Which among the following statements describing the nature of Soviet economy is not correct ?
- Socialism was the dominant ideology.
- State ownership/control existed over the
- People enjoyed economic freedom.
- Every aspect of the economy was planned and controlled by the State.
(iii) People enjoyed economic freedom.
Arrange the following in chronological order :
- Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
- Fall of the Berlin Wall
- Disintegration of the Soviet Union
- Russian Revolution.
- Russian Revolution
- Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
- Fall of the Berlin Wall
- Disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Which among the following is NOT an outcome of the disintegration of the USSR ?
- End of the ideological war between the U.S and USSR
- Birth of CIS
- Change in the balance of power in the world order
- Crises in the Middle East.
(iv) Crises in the Middle East.
Match the following
- Mikhail Gorbachev
- Shock Therapy
- Boris Yeltsin
1. (c) 2. (d) 3. (a) 4. (b)
The Soviet political system was based on ............. ideology.
................was the military alliance started by the USSR
............... party dominated the Soviet Union’s political system.
.............. initiated reforms in the USSR in 1985.
The fall of the ............. symbolised the end of the Cold War.
Mention any three features that distinguish the Soviet economy from that of a capitalist country like the USA.
Soviet economy was basically different from
American economy in the following ways :
- The Soviet economy was opposed to capitalism because the essence of capitalism is the concentration of economic power in the hands of a few and the consequent exploitation of the rest. But American economy is based on capitalism. USA is the biggest capitalist country in the world.
- Soviet economy was fully controlled by the state. In USSR all means of production were owned
and controlled by the state. Soviet system of economy was based on planned economy. The economy was managed on the basis of state plans for economic and social development.
There was integrated planning for the whole country. Industries, Banks, financial institutions, trade and commerce and even farming was controlled by the state. In USSR there was no private industry. But in USA means of production are mostly in private hands. It is a free economy, and economy of USA is controlled and guided by market forces.
- In Soviet economy there was no existence of private property and no multimillionaires. However, in USSR the citizens were allowed to own small houses for living and small shops for earnings. Private ownership and private property is the basic element of the American economy.
What were the factors that forced Gorbachev to initiate the reforms in the USSR?
Explain any six factors that forced Gorbachev to initiate reform in the Soviet Union.
Mikhail Gorbachev became the General Secretary of the Communist Party of USSR in 1985. He introduced political and economic reforms in the political and economic system of Soviet Union. The following factors forced Gorbachev to initiate the reforms in USSR :
- The Soviet Union became a great power after the Second World War. In the arms race, the Soviet Union managed to match the American Bloc but at great cost. To maintain the position of super power, USSR required a lot of expenditure to keep big forces and giving financial and military aid to allies. But the economy of USSR was not sound. The Soviet Economy was at very low level in 1980 and became stagnant.
- The Soviet Union lagged behind the West in technology, infrastructure, etc.
- The Soviet System was very bureaucratic and authoritarian, and citizens were not happy with the political system. Absence of freedom of speech and political rights created frustration among the people.
- The Communist Party controlled the government and all institutions and was not responsible to the people. There was no opposition party, nor were there any democratic values.
- The Soviet Union failed in fulfilling the political and economic aspiration of the citizens.
- Invasion of Afghanistan weakened the Soviet Union economically and politically.
What were the major consequences of the disintegration of the Soviet Union for countries like India ?
In what three ways did the collapse of the Soviet Union affect world politics? Explain.
Critically examine the consequences of disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Highlight any three major consequences of the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Disintegration of USSR had profound consequences on world politics. Main consequences of disintegration of USSR are the following :
- End of Cold War. Major consequence of disintegration of Soviet Union was the end of Cold War. It ended the atmosphere of fear, terror, insecurity and apprehension of the outbreak of nuclear war.
- End of Bipolarity and Emergence of Unipolarity. The disintegration of Soviet Union ended Bipolarity of world politics and there emerged Unipolarity in world politics. The USA became the sole super power and no other country was in position to challenge the supremacy of USA Even the United Nations is dominated by USA and generally decisions are taken in the United Nations according to the whims of the US.
- End of Arms Race. Another consequence of the disintegration of Soviet Union was the end of Arms Race. Elimination of Soviet bloc also put restrictions on military alliances and encouraged disarmament.
- Superiority of Democracy and Capitalist System. Disintegration of Soviet Union ended the controversy of superiority between capitalist system and socialist system. Disintegration of Soviet Union established the superiority of capitalist system and open market. Majority of the Union Republics of Soviet Union who became independent countries had adopted democratic and capitalist system. Even China has adopted many principles of private economy and capitalist system. Following USSR India adopted planned economy in the beginning. But since 1990 policy of liberalisation has been followed in India. Supported by the US the capitalist economy has now become a dominant economic system internationally. The importance of World Bank and International Monetary Fund has increased because they give loans to these countries.
