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Email address. Please enter a valid email address. Walmart Services. Get to Know Us. Customer Service. In The Spotlight. Shop Our Brands. All Rights Reserved. Cancel Submit. How was your experience with this page? Nor could they risk mass starvation or agricultural sabotage e. Unlike Soviet collectivization, neither massive destruction of livestock nor errors causing distorted output or distribution occurred in the other Eastern Bloc countries. Collectivisation often met with strong rural resistance, including peasants frequently destroying property rather than surrendering it to the collectives.

The fact that Poland nevertheless managed to carry out large-scale centrally planned industrialisation with no more difficulty than its collectivised Eastern Bloc neighbours further called into question the need for collectivisation in such planned economies. There was significant progress made in the economy in countries such as the Soviet Union. In , the Soviet Union took first place in Europe and second worldwide in terms of industrial and agricultural production, respectively.

With the change of the Soviet leadership in , there were significant changes made to economic policy. The Government on 30 September issued a decree "On improving the management of industry" and the 4 October resolution "On improving and strengthening the economic incentives for industrial production". The main initiator of these reforms was Premier A. Kosygin's reforms on agriculture gave considerable autonomy to the collective farms, giving them the right to the contents of private farming.

During this period, there was the large-scale land reclamation program, the construction of irrigation channels, and other measures. In the ninth Five-Year Plan — , the national income grew at an annual rate of 5. In the tenth Five-Year Plan — , the national income grew at an annual rate of 4. The Soviet Union made noteworthy scientific and technological progress. Unlike capitalist countries, scientific and technological potential in the USSR was used in accordance with a plan on the scale of society as a whole.

In , the number of scientific personnel in the USSR was 1. The number of engineers employed in the national economy was 4. Between and , the number of scientific personnel increased by a factor of 4. In , the number of scientific personnel in the USSR amounted to one-fourth of the total number of scientific personnel in the world. In , as compared with , the number of invention proposals submitted was more than 5 million.

In , there were 10 all-Union research institutes, 85 specialised central agencies, and 93 regional information centres. The world's first nuclear power plant was commissioned on June 27, in Obninsk. The first major achievements in the field were associated with the building of analog computers. Gershgorin in and the concept of the electrodynamic analog computer was proposed by N. Minorsky in In the s, the development of AC electronic antiaircraft directors and the first vacuum-tube integrators was begun by L.

In the s, important developments in modern computer equipment were the BESM-6 system built under the direction of S. Lebedev, the MIR series of small digital computers, and the Minsk series of digital computers developed by G. Lopato and V. The Moscow Metro has stations used by around 7 million passengers per day. It is one of the world's busiest undergrounds. In the Soviet period, the fare was 5 kopeks which permitted the rider to ride everywhere on the system.

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Author Turnock claims that transport in the Eastern Bloc was characterised by poor infrastructural maintenance. Vehicle ownership increased in the s and s with the production of inexpensive cars in East Germany such as Trabants and the Wartburgs. Adding to mobility constraints from the inadequate transport systems were bureaucratic mobility restrictions. Severe environmental problems arose through urban traffic congestion, which was aggravated by pollution generated by poorly maintained vehicles. The catastrophe at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in the Ukrainian SSR was caused by an irresponsible safety test on a reactor design that is normally safe, [] some operators lacking an even basic understanding of the reactor's processes and authoritarian Soviet bureaucracy, valuing party loyalty over competence, that kept promoting incompetent personnel and choosing cheapness over safety.

Tourism from outside the Eastern Bloc was neglected, while tourism from other Stalinist countries grew within the Eastern Bloc. It was more difficult or even impossible to go as an individual tourist to East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania. It was generally possible in all cases for relatives from the west to visit and stay with family in the Eastern Bloc countries, except for Albania.

In these cases, permission had to be sought, precise times, length of stay, location and movements had to be known in advance. Catering to western visitors required creating an environment of an entirely different standard than that used for the domestic populace, which required concentration of travel spots including the building of relatively high-quality infrastructure in travel complexes, which could not easily be replicated elsewhere.

