ChAPTER 39 -- Part 2: Rebirth and Revolution: -- Part 8
Reform amid continued economic stagnation caused unrest among minority nationalities in the Soviet Union.
Muslims and Christians rioted against each other in the south.
Baltic nationalists and other European minorities demanded independence, but only for greater autonomy.
The end of Soviet control of central Asia and the European borderlands was predicted by some observers.
Social issues were given new twists.
Gorbachev said that Soviet efforts to establish equality between the sexes had made it difficult for women to juggle work and household duties.
It had a somewhat old-fashioned ring to it, as he proposed that women return to their purely womanly missions of housework, childrearing, and "the creation of a good family atmosphere".
Dismantling the Soviet empire's new approach, including Gorbachev's desire for better relations with Western powers, resulted in more definitive results outside the Soviet Union than within, as the smaller states of eastern Europe uniformly pushed for greater independence and internal reforms.
The 1900-Present stage of world history was ousted and free elections were held.
Hungary had a noncommunist president in 1988.
A new constitution and free elections were planned.
Hungary declared its great 1956 rising to be a popular uprising.
Hungary moved quickly towards a free-market economy.
Poland dismantled the state-run economy after installing a noncommunist government in 1988.
As government subsidies were withdrawn, prices rose quickly.
The Solidarity movement was born a decade before through a merger of noncommunist labor leaders and Catholic intellectuals.
The communist government in East Germany was removed in 1989.
The Berlin Wall was dismantled in 1990 and noncommunists won a free election.
The collapse of postwar Soviet foreign policy led to German unification in 1990.
In 1989 Czechoslovakia installed a new government headed by a playwright that wanted to introduce free elections and a more market-driven economy.
Although mass demonstrations played a key role in several of these political upheavals, only in Romania was there violence, as an authoritarian communist leader was swept out by force.
Under new leadership, the Communist party retained considerable power, but reforms moved less quickly than in other countries.
In Albania, the unreconstructed Stalinist regime was overthrown and a more flexible communist leadership installed.
The nature and extent of reform in eastern Europe were different than in the Soviet Union.
Older attachment were affected by change and uncertainty.
There were attacks on a Turkish minority left over from the Ottoman period.
The Yugoslavian communist regime came under attack and a civil war broke out from disputes among nationalities.
The Serbian army applied massive force to preserve the Yugoslav nation despite the fact that minority nationalities such as Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina proclaimed independence.
The prospects for the future became unpredictable as a result of the rapid and unexpected change.
Few of the new governments fully defined their constitutional structure and the range of new political parties almost compeled later consolidations.
Breaching the Berlin Wall in 1989.
European states suffered from sluggish production, massive pollution, and economic problems that may lead to new political discontent.