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The Collapse of the Soviet Union Essay

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Updated: Apr 20th, 2021

“In December 1991, the Soviet Union fragmented into fifteen separate states, which led to its collapse” (The Cold War Museum, 2009, p. 1). The collapse of the Soviet Union ushered in a regime characterized by freedom and democracy. A number of the Western states hailed the disintegration of the Soviet Union because it was an indication that capitalism was superior to communism (The Cold War Museum, 2009). The fall of the Soviet Union marked the end of the Cold War. Several theories have been advanced to explain the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some of the theories include imperial overstretch, defective system, and the bungled reform (Roskin & Berry, 2010).

The defective system theory is one of the major theories that have been used to explain the fall of the Soviet Union. The theory was derived from the state’s internal policy. It mainly emerged because of the state’s internal weaknesses. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was characterized by severe economic and political stagnation. It is economic planning largely failed to meet the needs of its citizens (Roskin & Berry, 2010).

The Soviet Union had majorly focused on financing its arms race agenda. Consequently, this negatively affected its development plan. Moreover, its central planning system inhibited the development of a vibrant, advanced, and complex economy, which would have propelled economic development (Roskin & Berry, 2010). Additionally, a number of its citizens were hesitant to work without incentives. On the other hand, the citizens of the Soviet Union lacked political freedom. This led to the growth of discontentment among the people. Thus, those who were opposed to the communist regime resorted to revolts against the government after the introduction of freedom of expression.

The three theories provide meaningful explanations about the collapse of the Soviet Union. For instance, they address both internal and external factors that contributed to its collapse. However, they are inadequate on their own. Thus, one has to use both theories to provide a comprehensive explanation of the collapse of the Soviet Union. For instance, the state’s defective system facilitated the formulation of various reforms, which were unsuccessful (Steele, 2011). Moreover, the Soviet Union had expanded enormously; hence, could not be administered easily. The vastness of the Soviet Union made it easier for the smaller states at its periphery to disintegrate into separate smaller states (The Cold War Museum, 2009).

According to the author of the post, the defective system theory mainly contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union. For instance, the author of the post has argued that communism had several internal weaknesses that led to its collapse. The author’s argument is correct because the Soviet Union witnessed rapid industrial growth at its inception (Roskin & Berry, 2010). However, the state was characterized by central planning, which inhibited the advancement of its industries.

Consequently, this led to economic stagnation, which facilitated its collapse. Additionally, the author of the post has attributed the defective system theory to the state’s internal policy. This argument is true because the state’s internal weaknesses mainly led to its fall. For instance, its economic and political policies did not adequately address the needs of the citizens. Therefore, attempts to reform the communist party and its ideals were unsuccessful (Steele, 2011).

Expansion about Maryland State

Several expansionist tendencies were majorly witnessed in the nineteenth century. During this period, most European countries were motivated to acquire new lands for varied reasons. The United States of America was one of the British colonies. However, after it declared independence, it gained the freedom to administer its affairs. Currently, the United States of America is administered through the federal government as well as states’ governments. Thus, the inefficiencies that characterized the administration of the Soviet Union because of massive expansion do not apply to the various states in America such as Maryland.

The Soviet Union majorly failed to administer its periphery states effectively because it relied on central planning and administration. Consequently, this provided a leeway for the periphery states to disintegrate from the central government. On the other hand, Maryland has its government, which administers it. For instance, it has a legislature and different departments that are responsible for the daily administration of the entire state.

This has ensured that citizens’ needs are realized; thus, limiting any form of disintegration from the federal government. However, Maryland’s population is racially diverse. Thus, equal representation of all races in government offices has not been fully realized. The Whites have continued to dominate most government offices. For instance, only a small proportion of other races such as Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics are usually elected to the state government. Despite its diversity, the government of Maryland has been able to provide the necessary services to its residents. Furthermore, the state’s autonomy in its affairs has helped to promote effectiveness and efficiency compared to the Soviet Union.

References

Roskin, M. G., & Berry, N. O. (2010). IR: The New World of International Relations. Boston: Pearson Education.

Steele, J. (2011). Mikhail Gorbachev: I Should Have Abandoned the Communist Party Earlier. Web.

The Cold War Museum. (2009). Fall of the Soviet Union. Web.

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