Growth rates in the Eastern Bloc were initially high in the s and s. For political reasons, old factories were rarely closed, even when new technologies became available. After the fall of Soviet Union in the s, growth plummeted, living standards declined, drug use, homelessness and poverty skyrocketed and suicides increased dramatically. From the end of the World War II to the mids, the economy of the Eastern Bloc steadily increased at the same rate as the economy in Western Europe, with the least none-reforming Stalinist nations of the Eastern Bloc having a stronger economy then the reformist-Stalinist states.

Note that in some cases data availability does not go all the way back to The United Nations Statistics Division also calculates growth rates, using a different methodology, but only reports the figures starting in note that for Slovakia and the constituent republics of the USSR data availability begins later.

Thus, according to the United Nations growth rates in Europe were as follows:. While it can be argued the World Bank estimates of GDP used for figures underestimate Eastern Bloc GDP because of undervalued local currencies, per capita incomes were undoubtedly lower than in their counterparts. The West German government and many organisations in West Germany supported projects in East Germany, such as rebuilding and restoration or making good some shortages in times of need e.

The two Germanies, divided politically, remained united by language although with two political systems, some terms had different meanings in East and West. West German television reached East Germany, which many East Germans watched and from which they obtained information about their own state in short supply at home. Being part of a divided country, East Germany occupied a unique position therefore in the Eastern Bloc unlike, for example, Hungary in relation to Austria, which had previously been under one monarch but which were already divided by language and culture.

While official statistics painted a relatively rosy picture, the East German economy had eroded because of increased central planning, economic autarky , the use of coal over oil, investment concentration in a few selected technology-intensive areas and labor market regulation. Moreover, the purchasing power of wages differed greatly, with only about half of East German households owning either a car or a color television set as late as , both of which had been standard possessions in West German households. Once installed, the economic system was difficult to change given the importance of politically reliable management and the prestige value placed on large enterprises.

Before the Eastern Bloc's dissolution, some major sectors of industry were operating at such a loss that they exported products to the West at prices below the real value of the raw materials. In social terms, the 18 years — of Brezhnev's leadership saw real incomes grow more than 1. More than 1. There was unprecedented affordability of housing, health care and education. During the years —, housing policy underwent several institutional changes with industrialisation and urbanisation had not been matched by an increase in housing after World War II.

The prewar norm became one Soviet family per room, with the toilets and kitchen shared. After Stalin's death in , forms of an economic "New Course" brought a revival of private house construction. During the last fifteen years of this period — , an emphasis was made for a supply side solution, which assumed that industrialised building methods and high rise housing would be cheaper and quicker than traditional brick-built, low-rise housing.

In most countries, completions new dwellings constructed rose to a high point between and and then fell as a result presumably of worsening international economic conditions. The employment of socialist ideology in housing policy declined in the s, which accompanied a shift in authorities looking at the need of residents to an examination of potential residents' ability to pay.

The initial year that shortages were effectively measured and shortages in were as follows: []. These are official housing figures and may be low. For example, in the Soviet Union the figure of 26,, in almost certainly underestimates shortages for the reason that it does not count shortages from large Soviet rural-urban migration; another calculation estimates shortages to be 59,, In Poland , housing problems were caused by slow rates of construction, poor home quality which was even more pronounced in villages and a large black market.


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East German housing suffered from a lack of quality and a lack of skilled labor, with a shortage of materials, plot and permits. Three months after the death of Joseph Stalin , a dramatic increase of emigration Republikflucht , brain drain occurred from East Germany in the first half-year of Large numbers of East Germans traveled west through the only "loophole" left in the Eastern Bloc emigration restrictions , the Berlin sector border. A major emergency was declared and the Soviet Red Army stormed some important buildings.

Bloodshed could not be entirely avoided, with the official death toll standing at 21, while the actual casualty toll may have been much higher. The revolution began after students of the Technical University compiled a list of Demands of Hungarian Revolutionaries of and conducted protests in support of the demands on 22 October.

The Soviet Politburo thereafter moved to crush the revolution. On 4 November, a large Soviet force invaded Budapest and other regions of the country.

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Over 2, Hungarians and Soviet troops were killed and thousands more were wounded. Thousands of Hungarians were arrested, imprisoned and deported to the Soviet Union, many without evidence. Their bodies were placed in unmarked graves in the Municipal Cemetery outside Budapest. A period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia called the Prague Spring took place in The event was spurred by several events, including economic reforms that addressed an early s economic downturn.

