Creation Of The Soviet Union
The history of Russia between 1922 and 1991 is essentially the history of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the Soviet Union. This ideologically-based union, established in December 1922 by the leaders of the Russian Communist Party, was roughly coterminous with the Russian Empire. At that time, the new nation included four constituent republics: the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, Belorussian SSR, and the Transcaucasian SFSR.
The constitution, adopted in 1924, established a federal system of government based on a succession of soviets set up in villages, factories, and cities in larger regions. This pyramid of soviets in each constituent republic culminated in the All-Union Congress of Soviets. But while it appeared that the congress exercised sovereign power, this body was actually governed by the Communist Party, which in turn was controlled by the Politburo from Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union, just as it had been under the tsars before Peter the Great.
Treaty On The Creation Of The Ussr
On 28 December 1922, a conference of plenipotentiary delegations from the Russian SFSR, the Transcaucasian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR and the approved the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR and the , forming the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. These two documents were confirmed by the first Congress of Soviets of the USSR and signed by the heads of the delegations,Mikhail Kalinin, Mikhail Tskhakaya, Mikhail Frunze, Grigory Petrovsky, and Alexander Chervyakov, on 30 December 1922. The formal proclamation was made from the stage of the Bolshoi Theatre.
An intensive restructuring of the economy, industry and politics of the country began in the early days of Soviet power in 1917. A large part of this was done according to the Bolshevik Initial Decrees, government documents signed by Vladimir Lenin. One of the most prominent breakthroughs was the GOELRO plan, which envisioned a major restructuring of the Soviet economy based on total electrification of the country. The plan became the prototype for subsequent Five-Year Plans and was fulfilled by 1931. After the economic policy of “War communism” during the Russian Civil War, as a prelude to fully developing socialism in the country, the Soviet government permitted some private enterprise to coexist alongside nationalized industry in the 1920s, and total food requisition in the countryside was replaced by a food tax.
Government Of The Soviet Union
Pravítelstvo SSSR, IPA: ), formally the All-Union Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, commonly abbreviated to Soviet Government, was the executive and administrative organ of state in the former Soviet Union. It had four different names throughout its existence Council of People’s Commissars , Council of Ministers , Cabinet of Ministers and Committee on the Operational Management of the National Economy . It also was known as Workers-Peasants Government of the Soviet Union.
The government was led by a chairman, most commonly referred to as “premier” by outside observers. The chairman was nominated by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and elected by delegates at the first plenary session of a newly electedSupreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. Certain governments, such as Ryzhkov’s second government, had more than 100 government ministers, serving as first deputy premiers, deputy premiers, government ministers or heads of state committees/commissions they were chosen by the premier and confirmed by the Supreme Soviet. The Government of the Soviet Union exercised its executive powers in conformity with the constitution of the Soviet Union and legislation enacted by the Supreme Soviet. The first government was led by Vladimir Lenin, and the last government was led by Valentin Pavlov.
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Chairmanship Of Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin became the chairman of the Soviet Union upon Lenins death in 1924. He effectively ruled as a dictator who ruled through fear and death. At the cost of leaving millions of his citizens dead, he turned what was a primarily agrarian industry into that of military and industrial one.
Forgoing the New Economic Policy favoured by Lenin, Stalin saw to the creation of a series of policies with special emphasis on the industrialization of agricultural production through collectivization. At the same rapid industrialization of other sectors was also stressed upon. These policies would form the basis of the Five-Year Plans. In the years to come, the Five-Year Plans would concentrate on military production.
To enforce collectivization of the agriculture sector, farmers were forced to give up their individual holdings in land or livestock and forced to join collective farms.
The higher-ups of the Communist Party believed that transforming privately held farms into large collectives would increase productivity and eliminate the food shortage that had plagued them since the end of the Russian Civil War. In the coming years, this notion would be proved false.
Stalin even eliminated all opposition through the help of his secret police. On trumped-up charges of treason and a whole assortment of other related charges an estimated 600,000 Soviet citizens were executed. The rest would be exiled to the far ends of Siberia or to forced labour camps
How Was The Ussr Formed
What? Did the Bolsheviks just start recreating the Russian Empire they literally just destroyed? Thats what people around the world must have thought when in 1922, the USSR was officially declared a single united state comprising 4 republics .
However, the creation of the USSR as we know it was not momentary and not so simple.
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World War Ii: American Pows And Mias
The guns of distant battles fell silent long ago, but unanswered questions concerning United States servicemen missing in action and unrepatriated prisoners of war continue to concern the nation. Recently, the missing and prisoners of war from the Vietnam War have been the focus of attention.
But Soviet archival documentsfrom an earlier era after World War IIreveal that Americans were detained, and even perished, in the vast Soviet GULAG. To find out additional information about Americans liberated from German prison camps by the Red Army and then interned in Soviet camps, the U.S./Russian Joint Commission on POW/MIAs was formed early in 1992. Library of Congress officials, among others, have been authorized to research Russian archival materials on the subject in Moscow.
