Mikhail Gorbachev’s policy known as glasnost,
or openness, encouraged a free flow of ideas
and information. Churches were allowed to
open. Dissidents were released from prison.
The policy allowed the publication of books by
previously banned authors.
I. The Soviet System Under Stress
(pages 616–617)
A. In 1964, Nikita Khrushchev was
removed from office. Alexei Kosygin and
Leonid Brezhnev replaced him. During the
1970s, Brezhnev became the main Soviet
leader. He wanted to keep Eastern Europe
as Communist states. He issued the
Brezhnev Doctrine which asserted that the
Soviet Union had the right to intervene if
communism was threatened in another
Communist state.
I. The Soviet System Under Stress
(pages 616–617)
B. Brezhnev benefited from détente,
a relaxation of tension and improved relations
between the USSR and the U.S. Under
Brezhnev, the Soviet Union was allowed more
access to Western culture. Dissidents—
people who spoke out against the regime—
were still punished.
I. The Soviet System Under Stress
(pages 616–617)
C. The Soviet Union’s economy
continued to emphasize heavy industry. The
Soviet economy was weakened by a
government bureaucracy that discouraged
efficiency and encouraged indifference.
Collective farmers had no incentive to work
hard in the collective work brigades.
I. The Soviet System Under Stress
(pages 616–617)
D. In 1979, détente suffered when the
Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. President
Carter countered this act of expansion by
boycotting the 1980 Moscow Olympics and
placing an embargo on the shipment of
American grain to the Soviets.
E. Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union
an “evil empire.” He stimulated a new
arms race with the Soviets and backed
Afghani rebels.
II. Gorbachev and Soviet Reform (pages 617–619)
A. In 1985 the Communist Party chose
Mikhail Gorbachev, a reformist, to be the
new leader. The basis of his reforms was
perestroika, or restructuring.
Mikhail Gorbachev
II. Gorbachev and Soviet Reform (pages 617–619)
B. Gorbachev wanted to start by restructuring
economic policy, specifically having limited
free enterprise. To meet his goals, he
established the Congress of People’s
Deputies—a Soviet parliament with elected
leaders—which met in 1989. He also
established a new state presidency and
became the first—and last—Soviet president.
C. Gorbachev’s “New Thinking” led to stunning
changes, including the end of the Cold War.
II. Gorbachev and Soviet Reform (pages 617–619)
D. One change was the INF Treaty, signed in
1987. This treaty slowed down the arms race,
freeing funds for social and economic
programs in the Soviet Union and reducing
the debt in the U.S.
E. When Gorbachev stopped giving military
support to Communist governments in
Eastern Europe, those regimes began to be
overthrown. In 1989, a mostly peaceful
revolutionary movement swept through
Eastern Europe.
II. Gorbachev and Soviet Reform (pages 617–619)
F. Germany was reunified in October 1990 and
became a powerful symbol of the end of the
Cold War. In 1991, the Soviet Union was
II. Gorbachev and Soviet Reform (pages 617–619)
G. The Soviet Union included 92 nationalities
and 112 different languages. The
Communist Party had kept tensions
between them contained, but Gorbachev’s
reforms unleashed nationalist movements
calling for independence for the republics
that made up the Soviet Union.
Conservative leaders arrested Gorbachev in
August 1991 and tried to seize power, but
the president of the Russian Republic—
Boris Yeltsin—and thousands of Russians
resisted the rebel forces.
II. Gorbachev and Soviet Reform (pages 617–619)
H. Ukraine and Belarus joined Russia in
declaring that the Soviet Union had “ceased
to exist.” Gorbachev resigned on December
25, 1991, and Boris Yeltsin became the new
Russian president.
I. Yeltsin wanted a free market economy but
faced economic and social disorder made
worse by organized crime and Chechnya’s
push for independence.
II. Gorbachev and Soviet Reform (pages 617–619)
J. In 1999, Yeltsin resigned. Vladimir Putin was
elected president in 2000. In fall 2004, he
proposed that regional leaders be appointed
rather than popularly elected.
