Both of Gorbachev's grandfathers were arrested—his maternal in and his paternal in —and both spent time in Gulag labour camps prior to being released.
Something was very wrong in Moscow. Black limousines sped to and from the Kremlin in the dead of night. Classical music replaced regular programming on television. An ageing leader had not been seen in public in months. But when the ailing year-old Konstantin Chernenko died on the evening of March 10, -- the third Soviet leader to expire in just over two years -- there were also clear signals that something different was afoot.
For one thing, it took the Central Committee just four hours to choose a successor, the fastest transition in Soviet history. The Soviet elite, it appeared, was eager to turn the page -- and turn the page they did. He began his tenure seeking to reform, and thus save, a decrepit Soviet system that was falling behind its Western rivals in every way.
He ended up transforming his country beyond recognition, leading to the breakup of a once-mighty superpower and the end of the Cold War.
What greater happiness can you ask for? Since leaving office following the Soviet collapse, Gorbachev has moved in and out of the public eye. Epitomized by longtime Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, who ruled from until his death inthat generation survived World War II and the Great Terror -- and prized caution and stability above all.
The Soviet Union became a global superpower under the rule of Brezhnev and his contemporaries, but by the late s and early s, its economy was stagnant, life expectancy had plummeted, and public cynicism was rampant. As Vadim Medvedev, a onetime Gorbachev aide and former high-ranking Communist Party official, explains, by the mids, there was a widespread consensus that younger and more dynamic leadership was needed.
He replaced Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, who had served in his post for 28 years -- and was known in the West as "Mr. Nyet" -- with Eduard Shevardnadze.
He also brought Aleksandr Yakovlev, the former Soviet ambassador to Canada, into the Politburo as his chief ideologist. Overhauling The System Gorbachev began his reforms methodically.
In Aprilhe called for a policy of "acceleration," a fast-paced technological modernization and an increase in agricultural and industrial production. He also instituted quality control on consumer goods and initiated an antialcohol campaign.
But it soon became clear to the new Soviet leader that the system was in need of a more fundamental overhaul. He used the occasion of the 27th Communist Party Congress in February-March to announce his signature policy of perestroika, or restructuring.
By early Gorbachev introduced limited market mechanisms, allowing the opening of small private businesses, or cooperatives, and decentralizing economic decisionmaking for state enterprises.
He also proposed multicandidate elections for some local government posts. In an effort to pressure conservative elements in the Communist Party, Gorbachev also introduced the policy of glasnost, or openness, relaxing censorship of the media and restrictions on free speech. He also established a new executive presidency, which would be elected by the new legislature.
Together with Shevardnadze, Gorbachev also pursued a rapprochement with the West, signing key arms control pacts with U.
When Soviet satellite regimes fell across Eastern Europe and the Berlin Wall came down inGorbachev did not intervene, earning himself a Nobel Peace Prize in the process. But the forces Gorbachev unleashed soon took on a life of their own, ultimately derailing his goal of modernizing -- and thus saving -- the Soviet Union.
His economic reforms undermined the moribund, centrally planned economy without establishing a functioning market to replace it, leading to widespread shortages, rationing, and public discontent. The intelligentsia initially rallied behind glasnost, giving Gorbachev support against party hard-liners; but the new openness opened the door for his critics as well.
Independence movements flourished in the Soviet republics, most prominently in the Baltics, Ukraine, and Georgia. Lithuania today marks the 20th anniversary of the day it became the first of the republics to declare its independence from the Soviet Union -- exactly five years to the day after Gorbachev came to power.THE LAST CAMPAIGN: LEGACY By Richard Reeves.
Senior Fellow, Center on Communication Leadership & Policy The essay compares the importance of Reagan’s legacy with those of other significant presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F.
leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Howard Phillips, the founder and chairman. A Legacy of Leadership: The Ronald Reagan Essay Contest A Legacy of Leadership: The Ronald Reagan Essay All semifinalists will be invited to attend the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota x27;s Spring Awards Banquet where Ronald Reagan x27; Ronald Reagan Essay Legacy and Leadership: Mikhail Gorbachev Essay.
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev showed legacy and leadership when he launched a program of political, economical, and social reform for the Soviet Union. He changed and influenced many people lives positively with his reformations, and started a “revolution” that later seemed to get out of his.
Mikhail Gorbachev, The Patron of Change. Analysis Of The Significance Of Mikhail Gorbachev Politics Essay. Print Reference this. Disclaimer: If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal.
Free Essay: Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev showed legacy and leadership when he launched a program of political, economical, and social reform for the Soviet. Essay on The Rise and Fall of Mikhail Gorbachev Words | 6 Pages.
Mikhail Gorbachev was born on March 2, , in Privolnoye, Russia. In , he became a delegate to the Communist Party Congress.