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History IA: Fall of Communism

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So, i've selected Fall of Communism as my topic for my history IA. I have to finalize a detailed topic/ research question by tomorrow and I have encountered some difficulty doing so. I read the year range (1976 to 1989) in our class' history textbook, Martin Gilbert's History of the 20th Century Concise Edition" and took notes, yet I still can't think of an interesting research question. So, I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on how to finalize a good research question, in regards to my "Fall of Communism" topic and/or if anyone could offer any suggestions of IA topics they have come up with. Also, if you have any sources that you have encountered that are really helpful on the Fall of Communism, please let me know. Thanks a lot in advance.

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Hey there,

I recommend that you find an aspect of the fall particularly interesting, and focus on that. You need to find some sort of cause/effect pattern and run with it.

Personally, I'd look at Gorbachev's rule and legislation. He had two reforms in particular which I believe facilitated the collapse of the Soviet Union. His economic reforms (perestroika) and social reforms (glasnost) called for monumental changes within the Soviet Union. He essentially liberalized the regime and started to introduce freedoms of expression. The Soviet people were no longer being fed propaganda. You should also take a look at the various treaties Gorbachev signed around that time frame (The Washington Treaty in late 1987, the Paris Treaty in late 1990, and START I in July of 1991). Now, to make it more of a research paper, you might want to look into his motivation for change or the psychological impact of these changes on the Soviet people.

Source wise, http://www.soviethistory.org/ is an excellent primary source provider. You just need to make a free account to have access to the sources.

I hope that was helpful.

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