Browse Primary Sources

Theses for the Discussion with the Polish Leadership

In response to another rise in prices, for meat products in particular, strikes erupted in the summer of 1980 in Poland among workers throughout the country, especially in the cities of Gdansk, Gdynia, and Szczecin. Strikers listed a total of twenty-one demands, including higher pay, more openness in media, less censorship, and the formation of free trade unions.

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The INF Treaty

In December 1987, President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in Washington, DC. The treaty eliminated both nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic missiles with a range of 300-3,400 miles.

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Helsinki Accords: Declaration on Human Rights

The Helsinki Declaration of August 1, 1975 was a turning point in Cold War relations inside European borders. The Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries celebrated the acknowledgment of their national boundaries; a desired goal since the end of World War II. West European democracies celebrated the Warsaw Pact countries' willingness to adopt ten major points of international diplomacy.

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Pro-Communist Rally in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, the Communist Party led the movement toward democratic change. Following the legalization of several other political parties, and the formation of the Union of Democratic Forces, the Bulgarian Communist Party Secretary, Petur Mladenov, announced a further set of reforms. The following is an official report from the U.S.

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Rewriting Article 1 of the Bulgarian Constitution

In Bulgaria, the Communist Party led the movement toward democratic change. Following the legalization of several other political parties, the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) introduced legal reforms to the Bulgarian government.

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Bulgaria's First Non-Communist Political Party

Ecoglasnost began as a social activism group focused on environmental concerns and a general human rights campaign. In March 1989, it became a "political club," officially seeking recognition as a political party in Bulgaria in June 1989.

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U.S. Plans for Upcoming Meetings with Soviet Leaders

President George H. W. Bush held his first summit with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev early in December 1989 onboard a Soviet cruise ship docked off the coast of Malta.

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Eastern Europe

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was opened, allowing citizens of both East and West Germany to travel freely between the two countries. This was a clear sign to the Soviet government of the rapid acceleration of change in Eastern Europe, as the Berlin Wall had been both the physical and symbolic divide of West and East Europe.

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