Vladimir Putin
II. Gorbachev and Soviet Reform (pages 617–619)
K. Putin took a hard-line policy in Chechnya,
vowing to return the largely Muslim state to
Russian authority. Fighting grew more
intense. In September 2004, rebels from
Chechnya seized a school and held hundreds
hostage. When Russian troops attempted to
end the siege, the fighting between rebels and
troops led to the deaths of more than 300
people, most of them schoolchildren. Many
critics question Putin’s hard-line stance on
this issue.
When the people of Poland voted against
communism and for Solidarity candidates, it
was the first time a nation had turned a
Communist regime out of office peacefully.
I. Revolutions in Eastern Europe (pages 621–622)
A. Workers’ protests led to demands for change
in Poland. In 1980, Lech Walesa organized a
national trade union in Poland known as
Solidarity. In 1988, the Polish regime agreed
to free parliamentary elections—the first free
election in Eastern Europe in 40 years. In
1990, Walesa was elected president of
Poland. Poland’s rapid free-market reforms
led to severe unemployment and discontent.
Today Poland’s free-market economy is
becoming increasingly prosperous.
I. Revolutions in Eastern Europe (pages 621–622)
B. In 1968, Soviet troops crushed the reform
movement in Czechoslovakia. In 1988 and
1989, mass demonstrations throughout
Czechoslovakia led to the collapse of the
Communist government. In December 1989,
Václav Havel, a dissident against the
Communist government, became president.
In 1993 ethnic conflicts between Czechs and
Slovaks led to the peaceful division of
Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and
I. Revolutions in Eastern Europe (pages 621–622)
C. In 1965, Communist leader Nicolae
Ceauşescu and his wife Elena led a
dictatorial regime in Romania. His actions
angered Romanian people. The army
refused to support his repressive regime
and, in December 1989, Ceauşescu and
his wife were executed. A new government
was formed.
I. Revolutions in Eastern Europe (pages 621–622)
D. In 1988 unrest led many East Germans to flee
their Communist country. In 1989, mass
demonstrations against the Communist
regime broke out. By November, the
Communist government tore down the Berlin
Wall and opened its border with the West.
Large numbers of East Germans crossed the
border. In 1990, East and West Germany
were reunited to form one Germany.
II. The Disintegration of Yugoslavia
(pages 623–624)
A. At the end of the 1980s, Yugoslavia
was caught up in the reform movements of
Eastern Europe. By 1990, new political parties
had emerged and the Communist Party had
B. In 1990, the Yugoslav republics of Slovenia,
Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
Macedonia worked for independence.
Slobodan Milǒsević, leader of Serbia,
rejected independence. In June 1991,
Slovenia and Croatia declared their
independence. In September 1991, the
Yugoslavian army attacked Croatia.
II. The Disintegration of Yugoslavia
(pages 623–624)
C. In 1992, the Serbs attacked BosniaHerzegovina. Many Bosnians were Muslims.
The Serbs followed a policy of ethnic
cleansing—killing them or forcibly removing
them from their lands. In 1995 air strikes by
NATO bombers helped Bosnian and Croatian
forces regain territory lost to Serbia. On
December 14, the Serbs signed a formal
peace treaty splitting Bosnia into a loose
union of a Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat
II. The Disintegration of Yugoslavia
(pages 623–624)
D. In 1998, a war began over Kosovo.
In 1974, Tito had made Kosovo an
autonomous, or self-governing, province
within Yugoslavia. In 1989, Milǒsević took
away Kosovo’s autonomous status. Albanians
fought against Serbian rule in Kosovo.
Serbian forces massacred ethnic Albanians.
The United States and NATO tried to arrange
a settlement. In the fall elections of 2000,
Milǒsević was ousted from power, and tried
for war crimes at the International Court of
Justice for his role in the massacre of Kosovo
civilians. In 2003, Serbia and Montenegro
formed a republic.
II. The Disintegration of Yugoslavia
(pages 623–624)
Some citizens of the U.S. and of Canada
oppose NAFTA because they fear that jobs in
these countries will be lost to people in
Mexico where wages tend to be much lower.
I. Winds of Change in Western Europe
(pages 626–628)
A. After 1970, Western European
countries had greater economic unity. The
European Economic Community (EEC)
greatly expanded between 1973 and 1995.
By 1992 the European Community (EC) made
up the world’s largest single trading bloc.
B. In 1994, the EC became the principle
organization within the European Union (EU).
