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Cold War
(1947-1991)

The Collapse of Communism



The Collapse of Communism
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.48

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    glasnost, perestroika, communism, communist, discontent, policies, nuclear, further, prosperous, ownership, unrest, sickle, absolute, newly, democracy, democratic
     content words:    Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet Union, East Germany, North Korea, Cold War


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The Collapse of Communism
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     From the time communist rule began, there were problems. The ideals imagined by the original communists never came about. Communist party leaders ruled with absolute power. They took control of farms and factories. Workers did not become more prosperous as they had expected. Instead, they were treated harshly and punished cruelly. Discontent and unrest were problems in communist societies from the start, and these problems worsened as the years went on.
 
2     The economy worsened in communist countries. Workers who were still poor were no longer motivated to work hard. Not enough products were being made, and not enough food was being grown. People could not buy the things that they needed. The situation went from bad to worse.
 
3     This is one reason why communism did not spread from country to country as people had imagined. It also helps to explain why communism eventually collapsed.
 
4     In 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union. He tried to make changes that would improve the economy. He began two new policies. One of them was called glasnost, a Russian word that means openness. People were now allowed to speak out against the government. The other new policy was known as perestroika, which means restructuring. This was a change back towards more individual ownership of business.
 
5     However, Gorbachev's changes did not bring about the improvement in the economy that people hoped for.

Paragraphs 6 to 12:
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