The collapse of Communism began with “deepening of respect of human rights” and the “creation of democratic institutions” (Thomas, 2005, p. 110). Liberalism began to shift people’s views from Communism. Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Romania all started to turn away from those political governments ruled by Communists. There were civilian protests, which got violent in Romania. One of the reasons that Communism was so popular to begin with, especially in the Soviet Union, was the thought that it would help the economy. After Stalin died in 1953, there was a scramble by several Communists to become ruler. Gorbachev tried to use Nationalism to be the driving force for those who were thinking of becoming reformed. Strikes occurred over the mishandling of the government.
The Soviets were able to cease anti-Communist outbreaks for a little while in Hungary and Poland. Later, the mass demonstrations all over Europe caused the demise of Communism. When Poland used inflation to overthrow the Communist government, other countries took notice and wanted the same. The generational differences definitely helped the decline of Communism because younger people seemed to be more liberal and more courageous in speaking out against what they felt was wrong. One of the best remarks I have discovered in regards to the collapse of Communism is this from White (2000): “In one of the most extravagant formulations, it was claimed that Eastern Europe had seen not just the end of communist rule, but the ‘end of history’ itself, as democracy became (in another celebrated phrase) the ‘only game in town’” (p. 72).
He goes on to write that the fall of Communism was a historical revisit to the times of the past such as Roman law and feudalism. Communist leaders were like dictators who were not concerned with law because in their eyes, they were the law.
References Shubert, A. & Goldstein, R.J. (2012). Twentieth-century Europe [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/Thomas, D. C. (2005). Human Rights Ideas, the Demise of Communism, and the End of the Cold War. Journal of Cold War Studies, 7(2), 110–141. https://doi-org.proxy-library.ashford.edu/10.1162/1520397053630600 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.White, S. (2000). Communism and its Collapse. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.proxy-library.ashford.edu (Links to an external site.)