USSR Full From is Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Formerly, USSR was a country that comprised mainly of the current day Russian Federation and various adjacent states. This includes Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Armenia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Moldovia, Tajikistan, and more. It was a constitutionally socialist state which exists between 1917 and 1991 in Eurasia.
USSR was also called the Soviet Union and was founded by the revolution under Vladimir Lenin’s leadership. During its existence, USSR was the largest country in the world in area. It covered over 11 time zones out of the total 24 time zones. After USSR was dissolved, Russia, which was a major part of USSR has become Russian Federation, while other countries retain the same names.
USSR Full Form – Additional Information
The name Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which will hereinafter be referred to as USSR throughout the article, cannot be erased from the pages of history because of its key role in changing political, socio-economic trends in the world. Its role, especially during the time of cold war, is immemorial and needs to be studied in detail. USSR, which was also known as the Soviet Union, was actually a socialist state situated on the Eurasian continent. The Union lasted from the year 1922 to the year 1991.
It is called a Union because it is an assemblage of several soviet republics in which their governments and economies were subjected to a centralized system. Thus, USSR was basically a one-party state, which the Communist Party governed from the capital region Moscow. There are many aspects about USSR that need to be known, especially because of its historical relevance. So here are five points about USSR that everyone must know about:
History behind the formation and disintegration of the USSR
The origin of the USSR can be traced back to the October Revolution that occurred in the year 1917. It was that period when the Bolsheviks had successfully overthrown the substitute government that was placed as a replacement to the Tsar. Following the event, the Bolsheviks installed the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, whose name was later changed to Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in the year 1936. The establishment marked the commencement of a civil war between Whites and the Reds. The Red Army stormed multiple territories of the empire and supported regional communists to take over through soviets.
In the year 1922, the communists clinched victory and established the Soviet Union by causing unification of the entire Russian republic, and other republics such as Ukranian, Byelorussian, and Transcaucasian. When Lenin died in the year 1924, Joseph Stalin took over the reins of the empire and managed to suppress almost every political opposition that emerged and committed to the Marxism-Leninism ideology. Stalin was an oppressive leader, who removed political opposition out of his fears of being overthrown. He is known to have carried out the Great Purge, which resulted in mass arrests of people, who were either sentenced to death or sent to labor camps.
By the time Stalin died, Cold War had already emerged. Post-1953, Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev took the task to encourage political harmony and economic liberalization. This chapter is known as Khrushchev’s Thaw. During this period, the USSR witnessed a rapid surge in development activities. Such was the developmental pace that USSR took the early lead in Space programs and launched the first human spaceflight. In the 1970s, tensions accelerated when USSR started deploying military troops to Afghanistan. The Aghan war caused heavy drainage of resources of the country.
The last of the Soviet leaders, Mikhail Gorbachev, tried to reform the Soviet society through his policies, perestroika and glasnost. It was during his tenure the Cold War was finished, however, there were numeral infighting among constituent republics. In the year 1991, the Communist Party attempted a failed coup, following which it was banned. Gorbachev resigned eventually and the constituent republics left the Union, causing the Union to break up. This was the rich history of USSR, which holds great relevance in understanding the contemporary Russian ideology.
Politics in the USSR
During the lifetime of the USSR, there were three key power hierarchies, namely: the legislature, which the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union represented; the government, which the Council of Ministers represented; and then the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (abbreviated as CPSU), which was the only party legal in the country and the ultimate policymaker. The Communist party was known for its rigorous control mechanism through the system of appointments.
Every senior official of the government and deputy of the Supreme Soviet were also the members to the CPSU. As far as the Judiciary system is concerned, it was not independent. The Supreme Court of the USSR undertook a supervisory role to the lower courts—also known as the People’s courts—and ensured application of law according to the interpretations made by the Supreme Soviet. The task of reviewing the issues relating to the constitutionality of laws was upon the Constitutional Oversight Committee. In the Soviet Union, the inquisitorial system prevailed.
Science and Technology
One of the greatest achievements of the USSR was in the field of science and technology. The most commendable contributions of the USSR such as the launch of the first space satellite of the world were all the tasks of the military. The emphasis upon the development of science and technology was essentially based on Lenin’s belief that developed world cannot be outsmarted unless science and technology is developed. This led to the formation of a huge, well-organized network of research institutions, developmental organizations, and other agencies.
In the 1960s, USSR had awarded about 40 PhDs in chemistry to women scholars, which was way more than the number of such PhDs awarded in the United States of America. Despite its numerous achievements, the policy followed by the USSR in respect of the development of science and technology was flawed and eventually, it could not excel much in key areas such as biology, chemistry, and computers. In the meantime, the US adopted a much relaxed and organized policy of development, which allowed free flow of ideas and developmental investments.
Education system in the USSR
Until the year 1917, the education system of the Russian Empire was inaccessible to children belonging to backward classes. However, post-formation of the USSR, the emphasis was started to be laid on the importance of education. Reforms were placed for removing illiteracy. Many believe that quality was compromised for quantity.
Following the Great Patriotic War, the education system of the Union saw great expansion. By the year 1960, almost every child in the Union could have access to educational facilities. The contributions of Nikita Khrushchev are especially important in this regard.
The education system was a centralized one and it placed affirmative action for those students who came from culturally backward nations. There, however, existed anti-Semitic education policy, which subjected Jews applicants to tougher entrance examinations. Thus, even though efforts were made to expand and develop education system, the authorities nevertheless ensured that their ideologies are sufficiently taught and ingrained in pupils.
Economy of the USSR
It is to be noted that the Soviet Union was the first country to officially adopt a planned and systematic economy. In its economy, the manufacture and distribution of goods were centralized and regulated by the government. The Bolshevik first experimented with the economy with War Communism policy, which dealt with the nationalization of industries, centralization of distribution services, forced acquisition of agricultural produce, and elimination of free trade.
War Communism policy was however substituted with New Economy Policy (abbreviated as NEP) by Lenin. NEP legitimatized free trade and even allowed private ownership, though restricted it to small enterprises. The USSE witnessed massive industrial development and it eventually became an industrialized nation. It emerged as a great superpower post-World War II. The economic policies of the Union remained the same until its collapse into several independent nations.