Modern History

Rather than just focusing on one topic in particular that Foner discussed in chapter 27, I think that it would be very interesting to spend a nice amount of time talking about the progression of the world over the past 20 years or so.


I believe it was Confucius that cursed his enemies saying, “may you live in interesting times”, and while the times we are living now may not be the ‘worst’ that we’ve discussed over the course of the semester, there is no doubt that they have been some of the most faced-paced, constantly changing years in the history of our world and certainly the brief history of our country. From the fall of the communist Soviet Union and the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, to the Persian Gulf War and September 11th, to the bursting of the Internet Bubble in 2001 and the Crash in the housing market that led to the recession we read about everyday – we are certainly living in quite interesting times.


-C. Salama


the crisis of communism

Based on Foner’s description, the crisis of communism started on Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. During the event about one million Chinese students, workers, and teachers joined together to demonstrated in Tiananmen Square, and demanded democracy in China. Unfortunately, the Chinese government sent troop to stop the protest and kill thousand people. In the fall of the year, the pro-democracy demonstration had spread to Eastern Europe. On November East Germany’s people crossed the Berlin wall. This means communism was collapsed in Eastern Europe.
In 1990, Gorbachev tried to start economic reform and an open policy in the Soviet Union. However, the conservatism group seized power to overturn Gorbachev government. Later, Russian president Boris Yeltsin mobilized crowds, restored Gorbachev to office and declared Russian was independent from the Soviet Union. And then the Soviet Union collapsed and fifteen independent countries created in its place in 1991.