Which Was the Most Important Reason for the Collapse of Soviet Power in Eastern Europe?

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The final stage of the Cold War began with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and President Reagan’s reference to the Soviet Union as “that evil empire”. Then, at the end of the 1980’s, the USSR started to lose control of its satellite countries due to factors such as Solidarity in Poland, where they wanted greater freedom. The strikes brought the country to a halt and even Gorbachev was encouraging greater freedoms in the USSR and satellite countries. By nineteen ninety one, the USSR had disintegrated and the Cold War suddenly ended. Reagan played an influential part of the Soviet Union’s deterioration, increasing the USA defence spending and challenging the already crumbling USSR to do the same. This worsened the USSR’s situation because not only was their military substantially weakened; their economy was virtually corrupt as well. Solidarity was the most important reason for the collapse of Soviet power in Eastern Europe because once Poland demanded more freedom, other countries followed suit and more and more countries slipped from within Soviet control. After the nineteen eighty protest over high fuel prices and food shortages, Lech Walesa founded Solidarity, the first free trade union within Communist Eastern Europe. This was very important because previously Communism ruled, but in nineteen eighty nine, Solidarity formed a coalition with two other parties and won a majority of votes in the Sejm. Therefore, a new government which included Solidarity MP’s was appointed and the new president was non-communist. Similar events followed in the hope of overturning the Soviet Union and their Communist regime: the Berlin Wall was pulled down in Germany, free elections were held in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and the Baltic States declared themselves independent. The Soviet power proved they were crumbling because they had neither the will nor the power to put down demonstrations or prevent changes in these nations’ systems of government....
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