DissolutionFurther information: Revolutions of 1989, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, January 1991 events in Latvia, Singing Revolution, Soviet OMON assaults on Lithuanian border posts, Removal of Hungary's border fence, and European integration
During the late 1980s, the weakened Soviet Union gradually stopped interfering in the internal affairs of Eastern Bloc nations and numerous independence movements took place.
Following the Brezhnev stagnation, the reform-minded Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 signaled the trend towards greater liberalization. Gorbachev rejected the Brezhnev Doctrine, which held that Moscow would intervene if socialism were threatened in any state. He announced what was jokingly called the "Sinatra Doctrine" after the singer's "My Way", to allow the countries of Central and Eastern Europe to determine their own internal affairs during this period.
Gorbachev initiated a policy of glasnost (openness) in the Soviet Union, and emphasized the need for perestroika (economic restructuring). The Soviet Union was struggling economically after the long war in Afghanistan and did not have the resources to control Central and Eastern Europe.
A wave of Revolutions of 1989, sometimes called the "Autumn of Nations", swept across the Eastern Bloc.
Major reforms occurred in Hungary following the replacement of János Kádár as General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1988. In Poland in April 1989, the Solidarity organization was legalized and allowed to participate in parliamentary elections. It captured a stunning 99% of available parliamentary seats.
On 9 November 1989, following mass protests in East Germany and the relaxing of border restrictions in Czechoslovakia, tens of thousands of Eastern Berliners flooded checkpoints along the Berlin Wall and crossed into West Berlin. The wall was torn down and Germany was eventually reunified. In Bulgaria, the day after the mass crossings through the Berlin Wall, the leader Todor Zhivkov was ousted by his Politburo and replaced with Petar Mladenov.
In Czechoslovakia, following protests of an estimated half-million Czechs and Slovaks demanding freedoms and a general strike, the authorities, which had allowed travel to the West, abolished provisions guaranteeing the ruling Communist party its leading role. President Gustáv Husák appointed the first largely non-Communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948, and resigned, in what was called the Velvet Revolution.
Romania had not had any de-Stalinization. Following growing public protests, president Nicolae Ceauşescu ordered a mass rally in his support outside Communist Party headquarters in Bucharest. But mass protests against Ceauşescu proceeded. The Romanian military sided with protesters and turned on Ceauşescu. They executed him after a brief trial three days later.
Even before the Bloc's last years, all of the countries in the Warsaw Pact did not always act as a unified bloc. For instance, the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia was condemned by Romania, which refused to take part in it.
Read more about this topic: Eastern Bloc
Other articles related to "dissolution":
... Dissolution ends a parliamentary term (which lasts a maximum of three years), and is followed by general elections for all seats in the House of Representatives ... The timing of a dissolution is affected by a variety of factors the Prime Minister normally chooses the most politically opportune moment for his or her party ... The Governor-General may theoretically refuse a dissolution, but the circumstances under which such an action would be warranted are unclear ...
Famous quotes containing the word dissolution:
“From low to high doth dissolution climb,
And sink from high to low, along a scale
Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail;”
—William Wordsworth (17701850)
“The most dangerous aspect of present-day life is the dissolution of the feeling of individual responsibility. Mass solitude has done away with any difference between the internal and the external, between the intellectual and the physical.”
—Eugenio Montale (18961981)
“We are threatened with suffering from three directions: from our own body, which is doomed to decay and dissolution and which cannot even do without pain and anxiety as warning signals; from the external world, which may rage against us with overwhelming and merciless forces of destruction; and finally from our relations to other men. The suffering which comes from this last source is perhaps more painful than any other.”
—Sigmund Freud (18561939)