Through such efforts and additional cooperation, the fate of those missing in the Cold War may become known as well. Russian news reports tell of a United States B-29 aircraft shot down by Soviet interceptors over the Baltic Sea in April 1950. One of the Soviet pilots who downed the B-29 reported that the aircraft was recovered from the sea, but the fate of the crew is unknown.
Attacks On Intelligentsia: Censorship
Creative writers enjoyed great prestige in both the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union because of literature’s unique role as a sounding board for deeper political and social issues. Vladimir Lenin believed that literature and art could be exploited for ideological and political as well as educational purposes. As a result, the party rapidly established control over print and electronic media, book publishing and distribution, bookstores and libraries, and it created or abolished newspapers and periodicals at will.
Communist Party ideology influenced the creative process from the moment of artistic inspiration. The party, in effect, served as the artist’s Muse. In 1932 the party established socialist realism as the only acceptable aestheticmeasuring merit by the degree to which a work contributed to building socialism among the masses. The Union of Writers was created the same year to harness writers to the Marxist-Leninist cause. Goskomizdat , in conjunction with the Union’s secretariat, made all publishing decisions the very allocation of paper became a hidden censorship mechanism. Glavlit , created in 1922, was responsible for censorship, which came later in the creative process. The party’s guidance had already affected the process long before the manuscript reached the censor’s pen. The Soviet censorship system was thus more pervasive than that of the tsars or of most other recent dictatorships.
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The Nep And The Defeat Of The Left
The last phase of Lenins lifefirst partial, then total disablement, then deathhad fortuitously provided a sort of transitional period for a party leadership to emerge and for policies to be argued.
But the leaders onto whom Lenins heritage devolved were divided. Personal ambition and politico-ideological disagreement, hard to disentangle from each other, had been difficult for even Lenin to control. They resulted in a series of factional fights that constituted the political history of the U.S.S.R. over the next six years.
The party was in a most anomalous position. It had won power with a program of forced socialization, which had now failed, on behalf of a proletariat that now scarcely existed, all justified as the advance guard of an international revolution, which had not taken place.
Lenins last years had seen the final elimination of all noncommunist political organizations and publications and the suppression of the democratic deviations in the Communist Party itself. On the other hand, the economic relaxation of the NEP implied a relaxation of state control in some spheres, though at the same time the party and police networks throughout the country were strengthened and professionalized in such a way that they were soon to be adequate for the imposition of the next round of militant socialization at the end of the decade.
World War Ii And Its Aftermath
1940 – Soviet troops occupy Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which are then incorporated into the USSR Romania cedes Bessarabia and North Bukovina to the USSR which declares the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic – the present independent republic of Moldova.
1941 April – Soviet Union and Japan sign a non-aggression pact.
1941 June – Germany invades the USSR and by the end of the year occupies Belarus and most of Ukraine, surrounds Leningrad . Although a Soviet counter-offensive saves Moscow, by June 1942 the Germans were at the gates of Stalingrad and close to the Caucasus oil fields.
1943 – Germans fail to take Stalingrad Soviet troops launch a general counter-offensive which eventually culminates in the capture of Berlin in May 1945.
1945 – Soviet Union and the Allies reach understanding on postwar spheres of influence in Europe during the Yalta and Postdam summit conferences.
1945 August – Soviet Union declares war on Japan, eventually annexing the southern half of Sakhalin and the Kuril islands.
1948-49 – Berlin blockade: Soviet Union fails to prevent supplies from reaching the sectors of Berlin occupied by Western forces.
1949 – Soviet Union explodes its first atomic device recognises the Communist government in China.
1950 – Soviet Union and China sign 30-year alliance treaty.
1950-53 – Outbreak of Korean war sees relations between the Soviet Union and the West deteriorate markedly.
1953 – Soviet Union explodes its first hydrogen bomb.
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What Does Soviet Mean
The term soviet is a Russian word that translates in English as advice or council. In verbal form, it means to advise. The term originally denoted the advisory councils, or soviets, of the Communist Party, dating back to the time of the Russian Revolution. These soviets existed at all levels of the Communist Party structure, from the local level to the national level.
What Was The Ussr
The USSR was a state that formed after the Russian revolution in 1917 and the subsequent three year civil war.
Encompassing what was formerly the Russian Empire, it was initially a confederation of the states of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine and what is now Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
It eventually grew to include Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – and had significant political control over most of Central and Eastern Europe after the end of World War Two in 1945.
Many of these states continue to hold deep social and cultural ties with Russia and contain Russian-speaking communities.
The Soviet Union was founded upon a political system of Marxist socialism under leader Vladimir Lenin.
But this system ultimately morphed into a totalitarian regime under Lenins successor, Joseph Stalin, who imposed a centralised and dictatorial form of government that heavily restricted the freedom of Soviet citizens.
Under Stalin, suspicion of the Wests intentions towards the USSR was heightened.
This suspicion arguably dates back to Napoleons doomed invasion of the Russian Empire in 1812, but was cemented in the Soviet leaderships consciousness after the Russian civil war.