Most EU nations planned to abandon their
currency in favor of the common European
currency, the euro, by January 2002.
I. Winds of Change in Western Europe
(pages 626–628)
C. France’s economy declined in the
1970s. By 1981, the Socialists had become
the main party in the National Assembly.
Socialist president François Mitterand began
measures to aid workers. He nationalized
many businesses. Socialist policies failed,
however, and France’s economy continued
to decline. In 1993, politics in France
became conservative. In May 1995,
conservative Jacques Chirac was elected
president of France.
I. Winds of Change in Western Europe
(pages 626–628)
D. Willy Brandt was the first Social
Democrat chancellor of West Germany. He
received the Nobel Prize in 1971 for his work
on a treaty with East Germany that led to
greater contact and interaction between the
two countries. In 1982, Helmut Kohl formed a
new, more conservative government.
I. Winds of Change in Western Europe
(pages 626–628)
E. Reunification of the new Germany
in 1989 made it the leading power in Europe.
Reunification, however, led to economic
problems. Eastern Germany needed to be
rebuilt and the economy of eastern Germany
collapsed. There was high unemployment and
severe discontent. This led to attacks against
foreigners by right-wing extremists.
I. Winds of Change in Western Europe
(pages 626–628)
F. Between 1964 and 1979, Great
Britain’s government faced the intense
fighting between Catholics and Protestants in
Northern Ireland, an ailing economy, and
frequent labor strikes. In 1979, Conservative
Margaret Thatcher became prime minister.
She limited the social welfare system, broke
the power of the labor unions, and controlled
inflation. Thatcher’s economic policy was
known as Thatcherism. Thatcher introduced
an unpopular flat-rate tax paid by every adult.
In 1997, Labour Party candidate, Tony Blair,
won the election for prime minister.
II. The U.S. Domestic Scene (pages 628–630)
A. Richard Nixon became president of the
United States in 1968. Nixon’s campaign for
“law and order” and a slowdown of racial
desegregation appealed to southern whites.
The South began a new allegiance to the
Republican Party.
II. The U.S. Domestic Scene (pages 628–630)
B. Nixon used illegal methods to gain information
about his political opponents, which led to the
Watergate scandal. On August 9, 1974, Nixon
resigned as president instead of facing
possible impeachment.
Richard Nixon bids his staff good-bye after resigning his job as
president of the United States.
II. The U.S. Domestic Scene (pages 628–630)
C. Vice-President Gerald Ford became president
after Nixon’s resignation. Jimmy Carter beat
Ford in the 1976 election. Carter’s
administration faced high inflation rates and a
drop in the American standard of living. Carter
was unable to gain the release of American
hostages held by the Iranian government. He
lost the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan.
II. The U.S. Domestic Scene (pages 628–630)
D. The Reagan Revolution changed years of
U.S. policy. He cut back on the welfare state
and greatly increased the military buildup.
Spending by Reagan’s administration
produced a record government budget
deficit—spending more money than
collected in revenues.
E. Republican George Bush was elected
president after Reagan. He was unable to
deal with the deficit problems or the
economic downturn.
II. The U.S. Domestic Scene (pages 628–630)
F. Democrat Bill Clinton was elected president
in 1992. He oversaw a lengthy economic
revival in the United States. During his
second term, he was charged with
presidential misconduct, but was acquitted
of the charges in the Senate. Clinton’s
problems helped George W. Bush to win a
controversial presidential election in 2000.
II. The U.S. Domestic Scene (pages 628–630)
G. President Bush called for the war on terrorism
after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.
The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was based on
statements that the dictator Saddam Hussein
possessed weapons of mass destruction
(WMDs). After Saddam
Hussein was ousted, no
WMDs were found.
Saddam Hussein
II. The U.S. Domestic Scene (pages 628–630)
H. In 2004, President Bush won a second term,
winning 51 percent of the popular vote to
Senator Kerry’s 48 percent.
Starting in the 1960s, South Africa was not
allowed to participate in the Olympic Games
because of the country’s policy of apartheid—a
complete separation of the races. The
restriction on South Africa’s participation in the
Olympic Games lasted until 1992, after
apartheid had ended.
