Soviet Union & Joseph Stalin

by Kourtney Goode and Sandra Sanchez

facts about Soviet Union

1.In December of 1991, as the world watched in amazement, the Soviet Union disintegrated into fifteen separate countries.

2. The Soviet Union was built on approximately the same territory as the Russian Empire which it succeeded.

3.After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the newly-formed government developed a philosophy of socialism with the eventual and gradual transition to Communism.

4.The state which the Bolsheviks created was intended to overcome national differences, and rather to create one monolithic state based on a centralized economical and political system.

5.By the time of the 1985 rise to power of Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union’s last leader, the country was in a situation of severe stagnation, with deep economic and political problems which sorely needed to be addressed and overcome.

6.Recognizing this, Gorbachev introduced a two-tiered policy of reform. On one level, he initiated a policy of glasnost, or freedom of speech. On the other level, he began a program of economic reform known as perestroika, or rebuilding.

7.The disintegration of the Soviet Union began on the peripheries, in the non-Russian areas. The first region to produce mass, organized dissent was the Baltic region, where, in 1987, the government of Estonia demanded autonomy.

8.This move was later followed by similar moves in Lithuania and Latvia, the other two Baltic republics.

9.The Polish city of Vilnius falls to the Soviet army on September 18th,1939

10.The nationalist movements in the Baltics constituted a strong challenge to Gorbachev’s policy of glasnost.

11.He did not want to crack down too severely on the participants in these movements, yet at the same time, it became increasingly evident that allowing them to run their course would spell disaster for the Soviet Union, which would completely collapse if all of the periphery republics were to demand independence.

12.On December 25, 1991, he resigned. By January of 1992, by popular demand, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. In its place, a new entity was formed. It was called the “Commonwealth of Independent Republics,” and was composed of most of the independent countries of the former Soviet Union. While the member countries had complete political independence, they were linked to other Commonwealth countries by economic, and, in some cases, military ties.

facts about Joseph Stalin

1.One of the most powerful and murderous dictators in history, Stalin was the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for a quarter of a century.

2.Joseph was born on December 18, 1879.

3.At age 7, he contracted smallpox, leaving his face scarred and his left arm slightly deformed.

4.In 1888, she managed to enroll him in church school in Gori.

5.Joseph did well in school, and his efforts gained him a scholarship to Tiflis Theological Seminary in 1894.

6.It's also speculated he was asked to leave due to his political views challenging the tsarist regime of Nicholas II.

7.Joseph chose not to return home, but stayed in Tiflis, devoting his time to the revolutionary movement.

8.In 1901, he joined the Social Democratic Labor Party and worked full-time for the revolutionary movement.

9.In 1902, he was arrested for coordinating a labor strike and exiled to Siberia, the first of his many arrests and exiles in the fledgling years of the Russian Revolution.

10.It was during this time that Joseph adopted the name "Stalin," meaning steel in Russian.

11.Joseph Stalin excelled in the mundane operations of the revolution, calling meetings, publishing leaflets and organizing strikes and demonstrations.

12.Stalin gained infamy being associated with the 1907 Tiflis bank robbery, which resulted in several deaths and 250,000 rubles stolen (approximately $3.4 million in U.S. dollars).

12.One of the most powerful and murderous dictators in history, Stalin was the supreme ruler of the Soviet Union for a quarter of a century

13.Joseph's mother, a devout Russian Orthodox Christian, wanted him to become a priest.