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Soviet Union Essay Topics & Paper Examples

Spanish Civil War

Did the Nationalists win the Spanish Civil War because of their strengths or the weaknesses of the Republicans? The evidence that supports the idea that the Nationalists won the Spanish Civil War because of their strength is abundant. The unity of the Nationalists was obvious and meant that there was both great organisation and co-ordination, meaning there was no ambiguity in the goals set by those fighting for the Nationalists. Franco’s plans for a long term war meant that he was able to ensure the defeat of the Republic by slowly squeezing the life out of the Republic war effort, which already was heavily reliant on Soviet aid, by securing Republican strong holds throughout Spain. The contrasting lack of unity…

History of Bolsheviks in Russia

The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903. The Bolsheviks were the majority faction in a crucial vote, hence their name. They ultimately became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks came to power in Russia during the October Revolution phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and founded the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic which would later in 1922 become the chief constituent of the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks, founded by Vladimir IllyichLenin, were by 1905 a mass organization consisting primarily of workers under a democratic internal hierarchy governed by the principle of democratic…

Gorbachev, Perestroika and the Fall of the Soviet Union

In the late 1980s, the Soviet Union was undergoing massive changes in its policies, both domestically and internationally. More and more it seemed that the Cold War was coming to a close, and the Soviets were certainly not winning. The exact ending of the Cold War is a matter of some contention between several historians, but the certain absolute end would be the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The events leading up to this collapse have been argued and speculated about, and a clear consensus as to why the Cold War ended and who was responsible have never been reached. While many argue that one side was more responsible than the other, each superpower contributed a great deal….

How Many Satellites Are Orbiting the Earth?

Satellites are tracked by United States Space Surveillance Network (SSN), which has been tracking every object in orbit over 10 cm (3.937 inches) in diameter since it was founded in 1957. There are approximately 3,000 satellites operating in Earth orbit, according to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), out of roughly 8,000 man-made objects in total. In its entire history, the SSN has tracked more than 24,500 space objects orbiting Earth. The majority of these have fallen into unstable orbits and incinerated during reentry. The SSN also keeps track which piece of space junk belongs to which country. The SSN was founded in the wake of the launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, by the Soviet Union…

Stalin Power

Joseph Stalin, the “Man of Steel”, is one of the most powerful dictators in history. Stalin was the General Secretary of the Communist Party and the Soviet Union’s sole leader from 1924 until his death in 1953. Stalin is one of the most controversial figures in Russian history; he is still the subject of fierce discussions. Stalin was a very powerful leader who had a huge impact on USSR; Stalin consolidated power in the USSR through propaganda, fear and, the five-year plan. Stalin’s rise to power was methodical and strong. The construction of his image was very well thought of and arranged. Nearly every medium propagandized Stalin’s image, propaganda was used to build up Stalin’s image. Like a religious worship,…

The Sino-Soviet Split

1. The significance of the communist revolution in china 1949 The Chinese Revolution was among the first hot conflicts of the Cold War, and its ramifications were certainly among the most far-reaching. The most important long-term effect was to create a Communist state with the size and power to stand as a rival to the Soviet Union within the Communist world. The Soviets and Chinese were initially allies, but eventually split apart, and fought bloody border conflicts in the 1960s. The Sino-Soviet split forced many Communist states to choose sides, with China even invading pro-Soviet Vietnam in 1979. 2. Early Sino Soviet cooperation in the 1950’s The Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance or Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship…

‘Mother’ by Maxim Gorky

There are books in every language that are landmarks, even turning points, in the history of the literature in that language. Such a book for Russians is Maxim Gorky’s Mother, for, though it was written ten years before the establishment of Soviet power in Russia, we count it the first stone laid in the foundations of Soviet literature. Mother was first published in Russia in 1907, When Gorky wrote it he was a mature craftsman, fully aware of his historical mission. He was, at that time, almost forty years old. For fifteen years he, had devoted himself to literature and public activities. He had already written novels, stories and plays that had brought him international recognition. For his political activities…

Taliban’s Cruelty vs. the Soviet Union

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and Ahmed Rashid’s Taliban both shows human cruelty to the extremist and beyond imagination. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn furtively wrote One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich during the Cold War. It was an era of disaster and violence. The world’s two superpowers, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the United States, fought each other profoundly by accumulating more and more destructive weapons in preparation for a real and possibly world-ending war. Ahmed Rashid, a highly publicized Pakistani journalist, wrote the book Taliban shortly after the terrorist attack of September 11. He calls the country one of world’s “orphaned conflicts”. The country will soon change from being orphaned to…