- Emergence of Many New Countries. Disintegration of Soviet Union means emergence of many new independent countries. All the 15 Union Republics of USSR have become independent states. Each country has its own political aspirations. Some of them, especially the Baltic and East European States, wanted to join the European Union and become members of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The Central Asian countries were interested in taking advantage of their geographical location and thus these countries wanted close relations with Russia, USA, China and others. Thus many new players (states) entered international politics with independent identity.
What was Shock Therapy ? Was this the best way to make a transition from Communism to Capitalism ?
What is meant by ‘Shock Therapy’ ? Explain any four consequences of shock Therapy.
With the disintegration of Soviet Union there was collapse of Communism. After the collapse of Communism the process of change in these countries started from an authoritarian socialist system to democratic capitalist system. The model of transition in Russia, Central Asia and East Europe that was influenced by World Bank and the International Monetary Fund came to be known as ‘Shock Therapy’. Though the ‘Shock Therapy’ differs in intensity and speed amongst former Communist countries, its direction and features were quite common. Each of these countries was required to make a complete shift from socialist system to capitalist economy. In this system, private property and private ownership was the dominant concept. In place of collective farming private farming and ownership was to be adopted immediately. These countries were required to break all trade alliances with the countries of Soviet bloc. Free trade and open competition was to be followed by these countries for development. In simple words, these countries were required to follow economic and political system of Western countries. These countries were not allowed to follow mixed economy. They had to follow Western capitalist system completely. The Western countries now became their leaders, guided and controlled the economy of these countries through various agencies and institutions.
Was this the best way to make a transition from Communism to Capitalism ? This was definitely not the best way to make a transition from Communism to Capitalism. It did not lead the people into the promised utopia of mass consumption. In these countries change from state ownership to private ownership brought the industries to stand still for the time being and production. There was great shortage of consumer goods. Even daily necessities were not available. Black marketers and stockists took full advantage of the situation. Prices were very high and it was beyond the reach of the masses. Almost all these countries faced the problems of poverty, unemployment and miserable condition. Politically also people were not any better off. Different political systems were adopted by these countries but their constitutions were drafted in a hurry. The presidents of these countries were given extraordinary powers. In many countries democratic set up was changed into authoritarian system. In majority of these countries judiciary was not independent to protect the rights and liberties of the citizens. Thus, we can conclude that this was not the best way to make a transition from Communism to Capitalism.
Most of the Communist countries changed from authoritarian system to democratic capitalist system. The process of transition from authoritarian socialist system to democratic capitalist system is called Shock Therapy. Following were the main features of Shock Therapy:
- Each of these countries had to make a total change from socialist economy to capitalist economy.
- Each of these countries had to adopt private ownership as a dominant pattern of ownership of property.
- All these countries had to privatise all state assets and establish corporate ownership patterns.
- Collective farming was replaced by capitalist (private) farming.
Write an essay for or against the following proposition : “With the disintegration of the second world, India should change its foreign policy and focus more on friendship with the U.S. rather than with traditional friends like Russia.”
After the disintegration of Soviet Union
(Second World) many scholars and statesmen were of
the view that India should change its foreign policy
and focus more on friendship with the U.S. rather
than with traditional friends like Russia.
Arguments in Favour :
- India and USA are two big democratic countries of the world. Democratic system in both the countries is working successfully. Both India and America respect human rights, liberty, equality, justice and peace. Both are committed to the cause of world peace.
- When China attacked India on 20 Oct 1962, America helped India by supplying latest arms.
- The leaders of both the countries have been visiting each other’s country time to time. With these visits relations between the two countries have improved.
- Tarapur atomic power plant has been set up with the help of USA
- After the Cold War America and India adopted the policy of making good relationship in the field of economic, political and strategic military spheres.
- Both India and America have firm faith in the notion of world peace and they stand against terrorism. After the terrorist attack on America, America has joined India in her fight against terrorism.
- USA extended full support to India in Economic reforms.
- In January 2004 taking a step ahead towards cooperation, India and U.S. agreed to increase cooperation in three issues—Civilian nuclear programme, Civilian space programmes and high technology.
- In July 2005 India and USA signed 10 years defence agreement.
- United States agreed to the nuclear deal with India because both sides stood to benefit from it.
- USA and India signed Nuclear Pact in 2006.
Arguments Against :
- USA’s attitude on POK was never appreciated by India. In the United Nations America fully supported Pakistan.
- On Bangladesh issue America supported Pakistan. On 9 August 1971 America presented anti-India resolution before the Security Council during Indo-Pak war but Russia exercised Veto power.
- When America sent its Seventh Fleet in the Bay of Bengal to pressurise India, it was Russia who warned America by declaring that it would not tolerate any action against India.
- When India conducted five nuclear tests at Pokhran in 1998, the American President Clinton ordered tough sanctions against India in retaliation for its underground nuclear tests. It was in 2001 that President Bush lifted sanctions imposed on India.
- America is constantly pressing India to sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty but India is not ready to sign these treaties.
Conclusion. We can safely conclude that India should have close and cordial relations with USA but not at the cost of Russia. Russia has always helped India in the hours of need.