Taking you through AQA A2 History of the Soviet Union in as little time and as little pain as possible... see you on results day!


16 June 2010, AM

13 June 2010

Essay Plan: Social Conditions

I HATE SOCIAL CONDITIONS. Thought you should know.

Did the condition of the Soviet people improve or deteriorate during the era of Brezhnev and Gorbachev?

When Brezhnev took power in the USSR in 1964, the Soviet people had better rights and personal freedoms than ever before because of the comparative liberalism of Khrushchev's regime. However, living conditions in this period, and the treatment of suspect nationalities, for example, were not good, having not improved significantly since Stalin's day. Thus, the changes under Brezhnev and Gorbachev can be seen to have created definite improvements, leading to higher expectations from the Soviet people in the areas left unsolved, leading to one of the major causes of the fall of the USSR in 1991.


- divorce, contraception, abortion
- 50% more fruit, veg, meat and fish eaten
- equal pay in almost all professions
- Jewish emigration

- tighter cultural control
- 1967 KGB wing against "ideological diversion"
- alcoholism
- poverty
- position of women

BUT the regime tried to tackle the latter three problems with large-scale propaganda campaigns (see www.sovietposter.blogspot.com).


- Andropov's education and anti-alcoholism policies

- no time to make real change


- Glasnost raised expectation
- improvements in medical care
- campaign against alcoholism

- raised expectations
- LAVER: "Glasnost proved a double-edged sword for Gorbachev"
- no improvements in role of women

- improved in many areas but lead to unrealistic expectations from population

Hope this helps :) Questions?

- HistGrrl x

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