End of Bipolarity- Disintegration of the Soviet Union: NBSE Class 12 notes

End of Bipolarity Disintegration of the Soviet Union nbse 12
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Get summary, textual answers, solutions, notes, extras, PDF to NBSE Class 12 (Arts) Political Science Chapter 10 End of Bipolarity: Disintegration of the Soviet Union. However, the educational materials should only be used for reference and students are encouraged to make necessary changes.

Introduction

The chapter “End of Bipolarity: Disintegration of the Soviet Union” discusses the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the emergence of new states, and the implementation of shock therapy in Russia. It begins by detailing the independence movements in the Baltic Republics of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, and the subsequent dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The chapter then transitions to the emergence of new states post-Soviet Union, including the Baltic republics, Central Asian countries, and the split of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It also covers the civil war in Yugoslavia and the formation of Serbia and Montenegro as independent states.

It further delves into the economic and political chaos in Russia following the Soviet Union’s disintegration. It describes the implementation of shock therapy, a drastic shift from a socialist to a capitalist economy, which led to an economic crisis, high inflation, bankruptcy, and increased economic inequalities. Despite these challenges, the chapter highlights the election of Vladimir Putin as President in 2000, who managed to stabilize the Russian economy and political system.

It discusses the relevance of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in the current geopolitical context. It argues that despite the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, NAM remains relevant as it advocates for the interests of poor and small countries, fights against neo-colonialism, and promotes democracy and human rights.

Textual questions and answers

Long answer questions

1. Examine any six factors that led to the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Answer: The six factors that led to the disintegration of the Soviet Union are:

Negation of Political Democracy: After the death of Lenin in 1924, Stalin established himself as an absolute dictator. The Parliament of the Soviet Union (Duma) had been reduced to a mere rubber-stamp for giving approval to his decisions. The government exercised strict control over newspapers, radio, and other means of communication. Under the Communist regime, there was absolutely no scope for freedom of thought and expression. The Communist Party that had ruled the nation for more than 70 years could not be held accountable for its actions. The dictatorial character of the regime caused restlessness in the country.

Economic Failures: Because of the emphasis on heavy industries, the Soviet economy failed to meet the expectations of the people, especially in terms of food-production and consumer goods. People’s standard of living was far below in comparison to that of the advanced countries in the West. The management and control of agriculture and industry were in the hands of State officials. The food situation went from bad to worse.

Militarism: To make itself militarily strong, the Soviet Union spent a large portion of its resources on the manufacture of weapons. Soviet leaders forgot that they did not have as many resources as the USA or other Western Nations possessed. Because of militarization, a great shortage in respect of things of basic necessities occurred.

Gorbachev’s Policies: In 1985 Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party and in 1988 he became President of the country. He wanted to reform the Soviet system through the policies of Glasnost and Perestroika. Glasnost means “openness, i.e., freedom of expression and criticism”. Perestroika means “restructuring, i.e., all matters should be resolved by people’s representatives.” When Gorbachev pursued a policy of ‘perestroika’ the corrupt officials opposed it. They wanted to run the economic and political system in the way they had been doing in the past. They all tried to weaken Gorbachev’s authority, though he was pursuing the correct policies.

Fall of Communist Regimes in East European Countries: Gorbachev had withdrawn the Soviet forces from the East European countries. He also took the decision to end the Warsaw Pact. This culminated in lessening the hold of the Soviet Union over the East European countries (Poland, Hungary, Romania, etc). In all these countries a wind of change was blowing. Earlier in 1989 the Berlin Wall (constructed in 1961 to prevent people getting into or out of East Germany) was pulled down. Finally, the Communist governments in East Europe fell. This hastened the break-up of the Soviet Union.

National Aspirations of the Union Republics: The national aspirations of the Soviet Republics also led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. First of all, the three Baltic Republics (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) demonstrated their anger. These Republics declared their Independence between 1988-1990. Their allegation was that in 1940 Stalin after entering into a secret Pact with the German dictator Hitler had merged these states into the Soviet Union. In 1991 Georgia too declared itself independent. Besides the three Baltic States and Georgia, nationalist aspirations in Armenia and Moldavia also had soared high. Their nationalistic passions sounded the death knell ofthe Soviet Union.

2. Describe as to how new countries did emerge in Post-Cold War era.

Answer: The emergence of new countries in the Post-Cold War era occurred as follows:

The Baltic republics of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia: These were the first to declare their Independence. In December 1991, the Soviet Republics of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus also cancelled the 1922 Treaty that led to the formation of USSR. The other Republics to declare their Independence were Georgia, Armenia, and Moldavia. All these countries had their own national aspirations. They, therefore, became members of the United Nations. This led to an increase in the number of members of this world body. These new States had apprehension that Russia might again occupy and seize control of them. Therefore, they found it to be in their interest to join NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation).

The Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan: These countries took a middle course. In addition to establishing good relations with the USA and the Western nations, they continued to have a close relationship with Russia also.

Czechoslovakia: In 1992, the Czechoslovak Republic was dissolved and the two independent republics of Czech and Slovakia were born on 1 January 1993.

Yugoslavia: In 1990, a Civil War broke out in Yugoslavia. The racial religious conflicts presented a horrible scenario. Yugoslavia’s various provinces like Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia declared their Independence. Consequently, in 1991 the UNO terminated Yugoslavia’s membership and directed the various regions to apply afresh for UN membership. In 2003, the country called Yugoslavia ceased to exist. In its place, a new federation called ‘Serbia and Montenegro’ emerged. In 2006, Montenegro seceded from Serbia. Thus two independent states came into being, one called Serbia and another named as Montenegro.

Russia’s regions of Chechnya and Dagestan: After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, these regions also faced a terrible situation. In Chechnya, the Civil War had started in the year 1994. Russian forces bombarded guerrilla-controlled areas. Russia had to face conflict in Dagestan also. But the government effectively suppressed the revolt in that region.

