Monday, 20 January 2014

History 12-2/12-3: Collapse of the Eastern Block, Part 1

Today we began with a review/overview of some of the key events in Russia/USSR in the 20th century.  It was a good way to remind us that in a few lessons we will be doing a whole-course review in preparation for the final exam that occurs next Wednesday.  I know it seems a long time ago that we discussed Father Gapon, Trotsky, Lenin and the gang, but we have to shake off the cobwebs.  Next, I showed a newscast from 1991 reporting the coup in the USSR.  I tried to give you a sense of just how much the world seemed to have changed with the glasnost and perestroika that Gorbachev had introduced, and then suddenly (?) we were struck with an event that threatened to thrust the Soviets into another civl war.

Afterward we had a whirlwind PPT discussion on the collapse of the USSR, DDR, Poland and Czechoslovakia.  The main thing for you to remember is that as soon as Gorbachev was no longer willing to use coercion and force behind the Iron Curtain (that is, once he abandoned the Brezhnev Doctrine) the whole structure of the Eastern Block soon toppled.  See the Slideshare PPT link to access the notes: PowerPoint

Please complete Falk's Ex # 21 and 23 for homework.  Many of you failed to get your Vietnam photo montages in for marking today: the pace is going to increase to a crescendo this week, so hurry up before it's too late.

Tomorrow's reading on the USA civil rights movement will be pp 199-205 in DeMarco: you may wish to get started.

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