I. The Quickening Pace of Change
(pages 632–634)
A. Since World War II, science and
technology have revolutionized people’s
lives. Governments created a model for
scientific research requiring teams of
scientists, huge laboratories, and
sophisticated equipment. The space race
is a good example of this model.
I. The Quickening Pace of Change
(pages 632–634)
B. There has been concern about the
effects of technology, such as chemical
fertilizers, on the environment.
C. In October 1999, the world’s population had
reached 6 billion. In some wealthy areas the
population is declining and “graying,” or
growing older. Soon, the most populous
nations in the world will be developing
I. The Quickening Pace of Change
(pages 632–634)
D. One reason for Europe’s older
population is changing trends in marriage and
divorce. Fewer people are marrying and,
when they do, they do it at an older age. The
divorce rate has risen as well.
E. Since 1970, the number of women in the
workforce has continued to rise. The Equal
Pay Act was passed in the U.S. in 1963,
requiring women to be paid the same as
men for the same work.
I. The Quickening Pace of Change
(pages 632–634)
F. In the United States, the Supreme
Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade
(1973). Abortion remains a controversial and
divisive issue.
G. Despite the women’s movement, women
still earn less than men and many face the
double burden of working outside and
inside the home.
I. The Quickening Pace of Change
(pages 632–634)
H. Women are still underrepresented
in most national legislatures. Some European
countries have adopted gender parity, or
policies that encourage more women to
become part of government.
I. AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency
syndrome, was discovered in 1981. More
than 3 million people died of AIDS in 2003,
and an estimated 40 million people live with
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
II. Popular Culture and
National Identify (pages 635–639)
A. Popular culture is entertainment created for a
mass audience to make a profit. It is mainly
American performers and filmmakers who are
known throughout the world. Critics of this
trend refer to it as cultural imperialism,
meaning that Western nations control world
cultures much as they controlled colonial
governments in the 1800s.
II. Popular Culture and
National Identify (pages 635–639)
B. More and more since the 1960s, Americans
have “exported” television and sports abroad.
Viewers around the world have become
familiar with American brand names and even
American attitudes about family, work, and
money. Sports organizations made enormous
revenues from television contracts.
II. Popular Culture and
National Identify (pages 635–639)
C. Since the Middle Ages, Christianity has
dominated the spiritual life of Western society.
In the U.S., an evangelical Protestant revival
gained strength throughout the 1980s
and1990s. Religious trends in the U.S. and
Europe have raised the question of what role
religion should play in a democracy.
II. Popular Culture and
National Identify (pages 635–639)
D. Some minority groups in Europe and North
America want to preserve their culture or even
have their own nation.
E. Most minority movements are peaceful. In
Brittany, a region of France that is Celtic in
language and power, local communities
organize festivals called Fest Noz to
celebrate their culture. The province of
Quebec, Canada, has campaigned for
independence from the rest of Canada for
II. Popular Culture and
National Identify (pages 635–639)
F. Some minorities use violence to win
concessions or gain independence.
Northern Ireland has faced ongoing
problems with extremists. In 1921 Ireland was
split into the independent and Catholic Irish
Republic, and Great Britain-controlled
Northern Ireland, which was mostly
II. Popular Culture and
National Identify (pages 635–639)
G. On January 30, 1972, or “Bloody Sunday,”
British troops killed 13 civil rights protesters in
Northern Ireland. For the next three decades,
the Catholic Irish Republican Army (IRA)
employed violence and terror to unite
Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.
By 2000, about 3,600 people had been killed
and 36,000 injured in the “Troubles.”
H. In 1996 the two sides signed the Good
Friday Agreement, but the reluctance of the
IRA to disarm threatens the peace.
Chapter Summary
The end of the Cold War brought dramatic economic, political, and social
changes to Europe and North America. Many of these changes can be
understood through the themes of conflict, change, regionalism, and
cooperation. Below, some of the major events in postwar society are
captured according to these themes.
the former Soviet Union
the evolution from
communism to capitalism
The Soviet Union faces a long,
hard struggle in developing a
capitalist economy.
the formation of Solidarity
Western Europeans have put aside
differences in the interests of unity.
sacrifice of national
a larger market for the exports of
other nations; more competition
in the global market

Glencoe World History: Modern Times