How far was political change the most the most significant development in Russia in the period 1880-1989?
During the period 1880-1989, right from Alexander III’s reign to the collapse of the Soviet Union under Gorbachev political change was very significant in Russia. However despite the importance of the political change that occurred during the period, more significant develops occurred elsewhere which overshadowed this.
The importance of political change was significant right throughout the period with the counter reforms of Tsar Alexander III and Tsar Nicholas II fuelling the social unrest in the late 19th and early 20th Century which eventually led to the 1917 Revolution in February and October. The political purges of the Stalinist period eventually led to the attempted raising of living standards and the move away from state terror during de-Stalinisation under Khrushchev. The Thaw also under the leadership of Khrushchev aimed to give more political freedoms to the people of Soviet Russia and also saw the release of many of the political prisoners who Stalin during Stalin’s terror. The final major political developments in Russia were Glasnost and Perestroika under Gorbachev which granted further political freedoms such as the freedom of the press as well as introducing democracy into the eastern bloc and the Soviet Union which led to the eventual breakup of the Soviet Union.
However the most important development during Russia in the period, even more important than political change, was the economic change that occurred in the period 1890-1989. The economy was used for a variety of reasons by different leaders in order to achieve different objectives in the nation. The Provisional Government in 1917 and Lenin from 1917 to 1924 used the economic developments of the country in order to ensure the survival or their respective regimes. Both Kerensky and Lenin attempted to keep promises made to the working classes before the Revolutions such as Lenin’s...