East and West by Rabindranath Tagore

I It is not always a profound interest in man that carries travellers nowadays to distant lands. More often it is the facility for rapid movement. For lack of time and for the sake of convenience we generalise and crush our human facts into the packages within the steel trunks that hold our travellers’ reports. Our knowledge of our own countrymen and our feelings about them have slowly and unconsciously grown out of innumerable facts which are full of contradictions and subject to incessant change. They have the elusive mystery and fluidity of life. We cannot define to ourselves what we are as a whole, because we know too much; because our knowledge is more than knowledge. It is an…

Case Study on East Meets West: Business Joint Ventures

* Why would a joint venture partner from a planned economy have difficulty understanding that the consumer is king or queen? Answer: Every economy has its own characteristics as both good and bad as well. In any economy, there are rules and regulations fortified in the manner to help the citizens and so that the businesses can get enough revenue from their customers. As we see in today’s world, we can see that only the open economies are getting through the international competition and sustaining in the long run of multitasking operations. As in a planned economy like Soviet Union, Marxism-Lenism had some limitations too. Usually there are not many competitors and whosoever the businesses are; the procedures are controlled…

Joseph Stalin

Josef Stalin was one of the most important members of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union succeed the Russian empire in 1922 and lasted until 1991. Stalin shaped the country in the 1930s and continued to help it thrive to victory helping to win the Second World War against Nazi Germany. I am going to concentrate on the myths surrounding Stalin during the Stalin era (1928-1941) and after his death in 1953. After Stalin’s death in 1953 there was no clear successor for his role in the Soviet Union. The competitors for Stalin’s position were Laverntii Beria (1899-1953), Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971), Georgi Malenkov (1902-88) and Vyacheslav Molotov (1890-1986), however, Beria was executed as a traitor within two months of Stalin’s…

1989 Revolution: Fall of the Soviet Union

The fall of the Soviet Union resulted in a major collapse of many countries. Bulgaria and Romania were two countries that had ties and many distinctions. They both consisted of a strong, violent communist leader that resulted the demolishment of communism at the end. Each of these leaders was cruel and harsh on the people of their country. Injustice played a big role between the two countries that led to war and inhumane actions. Ethnical and race feuds became an eye opening event for the citizens of these countries. Though, the difference was that Romania enforced laws but Bulgaria and the other five countries didn’t. Romania didn’t have foundations that supported their communist system, which was the cause of major…

Why Did the Soviet Union Collapse?

While political dynamics played a large role in the collapse of the Soviet Union, economic breakdown was the main cause of its deterioration. Built on the Socialist ideology of state owned and run business, the declining Soviet economy was plagued by economic inefficiencies and corruption. The country suffered from decades of being tossed on the rough seas of inconsistent and capricious political leadership. The transformative thinking of Mikhail Gorbachev brought much needed change in policies, but the very reforms of perestroika that were meant to save the country from economic disaster perpetuated its demise (Strayer, 132). Gorbachev was an honest, hardworking man with a genuine belief in the potential of socialism given the right direction. His rise in the Soviet…

Stalinism

The political ideologies and policies of Stalinism had profound effect and lasting significance on the Soviet state up to 1938. The influence of the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin caused mass political upheaval, aggressive economic reform and great social implications in an effort to modernise a relatively unindustrialised weakened economy. The significance of these efforts is the changes in the structure of soviet society, with a broad spectrum of both positive and negative consequences. This political system is known as Stalinism. All aspects of politics, military affairs and economic policies were shifted and changed as a result of Stalin’s totalitarianism dictatorship. Joseph Stalin gained political power through widespread political executions and purges whilst using propaganda to foster a fatherly image to…

Collapse of the Soviet Union

The coup attempt sparked anger against the Communist Party. Gorbachev resigned as general secretary of the party. The Soviet parliament voted to stop all party activities. Having first seized power in 1917 in a coup that succeeded, the Communist Party now collapsed because of a coup that failed. The coup also played a decisive role in accelerating the breakup of the Soviet Union. Estonia and Latvia quickly declared their independence. Other republics soon followed. Although Gorbachev pleaded for unity, no one was listening. By early December, all 15 republics had declared independence. Yeltsin met with the leaders of other republics to chart a new course. They agreed to form the Commonwealth of Independent States, or CIS, a loose federation of…

