26 April 2023

What is the USSR? – Origin and beginnings of the Soviet Union

By Donald

It was one of the most important and controversial states of the 20th century, founded in 1922, after the revolution in October 1917, the USSR became a world power of great impact on world politics and culture. If you want to know more about how this state was formed and disintegrated, in this article of What it is, you will find it.

It was a socialist state that existed in the territory that is now known as the Russian Federation and other ex-Soviet states. Its acronyms refer to ‘The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics’the name ‘Soviet Union’ translates as ‘United Councils’, this reflects the role of the workers and peasants in the 1917 revolution.

These organizations composed of soldiers and workers They were the foundations of society, which intended that power arise from the lowest stratum upwards. That is why the word Soviet in Russian means ‘Council’, and made reference to the workers’ councils that arose in Russia during the First World War.

The name Union of Soviet Socialist Republics refers to the political and social structure of the state. This was made up of various socialist republics, which came together to form a single political entity.

In it each republic had its own government and political system, but in turn, they were under the same controlwhich was in the hands of the central government of the USSR, located in Moscow.

What was the function of the Soviet Union?

Its function was to establish a socialist state that could lead and protect the working class and peasant of the country. She sought to implement policies that prioritized the welfare of the majority of the working class, and put aside the interests of the moneyed elite.

For this, a centralized and planned economy is established, in which the state would control the production and distribution of goods and services. Private property was abolished, and collective property was encouraged.

Another of his goals was lead the socialist movement internationallyto support other states that followed this ideal around the world.

At that time Russia was a very backward nation in terms of technology, for this reason a rapid industrialization plan was designed. Through this, most of the companies were nationalized, and in terms of agriculture, collective farms were established.

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union faced off against the United States of America, in a struggle for political and military influence globally. The USSR defended the idea that a socialist state could be prosperous.

Despite attempts to establish a system of government of equality between citizensthis nation was highly criticized due to human rights violations, suppression of freedom of expression and political repression that existed during the period in which it was established.

How was the Soviet Union formed?

It was formed in 1922 as a result of the union of several socialist states, which had emerged on the territory of the former Russian Empire. In this year, treaties were signed that integrated the Soviet socialist republics: Russia, Ukraine and Transcaucasia.

These states were born after the October Revolution of 1917, in which overthrew the government that was installed provisionally, succeeding the post of Tsar Nicholas II. This was led by the Bolsheviks, under the command of Vladimir Lenin, after the death of the latter, Joseph Stalin would take power in 1924.

after defeating the resistance sectors that still supported the monarchy, in the Russian civil war, the Bolshevik leaders established a socialist republic, and in December 1922 the Treaty of Creation of the USSR was signed.

In this way a state arose that I occupy part of the European continent and Asia, being its most prominent feature, the establishment of a communist government system. This functioned through a single party called the ‘Communist Party’.

It is one of the most influential and powerful states that existed in the 20th century, became a world superpower with a planned economy, which sought to create an egalitarian society without social classes. It has characteristics that make it stand out from other states and have made it an object of fascination, fear and admiration, these are:

  • It was a state that had many different ethnicitiessince it was formed by the union of 15 republics.
  • Although they called themselves a federal stateactually it was a centralized one.
  • He participated in the defeat of Germany ruled by Hitler, and in that of Japan in World War II.
  • It ranked alongside the United States as a power of power Worldwide.
  • It spanned a large part of Eastern Europe, and a portion of Asia.
  • Its capital was located in Moscow.
  • The ideology was Marxism-Leninism.
  • Russian was the official language, although others such as Lithuanian, Latvian, Ukrainian and Armenian were also spoken.
  • The currency was named ‘Ruble’.
  • As for his religion, they considered themselves atheistsalthough part of its citizens were Muslims or Orthodox Christians.
  • The economic activity fell on industry, mining and agriculture. And a large part of the resources were destined to the creation of weapons and military equipment.
  • Was a lot of repression to freedom of expression, members of the communist party took it upon themselves to persecute, assassinate, and exile journalists, opposition politicians, and writers.
  • There were concentration camps located in Siberia.
  • After World War II, political and economic alliances were established with Eastern Europe.

Throughout history, the color that represents the Soviet Union is red. This is because this has always been associated with socialism and communismwhich are ideologies adopted by this nation.

The communist party in 1918, after the October Revolution that brought the Bolsheviks to power in Russia, added the color red to the flag of this new Republicand later, to that of the USSR, when it was formed in 1922.

For this government, said color symbolized the struggle of workers, workers and peasants for social justice and class equality, as well as the fight against capitalism and imperialism.

On the coat of arms of the Soviet Union, the symbols of a hammer and sickle positioned on a globe, which is surrounded by bundles of wheat, and a tape that contains the motto of the USSR in various languages. At the bottom is a sun and at the top is a 5-pointed star.

The hammer and sickle are a representation of the union between workers and peasants. As for the red star, some people are of the opinion that represent the 5 continentsand others that it is about the 5 sectors that formed the revolution, these are: workers, soldiers, peasants, intellectuals and youth.

The treaty that unified the Soviet Union was signed by 4 republics, which are:

  • The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
  • The Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
  • The Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.
  • The Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The states that were part of the Soviet Union are currently these countries:

  1. Russia.
  2. Armenia.
  3. Georgia.
  4. Lithuania.
  5. Turkmenistan.
  6. Estonia.
  7. Azerbaijan.
  8. Moldova.
  9. Ukraine.
  10. Latvia.
  11. Belarus.
  12. Kyrgyzstan.
  13. Uzbekistan.
  14. Tajikistan.

And others that have not yet been recognized by the international community:

  1. Abkhazia.
  2. Artsakh.
  3. South Ossetia.
  4. Crimea.
  5. Transnistria.

It was a complex process that took several years. At the last moment, a great combination of political, economic and social factors arose, which led to the dissolution of the Soviet Unionthe largest socialist state in history.

One of the factors was the increasing internal pressure to correct the Soviet system. In the late 1980s, leader Mikhail Gorbachev launched a series of reforms known as Perestroika and Glasnost. These sought to modernize the Soviet economic system, and improve political freedom and some civil liberties of citizens.

These reforms met with some successes, and also faced resistance from those conservatives who did not want the new changes.

Another important factor was the economic situation, which has been in decline since 1980. This happened as a result of inflationthe shortage of consumer goods, and the decline in industrial production.

Finally, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the dissolution of the socialist states located in Eastern Europe, in 1989, the position of the Soviet Union weakened, and lost its leadership positionwhile its importance in the world was diminishing.

Already in December 1991, the Belavezha Agreement was signed, which established the Community of Independent States, thus declaring the dissolution of the USSR.

In short, the disintegration of the Soviet Union was the result of a series of factors that had been accumulating. Internal political pressure, the economic situation and the loss of influence in the region were decisive for its termination.