The mostly peaceful Revolutions of 1989 brought the collapse of communist governments in Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. They also marked the end of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the West.
"The fall of the Iron Curtain which lifted communist rule across a swathe of Europe was as swift as it was unexpected." From February 6, when Poland's communist government entered into talks with banned trade union Solidarity, to December 25 when Romanian president Ceausescu was executed by a firing squad, BBC outlines the key events of the Revolutions of 1989.
The fall of communism brought big changes to Europe's political landscape. In this interactive map, you'll see new countries appear (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, and so on) and watch existing countries throw off communist rule (Hungary, Poland, Romania, etc.) as they turn from red to white on the map. Traverse through the eight maps using the Next and Back buttons.
"Textbooks often describe the events of that year  as the inevitable collapse of a repressive system in favor of a freer democratic form of government. But the reality is much more complex. Many forces, both internal and external, conspired to bring down the Communist regimes, and not every government that replaced them could be described as fully democratic." With reproduced primary sources, scholar interviews, teaching modules and case studies, Making the History of 1989 is my pick of the week. Don't miss it.
Google presents twelve interactive exhibits "about life under Communist rule using documents, photos, videos and in some cases personal accounts of events." Topics include German reunification, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the Solidarity Party in Poland, life in East Berlin, the TV broadcast of the Romanian revolution, and many more.
"The history of Eastern Europe in the second half of the twentieth century can be told as the story of two series of revolutions: the communist-led revolutions of the post-World War II years that ousted the former ruling elites and transformed largely rural societies into urban industrial ones; and the anticommunist revolutions of 1989, mostly peaceful and in one case even ‘velvet,' that overturned entrenched party regimes already weakened by political sclerosis." This article from The Nation examines the events of 1989 and its many complicated causes.
The mostly peaceful Revolutions of 1989 brought the collapse of communist governments in Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. They also marked the end of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the West. \n