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1989, The Year Of Revolutions in Eastern Europe - Research Paper in History

6 pages
1420 words
Vanderbilt University
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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The year 1989 remains to be a crucial year in the history of Eastern Europe. Historically, 1989 is marked to be a turning point in Eastern Europe as many events crowned the revolutions In Eastern Europe. During this year, a wave of revolutionary was formed which led to the end of communist rule in Eastern Europe as many events happened which were mostly associated or rather caused by political repression, state murder, religious persecution as well as authoritarianism (Stokes, 2007). During this year or rather this period, the countries in Eastern Europe region experienced a lot of mass protests, civil unrests, riots as well as coup attempt in the process of making the historical revolutions. Historical scholars later came to refer this period as the Alumn of Nations to describe the period of revolutions in Eastern Europe.

The 1989 revolutions, many historical events took place. To start with, the uprisings ensured the end of communism in Eastern Europe. Equally, it was the period when countries experienced the end of cold war. On the same note, the fall of the Berlin wall or rather the removal of the iron curtain between Eastern and Western Europe eas experiences as a significant effect of the 1989 revolutions in Eastern Europe. After the 2nd World War, countries that composed the Soviet sphere of influence ganged behind one unit and stood against communism in Eastern Europe (Stokes, 2007). However, it is noted that resistance and riots were first experienced in Poland by the workers' movement who stood against a communist type of administration. The strikes and riots by workers of Poland ensured that representatives of the government were legitimized. The workers who stood against representatives of workers' agitated for the end of communist throughout the Eastern bloc (Nielsen, 2009). Thus, they triggered the popular 1989 revolutions as they created solidarity.

It is equally important to note down that there are three significant factors that facilitated the kind of revolutions that took place in Eastern Europe. Underdevelopment and economic stagnation are the crucial factors that proved to be the central cause of the resolutions that occurred in Eastern Europe. As historical scholars argue, economic failure consolidated and facilitated societal opposition throughout Eastern Europe countries. Thus, economic stagnation and crisis were the reasons behind for the collapse of communism. However, it is argued that one of the most significant long-term aspects which contributed to the 1989 events were regime problem and failings associated with authoritarianism.

In I989, the polish government and members of the solidarity union finally rushed with the state during this regime (Fischer, 2014). In this process, the opposition leaders were cracked down. The deal of sharing the government was what was being pushed for at this time. It was a revolution that was based on the economic crisis that had significantly spread in the Eastern Bloc. At this moment it was clear that the principle of socialism took center stage dominating this period. It took the stand that the working class had power over the repressive ruling class in the society. An apparent conclusion can be drawn to for this reason but because this socialism and superiority of capitalism were symbolized by the fall the Berlin Wall. The scramble for escape is equated to the minds of an individual known as a communist during that era.

The revolution is taken a historical turning point in the lives of many. In fact, the struggles and efforts of many within the society managed to do away with the dictatorial powers in the Eastern Europe that are an aspiration today. With the first transformation was in Poland. Despite it being a practice in the modern society, it is an event that shook the world. The riots by workers of Poland ensured that representatives of the government were legitimized. The protesters who gathered over time from which a premature decision was taken by one of the local officers prematurely. After this action, the wall from East Germany was being worked on with the authorities failing to control the crowds. It took a year to put down what had been build in 40 years on the process of portioning Germany.

The 1989 revolution is the collapse of communism in the Eastern Europe. Thus an end of the cold war that ensured the removal of the iron curtain between the western as well as the east Europe. It had been an act that had taken extended period with an inclusion of various representatives who were claiming to be representing the will of the general population. They involved the following; communist and the Hungarian. The government put just a small token of resistance because many people were willing to take part in the revolutionary process than the number of people who did not have the same idea. Most of the revolutions that took place during these periods were peaceful except that of Romania. Hence, the government put just a small token of resistance because many people were willing to take part in the revolutionary process than the number of people who did not have the same idea. The historical event involves political readers both in the old regime as well as those in opposition. Above all was the hand of the general public who mobilized and fought to the eastern European revolution.

In the Eastern bloc, many countries had already started to make several attempts to bring significant economic and political reforms since the 1950s. The Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev signaled the way towards a significant liberation and creations of revolutions in the Eastern Europe. It is argued that Mikhail Gorbachev's strength and motivations came from the Hungarian of 1956 and those of Plague Spring of 1968. In the mid-1980s, the Soviet leader, Gorbachev had already started various movements that begun to agitating for fundamental reforms aiming at reversing years of Brezhnev stagnation. Thus, one is right to argue out that Gorbachev contributed a lot to the revolutions that occurred in Eastern Europe. The effort of Gorbachev can be reconstructed right back when he launched the policy of glasnost famously known as openness in the Soviet Union as he advocated for economic restructuring in Eastern Europe, therefore constructing a ground for the 1989 revolutions experienced

In his article, Stokes argues that demonstrations and use of campaigns of civil resistance were used to oppose the one-party rule in the Eastern Europe countries. The historical scholar, Stokes, ascertains that many countries in the Eastern Europe region used peaceful means or rather peaceful riots and protests to agitate for reforms except Romania which used violence to overthrow the communist regime ( Stokes, 2014). In April June 1989, there were a lot of demonstrations and riots experienced in Tiananmen Square which had a significant impact in other parts of the world such as China. Similarly, in the same year, the Solidarity movement created won in Poland in a partially free election held. On the other hand, Hungary people and their opposition leaders started demanding for the dismantling of the Iron Curtain, the movement led to demonstrations in major towns such as Leipzig and later the result was the fall of Berlin Wall. Thus, the fall of the Berlin Wall served as a turning point or rather a symbolic gateway to the reunification of Germany and the rest of europ.

As discussed above, economic failure and regimes that seemed authoritative led to revolutions in the Eastern Europe in 1989. It was for this reasons that two world superpowers had to declare the end of cold war. It happened in a summit in the malt. Taking into account photographs from the archives that show how things took place during this period, how incredible masses of people in the day of demonstrations. The clearance of genuine socialism, not polluted by the influence of criminals of Stalinism is what is supposed to be rediscovered. In fact, the dictatorial regime had been seen as an immune to any form of protest contestation. The revolution ever gifted people become successful and finds the heart of many who come for their support. It will remain in the minds of many who are trying to interpret, all the consequences, context and meaning of the 1989 revolution. It will require a process of re-thinking, re-visiting and re-assessing all that took place.


Fischer, S. (2014). Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe. New York: Columbia University Press.

Nielsen, N. C. (2009). Revolutions in Eastern Europe: The religious roots. Maryknoll, N.Y: Orbis Books.

Stokes, G. (2004). The walls came tumbling down: The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. New York: Oxford University Press.

Stokes, G. (2007). Three eras of political change in Eastern Europe. New York: Oxford University Press.

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