During the civil war, Western powers provided backing to those who opposed Soviet rule.
The USSR was invaded by Adolf Hitlers forces in 1941 but the allies – the UK, Commonwealth states and USA – did not invade Nazi-occupied France until 1944.
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Be Careful What You Wish For
The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 seemed to proclaim a new era of open markets, democracy and peace, and Allies reacted with incredulous joy as emboldened demonstrators overthrew Eastern European Communist governments. But there were also frightening uncertainties. Would a united Germany be neutral? What would become of nuclear weapons in former Soviet republics? Would nationalism once again curse European politics? For NATO, the question was existential: was there any further need for the Atlantic Alliance?
NATO endured because while the Soviet Union was no more, the Alliances two other original if unspoken mandates still held: to deter the rise of militant nationalism and to provide the foundation of collective security that would encourage democratisation and political integration in Europe. The definition of Europe had merely expanded eastward. Before the consolidation of peace and security could begin, however, one spectre haunting European politics remained to be exorcised. Since the Franco-Prussian War, Europe had struggled to come to terms with a united Germany at its heart. The incorporation of a re-unified Germany into the Alliance put this most ancient and destructive of dilemmas to rest.
Sports And Unified Team
The breakup of the Soviet Union saw a massive impact in the sporting world. Before its dissolution, the Soviet football team had just qualified for Euro 1992, but its place was instead taken by the CIS national football team. After the tournament, the former Soviet Republics competed as separate independent nations, with FIFA allocating the Soviet team’s record to Russia.
Before the start of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville and the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, the Olympic Committee of the Soviet Union formally existed until 12 March 1992, when it disbanded but it was succeeded by the Russian Olympic Committee. However, 12 of the 15 former Soviet Republics competed together as the Unified Team and marched under the Olympic flag in Barcelona, where they finished first in the medal rankings. Separately, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia also competed as independent nations in the 1992 Games. The Unified Team also competed in Albertville earlier in the year and finished second in the medal ranking at those Games. Afterwards, the individual NOCs of the non-Baltic former republics were established. Some NOCs made their debuts at the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, and others did so at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.
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How Did The Soviet Union Collapse
By the time Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Soviet Union, took power in 1985, the economy and institutions of the USSR were already in decline. Hastening this decline were two important policies initiated by Gorbachev: Glasnost and Perestroika. Glasnost was Gorbachevs attempt to allow more transparency in the Soviet government. Thus, there was less state censorship and more openness in the governments tackling of the countrys problems. In addition, non-Communist parties were allowed to participate in Soviet elections for the first time. Perestroika was Gorbachevs attempt to reform the Soviet economy. Capitalist market reforms were introduced in place of communistic central planning.
It was primarily Gorbachevs policy of Glasnost that hastened the end of the USSR. For instance, the republics of the Soviet Union began demanding more autonomy from the central government. In addition, Gorbachevs decision to loosen control over the affairs of the Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe motivated these countries to push for even greater autonomy. Perhaps one of the most serious blows to the continued existence of the USSR was the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany in 1989. By the end of the 1980s, the communist regimes of Eastern Europe were falling one by one.
War Comunism And The New Economic Policy
The period from the consolidation of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 until 1921 is known as the period of war communism. Banks, railroads, and shipping were nationalized and the money economy was restricted. Strong opposition soon developed. The peasants wanted cash payments for their products and resented having to surrender their surplus grain to the government as a part of its civil war policies. Confronted with peasant opposition, Lenin began a strategic retreat from war communism known as the New Economic Policy . The peasants were freed from wholesale levies of grain and allowed to sell their surplus produce in the open market. Commerce was stimulated by permitting private retail trading. The state continued to be responsible for banking, transportation, heavy industry, and public utilities.
Although the left opposition among the Communists criticized the rich peasants or kulaks, who benefited from the NEP, the program proved highly beneficial and the economy revived. The NEP would later come under increasing opposition from within the party following Lenin’s death in early 1924.
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Cold War: Soviet Perspectives
After World War II, Joseph Stalin saw the world as divided into two camps: imperialist and capitalist regimes on the one hand, and the Communist and progressive world on the other. In 1947, President Harry Truman also spoke of two diametrically opposed systems: one free, and the other bent on subjugating other nations.
After Stalin’s death, Nikita Khrushchev stated in 1956 that imperialism and capitalism could coexist without war because the Communist system had become stronger. The Geneva Summit of 1955 among Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and the United States, and the Camp David Summit of 1959 between Eisenhower and Khrushchev raised hopes of a more cooperative spirit between East and West. In 1963 the United States and the Soviet Union signed some confidence-building agreements, and in 1967 President Lyndon Johnson met with Soviet Prime Minister Aleksei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey. Interspersed with such moves toward cooperation, however, were hostile acts that threatened broader conflict, such as the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962 and the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia of 1968.
With President Yeltsin’s recognition of independence for the other republics of the former USSR and his launching of a full- scale economic reform program designed to create a market economy, Russia was pledged at last to overcoming both the imperial and the ideological legacies of the Soviet Union.