Revolutions of 1989

fall of communismthe fall of the Iron Curtaincollapse of communismfall of the Iron CurtainDecember 1989Autumn of Nationscollapsethe fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989fall of communism in Europe1989
The Revolutions of 1989 formed part of a revolutionary wave in the late 1980s and early 1990s that resulted in the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond.wikipedia
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Dissolution of the Soviet Union

fall of the Soviet Unioncollapse of the Soviet Uniondissolution of the USSR
The Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, resulting in eleven new countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan), which had declared their independence from the Soviet Union in the course of the year, while the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) regained their independence in September 1991.
Both the Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the USSR also marked the end of the Cold War.

Leipzig

Leipzig, GermanyLeipsicLipsia
This led to mass demonstrations in cities such as Leipzig and subsequently to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, which served as the symbolic gateway to German reunification in 1990.
Events in Leipzig in 1989 played a significant role in precipitating the fall of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, mainly through demonstrations starting from St. Nicholas Church.

Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

SFR YugoslaviaYugoslaviaFPR Yugoslavia
Albania and Yugoslavia abandoned Communism between 1990 and 1992.
With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, inter-republic talks on transformation of the federation into a confederacy also failed, with the two wealthiest republics (Croatia and Slovenia) seceding.

Breakup of Yugoslavia

dissolution of Yugoslaviabreak-up of Yugoslaviabreakup
By 1992, Yugoslavia had split into five successor states, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was later renamed Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 and eventually split in 2006 into two states, Serbia and Montenegro.
Milošević was met with opposition by party leaders of the western republics of Slovenia and Croatia, who also advocated greater democratisation of the country in line with the Revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe.

Czechoslovakia

CzechoslovakCzechCzechoslovakian
Czechoslovakia dissolved three years after the end of Communist rule, splitting peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992.
In 1989, as Marxist–Leninist governments and socialism were ending all over Europe, Czechoslovaks peacefully deposed their government in the Velvet Revolution; state price controls were removed after a period of preparation.

Politics of Europe

European politicsEuropeanEurope
The European political landscape changed drastically, with several former Eastern Bloc countries joining NATO and the European Union, resulting in stronger economic and social integration with Western Europe and the United States.
Modern European politics is dominated by the European Union, since the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc of Communist states.

Eastern Bloc

Soviet blocCommunist BlocSocialist Bloc
Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country whose citizens overthrew its Communist regime violently.
Unlike previous Soviet leaders in 1953, 1956, and 1968, Gorbachev refused to use force to end the 1989 Revolutions against Marxist–Leninist rule in Eastern Europe.

Iron Curtain

the Iron CurtainSinews of PeaceEastern Europe
Also in June 1989, Hungary began dismantling its section of the physical Iron Curtain, leading to an exodus of East Germans through Hungary, which destabilized East Germany.
The events that demolished the Iron Curtain started with peaceful opposition in Poland, and continued into Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, and Czechoslovakia.

North Macedonia

MacedoniaRepublic of MacedoniaMacedonian
By 1992, Yugoslavia had split into five successor states, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was later renamed Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 and eventually split in 2006 into two states, Serbia and Montenegro.
After the fall of Communism, with the beginning of the breakup of Yugoslavia, this federal entity declared independence and changed its official name to Republic of Macedonia in 1991.

Cold War

The Cold WarCold War eraCold-War
The Cold War saw these states, bound together by the Warsaw Pact, have continuing tensions with the capitalist west, bound together by NATO.
The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989.

Baltic states

BalticBaltic countriesBaltics
The Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, resulting in eleven new countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan), which had declared their independence from the Soviet Union in the course of the year, while the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) regained their independence in September 1991.
Soviet rule ended when the three countries declared the occupation illegal and culminated with the restoration of independence to their pre-war status between 1991 when communism collapsed in Eastern Europe.

Democratic socialism

democratic socialistdemocratic socialistsdemocratic-socialist
Many communist and socialist organisations in the West turned their guiding principles over to social democracy and democratic socialism.
During the late 20th century, these labels were embraced, contested and rejected due to the emergence of developments within the European left such as Eurocommunism, the rise of neoliberalism, the fall of the Soviet Union and Marxist–Leninist governments, the Third Way and the rise of anti-austerity and Occupy movements in the late 2000s and early 2010s due to the global financial crisis of 2007–2008 and the Great Recession.

Lech Wałęsa

Lech WalesaWałęsaGdańsk Shipyard Strike
Labour turmoil in Poland during 1980 led to the formation of the independent trade union Solidarity, led by Lech Wałęsa, which over time became a political force.
His nonviolent struggle eventually brought the end to communist rule in Poland and ushered in the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Civil resistance

nonviolent civil resistanceResist !!resistance
One feature common to most of these developments was the extensive use of campaigns of civil resistance, demonstrating popular opposition to the continuation of one-party rule and contributing to the pressure for change.

