship was uplifted, and not living an ignorant life became the norm.

A major contribution to the end of communism in Europe was due to people’s desperation of the economy. Worse than the USSR, the countries such as east Germany, Hungary and Poland owed debt in the billions. With this, in home front there was lack of basic necessities such as milk, bread and toilet roll. It only makes sense that people were happy with communism because even with rationed food, they had food for themselves. With the basics not available, they were not satisfied and hence spoke up. People would have not felt the need to do so, if they were well fed and the country was doing well. With the situation really horrid in east Germany, many sought refuges in escaping and going to the west. Many requested embassies of the west in eastern countries to let them migrate, having the governments granting them to do so via trains. Displeased, Gorbachev requested leader Honecker to have a serious reform, later saying he needs to be replaced, forcing Honecker to resign. This was happening whilst many protested with the eventual collapse of the berlin wall. West German chancellor called for the reunification of the two Germanies. With this ending communism in Europe.

It shows how people power formed when they were pressurised with the life they were living and so due to hopelessness and desperation due to factors mentioned became the reason why peoples power took down communism in Europe.