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Record of the First Conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and FRG President Richard von Weizsäcker

Source

On June 12, 1989, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev began a four-day visit to West Germany, just two weeks after a similar visit to West Germany by United States President George H. W. Bush. Gorbachev had by the summer of 1989 become a popular figure and expectations were running high in West German society over the summit. From the Soviet Union's perspective, West Germany represented... Read More »

Religious Freedom in the Soviet Union

Source

By the summer of 1988, Mikhail Gorbachev's reform policies glasnost' (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) had begun to change the political landscape of the Soviet Union. The U.S. and Soviet Union had made considerable progress in limiting arms build-up through a series of negotiations. However, when President Ronald Reagan visited Moscow in the summer of 1988 for a political summit, the... Read More »

Remarks Celebrating the Reunification of Germany

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On October 3, 1990, the East and West German states officially united into a single sovereign state—the Federal Republic of Germany. The terms for unification were hammered out in a series of agreements including both the Unification Treaty, that dealt with domestic issues, and the Two-Plus-Four Agreement, that dealt with issues of foreign policy. In a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House,... Read More »

Remarks on East-West Relations at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin

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On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan delivered a major speech on the Cold War with the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall as a back drop. In staging this speech, President Reagan hoped to draw a parallel with the historic speech delivered in Berlin by President John F. Kennedy in July 1963. It was in this speech that President Kennedy spoke the famous phrase: "All free men, wherever... Read More »

Report of Vadim Zagladin on his conversation with Chairman of the Czechoslovak

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International relations specialist and key Gorbachev advisor Vadim Zagladin made this report to the Soviet Politburo in early April 1989. In it, Zagladin recounts his conversation with Jan Pudlak, a high-ranking Czechoslovak official, about the situation in Pudlak's country. Zagladin's main impressions from the discussion include the inflexibility of the ruling elite, their inability to... Read More »

Report on Poland

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On October 30, 1980, two Polish officials, Stanislaw Kania (first secretary of the Communist Party) and Josef Pinkowski (prime minister), visited the Soviet Union to engage in discussions with the Soviet leadership about the ongoing critical situation in Poland. The next day, at a meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union (CPSU), Soviet leaders met to talk... Read More »

Robespierre, "On Political Morality"

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In this speech to the Convention, delivered on 5 February 1794, Robespierre offered a justification of the Terror. By this date, the Federalist revolt and Vendée uprisings had been by and large pacified and the threat of invasion by the Austrians, British, and Prussians had receded, yet Robespierre emphasized that only a combination of virtue (a commitment to republican ideals) and terror (... Read More »

Robespierre, "Speech Denouncing the New Conditions of Eligibility," 22 October 1789

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Few deputies opposed the property requirements for voting and holding office. One of the few who did, Maximilien Robespierre (1758–94), a lawyer from Arras in northern France, made a reputation for himself as a determined and devoted defender of "the people," that is, for the most democratic possible interpretation [still, however, excluding women] of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and... Read More »

Saint–Just (13 November 1792)

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The first debate over the fate of Louis XVI concerned whether the Convention could try the King at all, and if so, for what crimes. The Constitution of 1791 had promised Louis "inviolability," meaning immunity from prosecution. One of the first speakers was Louis–Antoine Léon de Saint–Just, a brilliant, idealistic, and young Jacobin deputy. He drew on Montesquieu as well as Rousseau to argue... Read More »

Second Conversation between M.S. Gorbachev and FRG Chancellor H. Kohl

Source

On June 12, 1989, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev began a four-day visit to West Germany, just two weeks after a similar visit to West Germany by United States President George H. W. Bush. Gorbachev had by the summer of 1989 become a popular figure and expectations were running high in West German society over the summit. From the Soviet Union's perspective, West Germany represented... Read More »

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