3. What were the consequences of Shock Therapy after the end of the Communist rule in Russia?

Answer: The consequences of Shock Therapy after the end of the Communist rule in Russia were as follows:

Economic Crisis: The transformation of ‘Collective Agricultural Farms’ into ‘Private Farms’ and bringing State industry under ‘Private Sector’ was not an easy one. It was because of this that Boris Yeltsin’s years in office turned out to be the period of economic crisis. The friends and relatives of President Yeltsin and other high officials bought industrial units and agricultural farms dirt cheap. This was called “the largest garage sale” in the history of the world.

A High Rate of Inflation and a Condition of Bankruptcy: In Russia, there were not enough persons who could efficiently run ‘Private Companies’. This resulted in an unusual increase in ‘inflation’ and the value of ‘Rouble’ (unit of money in Russia) came down to a considerably low level. During the period between 1992 and 2000, Russia’s foreign debt had risen to the tune of 160 billion dollars. The country was facing bankruptcy. Because of non-payment of salaries to doctors and government employees on time, a series of demonstrations were staged throughout the nation.

Collapse of Social Welfare Schemes: The Soviet Union was the first-ever country where the citizens had the Right to Work. They were also getting State assistance in the event of old age and illness. Free medical treatment and medicare facilities were available to the poor and the needy. But now poverty increased and health services were almost paralyzed.

Economic Inequalities: With the privatization of agriculture and industries, economic inequalities also increased. The new economic order divided Russia between ‘the haves’ and ‘the have-nots’.

Political Crisis: Democratic institutions grow slowly. The Constitutions of Russia and newly independent Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and others) had been framed in a hurry. In all these countries, the Executive (President) was made much stronger than the Legislature.)

4. What is the relevance of the Non-Aligned Movement after the end of the Cold War?
Or
The usefulness and effectiveness of the Non-Aligned Movement continued. Comment on this statement.

Answer: The relevance of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) after the end of the Cold War is as follows:

Identity of Poor and Small Countries: The spirit of the Non-aligned Movement is that the poor and small countries of the world should not lose their sense of identity. They should be free to take decisions that affect their interests without being under pressure from even a Super Power like the USA.

Core Issues: The core issues like Neo-colonialism in the form of pressure from Multinational Companies, democracy, and human rights are as relevant today as ever.

International Terrorism: It is time that NAM countries agree on a comprehensive plan to crush International Terrorism.

Shift from Political to Economic Matters: With the relaxation of the Cold War, the NAM leaders did rightly shift their emphasis from political to economic matters. They stressed the importance of a New International Economic Order (NIEO). The developed countries of the world have established their hold over International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the World Trade Organisation. It is therefore, necessary that there existed a forum where there is discussion on such matters as democratizing the World Bank, trade and investment, and fighting poverty and hunger which caused suffering and death.

Reshaping the UN Security Council: The NAM has now seriously taken the question of reshaping the UN Security Council, in order to make it a more democratic and a more representative body.

Turbulent Times: We have had a turbulent time because of the emergence of Talibans in Afghanistan and ISIS threatening the sovereignty of Iraq and other nations. Talibans are still effective and powerful. For a safer world, we have to defeat ISIS completely. That shows there is still the space for members of the Non-Aligned Movement, especially for countries such as India.

B. Short answer questions

5. How far Gorbachev’s policies responsible for the disintegration of the Soviet Union?

Answer: In 1985 Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the Communist Party and in 1988 he became President of the country. He wanted to reform the Soviet system through the policies of Glasnost and Perestroika. Glasnost means “openness, i.e., freedom of expression and criticism”. Perestroika means “restructuring, i.e., all matters should be resolved by people’s representatives.” When Gorbachev pursued a policy of ‘perestroika’ the corrupt officials opposed it. They wanted to run the economic and political system in the way they had been doing in the past. They all tried to weaken Gorbachev’s authority, though he was pursuing the correct policies. He attempted to set right the system and country’s political and economic structure, but the officials of the Communist Party of Soviet Union (CPSU) did not want him to succeed.

6. What was Shock Therapy after the end of the Communist rule in Russia?

Answer: Russia was to be transformed economically and politically. This transformation caused a great upheaval. Therefore, it was called ‘Shock Therapy’. It led to an (1) economic crisis, (ii) high rate of inflation (iii) Social Security system (free medical aid and relief in the event of unemployment, old age, etc.) fell to pieces. (iv) economic inequalities, and (v) Political Crisis. In 1999 Yeltsin resigned from his office. Vladimir Putin became the Acting President. There was a state of conflict and tension in Chechnya and other regions (Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia).

7. There are writers who argued against the relevance of Non-Aligned Movement. What did they say?

Answer: There are writers and statesmen who say that NAM has no relevance now because (a) Cold War ended, (b) with the disintegration of the Soviet Union bipolarity has also come to an end, (c) the process of decolonisation is over because all former colonies or less powerful nations have gained Independence, (d) the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe also ended, and (e) there is a growing trend towards Peaceful Coexistence and economic cooperation among nations.

C. Very short answer questions

8. Name any two Baltic Republics that first declared their Independence.

Answer: The Baltic republics of Lithuania and Estonia were among the first to declare their independence.

9. Name any two new countries that appeared on map of the world after Yugoslavia’s break up.

Answer: Two new countries that appeared on the map of the world after Yugoslavia’s break up were Serbia and Montenegro.

D. Multiple Choice Questions: Tick (✓) the correct answer

10. Which of the following Years saw the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Answer: (d) 1991

11. Which Year saw Vladimir Putin being duly elected President of Russia for the first time?Answer:

(c) 2000

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Extra/additional MCQs

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