Plato’s Republic and the Rise of the Soviet Union

The Greeks are credited with inventing the concept of democracy. This was evident in the establishment of city-states were ordinary people – those who are not part of the nobility – can help shape policies that would in turn affect every aspect of city life. It is therefore interesting to find out that one of the most popular Greek scholars, Plato, was opposed to the idea of democracy. His magnum opus The Republic is a testament to this fact. But what is more interesting is the realization that the former Russian Empire was transformed into a communist state based on the ideas found in Plato’s book. Men like Karl Marx, Lenin, and Stalin were influenced by the ideas of government…

The Rise and Fall of the “Iron Curtain”

“Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was civis Romanus sum [“I am a Roman citizen”]. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is “Ich bin ein Berliner!”… All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner!” ~ John F. Kennedy (Introduction) The Berlin Wall was built in the dead of the night on August 13, 1961 and stood for about 28 years until the Wall finally came down on November 9, 1989. The history behind the creation and destruction of the Berlin Wall is truly tragic. It was built due to the fact that the relationship between the Soviet…

Stalin’s Rise to Power

This essay will analyze Stalin’s rise to power through the study of four main elements, which can be denominated as situation in the USSR, Stalin’s personal strength, the weaknesses of Stalin’s enemies and the role of luck and opportunities. Thanks to all four of them it was possible for Stalin to reach to the power of one leader of a single party. The tradition of autocratic rule gave the advantage of the situation to Stalin, as soviet people were not accustomed to choose their leaders therefore he did not had to gain support of the people to reach power. Moreover, Stalin always adopted the role of accessible, working class party boss, while other leaders were considered as middle class or…

Strength of the Soviet Economy

The Soviet Union played a major role in the allied victory in World War II. They stopped the Nazi advances and eventually pushed them back on the eastern front. The Russian people showed great resolve to triumph in spite of drastic errors in judgment by the Soviet leaders. Some of the poor decisions were made by Joseph Stalin. The first major mistake was that he believed that he could stall the Soviet Union’s involvement in the war until 1942. Stalin also made an error in trying to take advantage of the war by launching an attack on Finland. The Second World War was also a test of the Soviet system’s organizational power. The collective agenda allowed the Soviets to out…

Ukraine to Soviet Union

The breakup of the Soviet Union was a pivotal event of the 20the century that changed significantly the political environment of the world. Million of people in Eastern Europe awakened from a bad dream as the communism collapsed. Poland and Ukraine are two of the countries that have come out of the Communist block and embarked in a transition, from the general characteristics of a Communist society (dictatorship, single-party system, state economy) to those of a capitalist society (market economy, multi-party system, active civil society). During the process of transition from communism to democracy, Poland and Ukraine faced similar problems and challenges. First, the governments of Poland and Ukraine had to dedicate their work towards a process of state building…

Russian Gulags

Russian gulags were labor camps that were founded from the 1920’s to the 1950’s by Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps for political prisoners and criminals of the Soviet Union. The term “GULAG” is an acronym for the Soviet bureaucratic institution, Glavnoe Upravlenie ispravitel’no-trudovykh LAGerei (Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps), that operated the Soviet system of forced labor camps in the Stalin era After Stalin’s death in 1953, Soviet authorities began to dismantle the camps. The Gulag system finally ended in 1957. The Gulag gained international notoriety in 1973 with the publication of the Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, a study of the Soviet prison camp system. Today, the word Gulag is used to describe any prison…

The “Reds” in John Wyndham’s Literary Works

The Cold War was a (mostly) peaceful conflict lasting from 1947 to 1990, “fought” between two superpowers, each supporting their own ideology; in the West, there were the United States of America with its capitalism, while in the East the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) lurked with its communism. Having started soon after the Second World War, and ending with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1990, the Cold War spanned 43 years. Coinciding with this “war” was John Wyndham`s career of being a writer of full-fledged literature. In those days, every news outlet ranging from television to radio broadcast, from printed media like newspapers to simple word-of-mouth, reported the latest antics of the two ideological blocks. The…

How Did the Bolsheviks Consolidate Their Rule?

Lenin led the Bolsheviks and Trotsky led the red army. When the Bolsheviks took power, they were a small unpopular government but Lenin in a very short time passed decrees, which satisfied the people and set up a strict secret police, which squashed opposition completely. Lenin used many methods to make his government strong but winning the people over certainly was a major factor as well as the fact that he was strong. Firstly, the power of the red army who were led by Trotsky meant that the Bolsheviks were well disciplined because there were harsh rules if any soldiers stepped out of line. Secondly the Bolsheviks got rid of their opposition. In November decrees Lenin allowed self-determination, which allowed…