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During the late s, the weakened Soviet Union gradually stopped interfering in the internal affairs of Eastern Bloc nations and numerous independence movements took place. Following the Brezhnev stagnation , the reform-minded Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in signaled the trend towards greater liberalization. Gorbachev rejected the Brezhnev Doctrine , which held that Moscow would intervene if socialism were threatened in any state.

Gorbachev initiated a policy of glasnost openness in the Soviet Union, and emphasized the need for perestroika economic restructuring. The Soviet Union was struggling economically after the long war in Afghanistan and did not have the resources to control Central and Eastern Europe.

In , a wave of revolutions , sometimes called the "Autumn of Nations", [] swept across the Eastern Bloc. On 9 November , following mass protests in East Germany and the relaxing of border restrictions in Czechoslovakia, tens of thousands of Eastern Berliners flooded checkpoints along the Berlin Wall and crossed into West Berlin.

In Bulgaria , the day after the mass crossings through the Berlin Wall, the leader Todor Zhivkov was ousted by his Politburo and replaced with Petar Mladenov. In Czechoslovakia , following protests of an estimated half-million Czechs and Slovaks demanding freedoms and a general strike , the authorities, which had allowed travel to the West, abolished provisions guaranteeing the ruling Communist Party its leading role. Since , Romania had reversed the program of de-Stalinization. They executed him after a brief trial three days later. Even before the Eastern Bloc's last years, all of the countries in the Warsaw Pact did not always act as a unified bloc.

For instance, the invasion of Czechoslovakia was condemned by Romania , which refused to take part in it. Albania withdrew from the Pact, and the Eastern Bloc altogether, in response to the invasion. Writing in , German historian Philipp Ther asserted that neoliberal policies of liberalization, deregulation, and privatization "had catastrophic effects on former Soviet Bloc countries", and that the imposition of Washington Consensus -inspired " shock therapy " had little to do with future economic growth.

Ghodsee and Scott Sehon assert that "subsequent polls and qualitative research across Russia and eastern Europe confirm the persistence of these sentiments as popular discontent with the failed promises of free-market prosperity has grown, especially among older people".

The following countries are one-party states in which the institutions of the ruling communist party and the state have become intertwined. They are generally adherents of Marxism—Leninism and its derivations. They are listed here together with the year of their founding and their respective ruling parties. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the group of socialist states during the Cold War. For the art centre, see Eastern Bloc art centre. Soviet Socialist Republics. Allied states. Related organizations. Dissent and opposition.

Cold War events. See also: Formation of the Eastern Bloc.

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Further information: Marshall Plan. Main article: Berlin Blockade. Further information: Tito—Stalin split. Main article: Eastern Bloc politics. Main article: Eastern Bloc media and propaganda. Main article: Treatment of Christians in Communist Bloc countries. Main articles: Cominform , Comecon , and Warsaw Pact. Main article: Eastern Bloc emigration and defection. Further information: Eastern Bloc emigration and defection , Eastern Bloc information dissemination , and Eastern Bloc politics.

Main articles: Comecon and History of the Comecon. See also: Second economy of the Soviet Union. A Trabant Limousine left , manufactured between and ; and a Wartburg right , manufactured between and ; they were made in East Germany and exported throughout the Eastern Bloc.

A Polish made Polski Fiat p , manufactured between and left and a FSO Polonez , manufactured between and right. Main article: Uprising of in East Germany. Main article: Hungarian Revolution of See also: People's Republic. Europe portal Socialism portal Soviet Union portal International relations portal.

In , the Constitution of North Korea was quietly amended so that it dropped all reference to "Communism". Cities of Pilgrimage. Archived from the original on 5 September Retrieved 21 December Until , despite being a formally independent state, Mongolia had de facto been an integral part of the Soviet-dominated Eastern Bloc. In works examining the Western bloc countries' relations with the East- ern bloc, Yugoslavia was not considered part of the Eastern bloc. This strategy was a significant factor in achieving a higher standard of living and a lower level of under-urbanization compared to other members of the Eastern Bloc.


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    Soldiers and Politics in Eastern Europe, 1945-90: The Case of Hungary

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