Travis Mueller


Gorbachev, Soviet Eastern European satellite states, Czechoslovak popular movement, Velvet Revolution


In the late 1980s, the world watched communism topple. Political and economic reforms started by Gorbachev in the Soviet Union caused a chain reaction in the Soviet Eastern European satellite states. These countries finally felt able to initiate their own reforms and for the first time in decades the people could collectively voice their opinions. Particularly notable was the Czechoslovak popular movement of the late 1980s chat froze the power of the Soviet-supported government and forced its leaders to resign. This revolution, known as the Velvet Revolution, is unique among ocher political revolutions in chat it was almost entirely peaceful, but it is additionally unique in that, unlike the ocher Soviet satellite states, it was not primarily economically driven. The Czechoslovak people desired a democracy independent of Soviet interference.