Example research essay topic: The Rise And Fall Of Communism In Russia – 688 words

The Soviet Union was a communist country with a
totalitarian regime that existed from 1917 until
1991. The official name was The Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.). The country
stretched from the Baltic and Black Seas to the
Pacific Ocean. In its final years it consisted of
15 Soviet Socialist Republics. Russia was by far
the largest Republic in the Soviet Union in terms
of both land area and population, and also
dominated it politically and economically. The
first leader of the Soviet Union was Vladimir
Lenin, who led the Communists to power in the
Russian Revolution of 1917.

With the newly formed
Red Army in confusion, the Soviet Union had to
pull out of World War I. The peace treaty with
Germany, the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, made the
union give up most of the area of the Ukraine and
Belarus. The opponents of communism within and
without the union did not accept the new
government, and this led to all-out civil war,
which lasted until 1922. After the revolution, the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union quickly became
the only legal political party. The governing of
the country was to be done by local and regional
democratically elected soviets. In practice its
corresponding party group controlled each level of

The highest legislate body was the
Supreme Soviet. The highest executive body was the
Politburo. The state relied heavily on controlling
its citizens with the secret police. In December
1917, the Cheka was founded. Later it changed
names to KGB. The secret police was responsible
for finding any political dissidents and expel
them from the party or bring them to trial for
counter-revolutionary activities.

After Lenin died
in 1924, power gradually consolidated in the hands
of Joseph Stalin, who led the Soviet Union until
his death in 1953. Stalin was the supreme leader
from 1929 until 1953. From 1921 until 1954, 3.7
million people were sentenced for
counter-revolution crimes, including 0.6 million
sentenced to death, 2.4 million sentenced to
prison and labor camps, and 0.8 million sentenced
to expatriation. The Second World War caught the
Soviet military unprepared. To secure Soviet
influence over Eastern Europe, Stalin arranged the
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Germany on August 23,
1939. A secret addition to the pact gave Eastern
Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Finland to the USSR,
and Western Poland and Lithuania to Germany.
Germany invaded Poland on September 1st, USSR
followed on September 17th.

On November 30th, USSR
attacked Finland in what is called the Winter War.
On June 22nd 1941, Hitler broke the pact and
invaded the Soviet Union. Under Stalin’s
leadership, the Soviet Red Army put up fierce
resistance, but were at first ineffective against
the advancing Nazi forces. The army was not
allowed to retreat, and large numbers of soldiers
were surrounded and taken as prisoners of war. The
Germans reached the outskirts of Moscow in
December, but were stopped by the winter and a
Soviet counter-offensive. At the battle of
Stalingrad in 1942 and 1943, the Red Army was able
to regain the initiative of the war. From then on,
the Soviet forces were able to regain their lost
territory and push the Nazi forces back to Germany

On May 2nd 1945, the city of Berlin was
taken. Later Soviet leaders such as Nikita
Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev were unable to
consolidate power as Stalin had done, and served
more as functionaries of the state rather than as
dictators. During Brezhnev’s time in office Soviet
invasion to support the Democratic Republic of
Afghanistan was initiated, in December 1979.
Mikhail Gorbachev became head of the Soviet Union
in 1985 and attempted to preserve the collapsing
Communist regime by reducing tensions with the
United States and lessening the extent of
political persecution, but without abandoning the
core Communist tenet of centralized bureaucratic
control of the economy. His two key policies were
Glasnost -openness, and Perestroika
-restructuring. These attempts failed, and the
collapse of the Soviet Union occurred in 1991.
From 1945 until the collapse, the Soviet Union
fought a Cold War with the USA for world
domination. The former Soviet Union began striving
to accomplish a strong economy after the fall of

Many bad choices and wars were major
destruction factors that led to the fall of Soviet

Research essay sample on The Rise And Fall Of Communism In Russia