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Joshua Vannoy
Eric Ratica
Google Applications
5 October 2015
An Analysis of the USSR in Local and Global Politics from 1917-1991
The 20th century had seen much change within the span of about 75 years.
Much comes from Europe, and more specifically, Russia. The United Soviet Socialist
Republics (USSR), even during its short lifetime led major advancements in world
through science and in politics. Much of which their political influence flourished
throughout the period known as the Cold War. In all Soviet Union was very influential in
worldwide political change from 1917 to the end of 1991.
Form their advent in the October Revolution, the Soviets began to play a part in
the global politics in the world. They began to get support by the United States after the
First World War in famine relief. Soon after though, the ideology of the political
foundation of communism set up by Lenin was nearly destroyed after his death in 1924.
During this time much of the members within the hierarchy of the Communist Party were
trying to manipulate the system to gain power. At the same time, they were cutting ties
with foreign countries, who were capitalist, thus providing a policy in favor of selfsufficiency. The most manipulative man in this time, and the one who eventually took
power, was Joseph Stalin. Stalin worked his way around his competition and
systematically eliminated his rivals. In doing so he began the systems of Gulags. This
system is similar to what the Nazis would begin as Concentration camps, meant strictly
for political targets, and later POWs during the Second World War.

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After the Second World War, the USSR began to work politically with the
members of the allied nations in reconstruction of Post-War Europe, and in the division
of Germany. Even still felt as though they were losing influence in global politics due to
the rise of the United States due to the advent of the Atomic bomb. This is when the
Soviet Union began to initiate a policy of self expansion into neighboring countries.
Such countries that would experience this expansion were the Soviet Bloc, Communist
China, North Korea, and Southeast Asia. Later movements to a lesser extent were in
the Central and South American guerrilla movements. Even still, much of their foreign
policy began to expand after their nuclear detonation in 1949. This is when they began
'nuclear diplomacy', or the process by which nuclear weapons are used as leverage in
foreign politics.
Soviet policy was very much alive even after the advent of nuclear weapons by
the United States, Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, and China. They also began
multiple movements in the world to expand reach. However in the early 1970s this
began to slow. This regression in influence was due to fighting back by NATO (North
Atlantic Treaty Organization) along the policy of Nuclear Disarmament. This began to
open the Soviet Union up further, but was halted when the Reagan administration
began a process of rearmament to bring down the Soviet Union by ruining their
economy with spending. The Soviets fell right into the trap. The Soviets began a major
rearmament and expansion of reach, as seen into Afghanistan. By doing this, the
Soviets were beginning to ring the rath bell of their own empire.
By 1991 the Soviet Empire was in shambles. The economy was in disarray, their
stance in foreign policy was becoming weakened, and the satellite states in the Soviet

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Bloc were beginning to revolt against them. This turmoil all culminated in the 1991 when
extremely loyal Soviets attempted a coup de tait to try and retake the Soviet
government and overthrow the extremely liberating regime under Gorbachev. Even
though this coup was overthrown, it sounded the final death throes of the collapsing
empire. Within the next 6 months the government would begin to receive political
liberation as freedoms were given back and the communist backed leaders were
replaced with the transitional democratic government. Once this happened in Russia,
the Soviet Union was no more.
As can be seen, the United Soviet Socialist Republics played a major influence in
political change in both local and international theaters. They played a key role in
changing the way politics are conducted worldwide.They also set a precedent for any
nuclear state to use the weapon as a last resort. They also set a legacy of a political
system that was effective in concept, but in reality, led to complete disaster. The ideas
behind communism did not fall completely with the collapse of the Soviet Union. These
Ideas exist in countries to this day, such as Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, Laos,
Cambodia, and to a lesser extent in China. With this, the Soviet Union lives on, even
though the country is no more.

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Work Cited
Beyme, Klaus. The Soviet Union in World Politics. New York: St. Martins Press, 1987.
Fall of the Soviet Union. The Cold War Museum.
/90s/fall_of_the_soviet_union.asp. web. 5 Oct. 2015
Hill, Roland. The Soviet Union: Politics, Economics, and Society from Lenin to
Gorbachev. 2nd ed. London. Printer Publishers Limited. 1989. Print.
Milestones 1945-1952: Atomic Diplomacy.Office of the historian, Bureau of Affairs, US
Department of State, web. 5, Oct. 2015
Revelations From the Russian Archives. Library of Congress. web. 6 Oct. 2015