1 Answer | Add Yours
The revolutions of 1989 certainly did have something to do with the collapse of communism in Europe. It was these revolutions that led ot the end of communism in countries like Poland where the revolutions happened. However, it is not really possible to say that those revolutions themselves caused communism to collapse. Instead, the revolutions and the collapse of communism were one and the same thing.
This is why, for example, we see the following line about the Polish revolution in the link below:
In early 1989, as part of perestroika, Polish leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski (1923–) invited Solidarity, the popular workers' union, to become part of a coalition, or combination, government still to be led by the Communist Party.
The important phrase here is "as part of perestroika." This shows that the beginning of Poland's revolution were caused by Gorbachev's perestroika movement. Later on, the link tells us that
Rather than sending in Soviet forces to restore the Communist Party to power as past Soviet leaders would have done, Gorbachev encouraged the Polish Communist Party to support the new government. Gorbachev realized that the use of force would likely trigger riots and jeopardize the Soviet Union's chances of getting much-needed economic aid from the West.
Once again, we see the centrality of Gorbachev. It was his decision to allow the revolution to continue that really sealed the collapse of communism.
Therefore, we have to say that it was Gorbachev's policies that led to the collapse of communism. The revolutions were just the mechanism by which communism collapsed, not the cause of its collapse.
We’ve answered 319,199 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question