NATO

North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationNorth Atlantic Treaty OrganisationNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
The European political landscape changed drastically, with several former Eastern Bloc countries joining NATO and the European Union, resulting in stronger economic and social integration with Western Europe and the United States. The Cold War saw these states, bound together by the Warsaw Pact, have continuing tensions with the capitalist west, bound together by NATO.
The collapse of the Warsaw Pact in 1989–1991 removed the de facto main adversary of NATO and caused a strategic re-evaluation of NATO's purpose, nature, tasks, and focus on the continent of Europe.

Social democracy

social democraticsocial-democraticsocial democrat
Many communist and socialist organisations in the West turned their guiding principles over to social democracy and democratic socialism.
During the late 20th century, these labels were embraced, contested and rejected due to the emergence of developments within the European left such as Eurocommunism, the rise of neoliberalism, the fall of the Soviet Union and Marxist–Leninist governments, the Third Way and the rise of anti-austerity and Occupy movements in the late 2000s and early 2010s due to the global financial crisis of 2007–2008 and the Great Recession.

Communist state

Communist regimecommunist countriescommunist
Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country whose citizens overthrew its Communist regime violently.
In 1989, the Communist states in Eastern Europe collapsed under public pressure during a wave of non-violent movements which led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Slovenia

SloveneSlovenianRepublic of Slovenia
By 1992, Yugoslavia had split into five successor states, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, which was later renamed Serbia and Montenegro in 2003 and eventually split in 2006 into two states, Serbia and Montenegro.
The initial revolutionary events in Slovenia pre-dated the Revolutions of 1989 in Eastern Europe by almost a year, but went largely unnoticed by international observers.

Czechoslovak Socialist Republic

CzechoslovakiaCommunist CzechoslovakiaČSSR
The events of the full-blown revolution began in Poland in 1989 and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania. Believing Gorbachev's reform initiatives would be short-lived, hardline communist rulers like East Germany's Erich Honecker, Bulgaria's Todor Zhivkov, Czechoslovakia's Gustáv Husák and Romania's Nicolae Ceauşescu obstinately ignored the calls for change.
The traditional name Československá republika (Czechoslovak Republic) was changed on 11 July 1960 following implementation of the 1960 Constitution of Czechoslovakia as a symbol of the "final victory of socialism" in the country, and remained so until the Velvet Revolution in November 1989.

German reunification

reunification of Germanyreunificationreunified
This led to mass demonstrations in cities such as Leipzig and subsequently to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, which served as the symbolic gateway to German reunification in 1990.
Further inspired by other images of brave defiance, a wave of revolutions swept throughout the Eastern Bloc that year.

European Union

EUEuropeanEurope
The European political landscape changed drastically, with several former Eastern Bloc countries joining NATO and the European Union, resulting in stronger economic and social integration with Western Europe and the United States.
In 1990, after the fall of the Eastern Bloc, the former East Germany became part of the Communities as part of a reunified Germany.

Mikhail Gorbachev

GorbachevMikhail S. GorbachevMikhail Gorbachov
Although several Eastern Bloc countries had attempted some abortive, limited economic and political reform since the 1950s (e.g. the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and Prague Spring of 1968), the ascension of reform-minded Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985 signaled the trend toward greater liberalization.
The recipient of a wide range of awards—including the Nobel Peace Prize—he was widely praised for his pivotal role in ending the Cold War, curtailing human rights abuses in the Soviet Union, and tolerating both the fall of Marxist–Leninist administrations in eastern and central Europe and the reunification of Germany.

Nicolae Ceaușescu

Nicolae CeauşescuCeauşescuCeaușescu
Believing Gorbachev's reform initiatives would be short-lived, hardline communist rulers like East Germany's Erich Honecker, Bulgaria's Todor Zhivkov, Czechoslovakia's Gustáv Husák and Romania's Nicolae Ceauşescu obstinately ignored the calls for change.
The demonstrations, which reached Bucharest, became known as the Romanian Revolution—the only violent overthrow of a communist government in the turn of the Revolutions of 1989.

History of Solidarity

SolidarityGdańsk Shipyard Strikerise of Solidarity
Over the next few days, sixteen other mines went on strike followed by a number of shipyards, including on 22 August the Gdansk Shipyard, famous as the epicentre of the 1980 industrial unrest that spawned Solidarity.
It is considered to have contributed greatly to the fall of communism.

Socialist Republic of Romania

communist regimeRomaniaCommunist Romania
The events of the full-blown revolution began in Poland in 1989 and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania. Believing Gorbachev's reform initiatives would be short-lived, hardline communist rulers like East Germany's Erich Honecker, Bulgaria's Todor Zhivkov, Czechoslovakia's Gustáv Husák and Romania's Nicolae Ceauşescu obstinately ignored the calls for change.
However, rapid economic growth fueled in part by foreign credits gradually gave way to an austerity and political repression that led to the fall of his totalitarian government in December 1989.