Lenin and Trotsky in the Russian Revolution

APlan of Investigation To What Extent Was Vladimir Lenin Responsible for the Downfall of the Tsarist Regime, and Subsequently the Provisional Government? The aim of this investigation is to determine the reasons that Vladimir “Lenin” Ulyanov was responsible for the downfall of the Tsarist Regime, and subsequently the provisional government in 1917. The investigation focuses on Lenin’s newspaper, The Pravda, Lenin’s eloquent speaking in St. Petersburg, and his leadership during the “November Revolution”[1] in 1917 in St. Petersburg (known as Petrograd at the time of the aforementioned revolution). Additionally, in the section entitled Evaluation of Sources, two of the sources used for this investigation, Lenin and the Russian Revolutions, and Lenin: The Man who made a Revolution, are evaluated with…

The Expo 67

The Expo 67 was a Category One World’s Fair which was held in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from April 27, 1967 to October 29, 1967. It was considered one of the most successful world’s fair of the twentieth century with the most attendees; 50 million visits and 62 participating nations. This world’s fair was not originally supported in Canada due to the high costs but the determination of Jean Drapeau (Montreal’s Mayor) allowed the expo to take place. This event was significant because it allowed the chance to show what Canadians were capable of doing and presenting it worldwide in the Expo. It is still considered to be one of Canada’s finest cultural achievements. The total revenue was $221,239,872, costs of…

Essay on the Russian Revolution

The Russo-Japanese War lasted from 1904 to 1905, and arose from both Japan and Russia’s desire for expansion and dominance in Korea and Manchuria. Russia suffered many great defeats in this war, against a nation that was considered inferior and was not one of the Great Powers. This humiliated the people of Russia, and caused them to lose confidence in Tsar Nicholas II, as well as causing great military, economic, and political problems for Russia. When the Russo-Japanese War erupted in 1904, Russia was not fully prepared to involve itself in a war. The Trans-Siberian Railway was not completed and would not be until 1905, so Russia’s army was not fully mobile. Russia’s inability efficiently mobilize caused them to lose…

Lenin’s Power Essay

Lenin was able to consolidate his power because of the weakness of his opponents. Find evidence to support or refute this statement. Chloe Tomlinson There were many different equally important reasons why Lenin and the Bolsheviks were able to hold on to their power. For Lenin, and the Bolsheviks, winning political power was relatively easy, compared with retaining it. They had many different objects to overcome, such as; Russia was in chaos, politically and economically, and normal government had broken down in large areas, yet despite all these problems Lenin was able to consolidate his power – and create the world’s first communist state. There are four main topics in which Lenin was able hold on to his power; Trotsky’s…

Stalin’s Achievement of Total Power in the USSR

Why was Stalin able to achieve total power in the USSR by the end of the 1920’s? Stalin’s rise to power was due to many different factors. Firstly, on Lenin’s funeral day Stalin had given the wrong date to Trotsky which meant that Trotsky never turned up. Stalin took great advantage of the ‘Lenin Levy’ and how they worshipped Lenin. Stalin had written a short book which had summarised all of Lenin’s ideas and plans. From the side of the new Bolsheviks, this showed Stalin as the ‘true heir’ or natural successor of Lenin which made it increasingly difficult for his opponents to criticise him and his decisions. The absence of Trotsky at Lenin’s funeral created a large amount of…

Battleship Potemkin as Propaganda

The Battleship Potemkin (Segei Eisenstein, 1925, USSR), an attempt to record the historical 1905 mutiny upon the Russian Naval ship Potemkin, is renowned for its application of the Soviet Montage technique; A methodology pioneered by Eisenstein himself. The aim of this brave new cinematic vision was to elicit emotional and intellectual responses from audiences; A dialectic approach to film harking back to the ideals of Karl Marx. This particular strategy toward filmmaking proved incredibly useful in terms of propaganda within the Soviet State and as a result Potemkin is often cast aside as an artifact from this point of history, merely regarded by some as a piece of agitprop. But how did Eisenstein capture his audiences’ minds and passions, and…

Revolution in Russia

“Left Wing single party states achieve power as the result of a revolutionary process against tradition.” Does this adequately explain how any one single party state that you have studied acquired power? In 1917, a revolution took place in Russia that overthrew the traditional Tsarist regime and brought a single party state, the Bolshevik Party, into power. The Bolshevik party harnessed the revolutionary spirit from the overthrow of the Tsarist regime in order to overthrow the Provisional government and eventually seize power. There are several reasons that the Bolshevik Party went against tradition including the failure of the Tsarist regime and the failure of the Provisional Government to make decisive decisions. The downfall of the Tsarist regime was only prolonged…