The state of the economy dominated Gorbachev’s early reform programme. Before 1985, there appeared to be no threat to the system of one-party rule which had served the leadership well since Lenin’s time, there was no reason to suppose that national relations were anything but harmonious, and the Soviet Union even appeared to be living in a stable international environment in spite of the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan and the more aggressive attitude of Ronald Reagan’s administration in the USA. But as shown in Chapter 3, the economy was giving increasing cause for concern. It was only after the failure of his early attempts to revive the economy that Gorbachev understood the links between economic performance and deeper social and political factors, leading him to consider more radical changes which, to his dismay, not only upset irretrievably the apparent stability he had inherited, but also precipitated a far more rapid downward spiral in the economy.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Economic Reforms
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number