【HKDSE History歷史 2016 DBQ Q.2 English Version】
(a) What was the view of the Nobel Committee on the situation of the USSR at the time? Support your answer with one clue from Source C. (2 marks)
The Nobel Committee thinks that the situation of USSR was very serious and difficult to solve.
By Source C, The Nobel Committee said that the people were watching USSR to struggle to solve its economic, social and political problems. It indicates that the USSR faced problems from different aspects so it was not easy to tackle the problem.
(b) Infer from Source D the nature of Gorbachev’s governance. Explain your answer with reference to Source D. (3 marks)
The nature of Gorbachev’s governance was adopting open policies to the regimes.
By Source D, Gorbachev removed the ‘administrative and repressive machine’. It indicates that Gorbachev gave up to control towards the regimes and provided them more independence and power.
Moreover, Gorbachev would not deploy the army to punish the regimes with opposition. It indicates that Gorbachev allowed opposite opinions and gave up to suppress the regimes with opposition. Instead, he would like to adopt open policies to fight for their support.
(c) Do you agree that Gorbachev was an able leader of the USSR? Explain your answer with reference to Sources C, D and using your own knowledge. (7 marks)
‘Able leader’ means a leader who could lead the country to overcome the internal and external problems and remain the citizens united.
In terms of the above definition, only to small extent I agree that Gorbachev is an ‘able leader’.
By Source C, Gorbachev tried very hard to negotiate with Western countries and actively initiated disarmaments to resolve the international disputes, which proved that he worked hard to solve the external conflicts with other countries.
From my own knowledge, Gorbachev adopted ‘glasnost’ (openness) policies to grant more freedom and independence to the regimes in order to reunite the regimes and fight for their support.
Moreover, Gorbachev made very great effort in improving relationships with other countries to solve the international disputes such as signing the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (NF) Treaty which was rectified in 1988 when Reagan (US president) visited to USSR. USSR also withdraw from Afghanistan in 1989 to improve the relations with U.S.
By Source D, it stated that the disintegration of USSR was due to the removing the administrative and repressive machine in which Gorbachev abandoned to deploy army to suppress the opposite opinions. It indicated that Gorbachev’s open policies leaded to the collapse of Warsaw Pact and made USSR a ‘dying state’.
From my own knowledge, Gorbachev could not effectively solved the economic problems. Many people still blamed him on the failure of economic reforms to boost the economy, which was still far behind the West. For example, the national income in 1991 decreased 15%.
Food shortage, inefficient transportation of goods and inflation were very serious in early 1990s, which made the people very unsatisfied and would like to end the communism.
Moreover, the collapse of Warsaw Pact which was encouraged by open policies also encouraged the republics to try to break away from USSR. Gorbachev even proposed the ending of the USSR in 1990 and the setting up of USSS, which leaded to the collapse of USSR. the failure of reforms leaded to the ‘8.19 Coup’
In comparison, although Gorbachev could solve the external international conflicts with the West and expand the connections with other countries, he could not reunite the citizens to build a stronger USSR and solve the internal political and economic problems. His open policies even leaded to the collapse of Warsaw Pact and USSR, which made Soviet Union weaker.
Therefore, only to small extent I agree that Gorbachev is an ‘able leader’.