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Lecture 25 - Page 1 of 3 Lecture 25 The End of the World As...

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May 30, 2008 Page 1 of 3 Lecture 25 The End of the World As We Know It The Collapse of Communism 1989—collapse of communism in Eastern Europe After 1982, tension between the United States and the Soviet Union mounted The Berlin Wall divided communist East Berlin from the democratic West Berlin On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall tumbled Lech Walesa became Poland’s new president in 1989 à democracy spread to the larger regimes of German, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Romania This was a domino effect, but in a positive direction Role of Gorbachev Gorbachev’s action in the Soviet Union set lose the yearnings for change in Easter Europe Moscow did not send in troops into Eastern Europe in 1989 and gave up its rule to allow Eastern Europe a victory He got the ball rolling, and got the Russians out of Afghanistan He used his personal prestige to get rid of hard-line Eastern European leaders Gorbachev, once the leader of the communist world, was coming out as the savior of democracy = irony Role of U.S. and Bush I
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