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TEXTBOOK QUESTIONS SOLVED
1. Which among the following statements that describe the nature of Soviet economy is wrong?
(a) Socialism was the dominant ideology.
(b) State ownership/control existed over the factors of production.
(c) People enjoyed economic freedom.
(d) Every aspect of the economy was planned and contained by the state.
Answer: (c) People enjoyed economic freedom.
2. Arrange the following in chronological order:
(a) Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
(b) Fall of the Berlin Wall
(c) Disintegration of Soviet Union
(d) Russian Revolution
Answer: I. (d) Russian Revolution (1917)
II. (a) Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979)
III. (b) Fall of the Berlin Wall (Nov 1989)
IV. (c) Disintegration of Soviet Union
3. Which among the following is NOT an outcome of the disintegration of the USSR?
(a) End of the ideological war between the US and USSR
(b) Birth of CIS
(c) Change in the balance of power in the world order
(d) Crises in the Middle East
Answer: (d) Crises in the Middle East
4. Match the following:
Answer: (i)-(c); (ii)-(d); (iti)-(a); (iv)-(e); (v)-(b)
5. Fill in the blanks:
(a) The Soviet Political System was
based on ideology.
(b) was the military alliance
started by the USSR.
(c) party dominated the
Soviet Union’s political system.
(d) initiated the reforms
in the USSR in 1985.
(e) The fall of the symbolised
the end of the Cold War.
Answer: (a) socialist (b) Warsaw Pact
(c) Communist (d) Gorbachev
(e) Berlin wall
6. Mention any three features that distinguish the Soviet economy from that of a capitalist country like the US.
Answer: The three features that distinguish the Soviet economy from that of a capitalist country like the US, can be summed up as follows:
1. Soviet economy experienced a complex communication network, vast energy resources and an efficient transport sector to connect its remotest areas.
2. Soviet Union industries produced every domestic product from pin to cars, whose quality might not match with that of the west technology.
3. Soviet Union ensured a minimum standard of living for all its citizens. Consequently Government subsidised basic necessities including health, education, children and other welfare schemes.
4. There was an absence of unemployment in Soviet Union.
5. Land and productive assets were owned by the state only.
7. What were the factors that forced Gorbachev to initiate the reforms in the USSR?
Answer: Mikhail Gorbachev was the General Secretary of Communist Party of Soviet Union in 1985. He was forced to initiate the reforms in the USSR due to following reasons:
1. To keep the USSR abreast of information and technological revolutions at par the West.
2. To normalise the relations with that of the West.
3. To democratise the Soviet System.
4. To loosen the administrative system which exempted ordinary people from the privileges.
8. What were the major consequences of the disintegration of the Soviet Union for countries like India?
Answer: The major consequences of the disintegration of the Soviet Union for countries like India can be analysed as follows:
1. Disintegration of Soviet Union gave an end to Cold War confrontations and to ideological disputes between two superpowers.
2. Military alliances had been abolished and demand arose for world peace and security.
3. Multipolar system was surpassed to exist where no single power could dominate and a group of countries could play a crucial role in world politics like NAM Countries.
4. The US became the sole superpower and capitalist economy became dominant at international level. World Bank and IMF became powerful advisors due to their economic support to these countries during transitional period.
5. The motion of liberal democracy emerged as a way to organise political life.
6. Due to disintegration of Soviet Union many new countries emerged with the independent aspirations and choices.
7. The Baltic and East European states wanted to join European Union and became the part of NATO. The Central Asian countries took the advantage of their geographical location and continued close ties with Russia, West, China and others.
9. What was Shock Therapy? Was this the best way to make a transition from communism to capitalism?
Answer: Shock Therapy was a painful process of transition from an authoritarian socialist system to a democratic capitalist system. This transformation system was influenced by the world bank and the IMF in Russia, Central Asia and East Europe. Though it varies in intensity and speed amongst the former second world countries but its direction and features were quite similar.
This was not the best way to make a transition from communism to capitalism due to following drawbacks:
1. Russia, the large state controlled industrial complex lost about 90 per cent of its industries through sales to private individuals and companies
2. It created “the largest garage sale in history” which led virtual disappearance of entire industries for the restructuring was carried out by market forces in place of government owned policies.
Hence, industries were undervalued and sold at throwaway prices.
3. It systematically destroyed old system of social welfare.
4. The value of ‘ruble’, the Russian currency, declined dramatically due to high rate of inflation and real GDP of Russia also declined between 1989 to 1999.
5. The withdrawal of government subsidies pushed large sections of society into poverty and it emerged mafia to start controlling many economic activities.
6. Privatisation led to new disparities which divided Russia between rich and poor people creating economic inequality.
7. Hence, Shock Therapy brought ruin to economies and disaster upon the people of entire region.
10. Write an essay for or against the following proposition. “With the disintegration of the second world, India should change its foreign policy and focus more on friendship with the US rather than with traditional friends like Russia”.
Answer: India should not change its foreign policy and focus more on friendship with US, but India is required to maintain healthy relations with Russia because India has experienced a long band of mutual trust, interests and popular perceptions with Russia in the following manner:
1. Russia and India share a vision of multipolar world order i.e. co¬existence of several world powers internationally, collective security, greater regionalism, democratisation with the decision-making through bodies like the UN.
2. More than 80 bilateral agreements have been experienced between India and Russia as a part of the Indo- Russia Strategic Agreement of 2001.
3. India has been benefitted from its relationship on the issues like Kashmir, energy supplies, sharing information on international terrorism, access to Central Asia and balancing its relation with China.
4. Russia is also important for India’s nuclear energy plane and assisting India’s space industry by giving cryogenic rocket to India whenever needed.
5. Co-operation with Russia and its republics like Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan in the form of partnership and investment in oil fields has also benefitted India.
6. Russia is also benefitted from India on ground of the second largest arms market for Russia. Indian military gets most of its hardware from Russia.
7. Russia and India have collaborated on various scientific projects also.
Very Short Answer Type Questions [1 Mark]
1. When did Socialist Revolution take place in Russia?
2. What was Shock Therapy?
Answer: Shock Therapy was the transitional form from authoritarian socialist system to a democratic capitalist system in Russia, Central Asia and East Europe under the influence of the World Bank and IMF.
3. What was the largest garage sale in history?
Answer: Largest garage sale in history was resulted due to shock therapy to undervalue the valuable industries of the USSR to sell them at throwaway prices.
4. What was the immediate cause of disintegration of USSR?
Answer: The rise of nationalism and the desire for sovereignty within various republics including Russia and the Baltic Republic (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), Ukraine, Georgia and others proved to be the most immediate cause for disintegration of the USSR.
5. What was Socialist Bloc?
Answer: The Second World countries or the group of east European countries who were liberated from fascist forces, followed the model of the USSR, known as Socialist Bloc.
6. What is the new name of former USSR?
7. When did the Berlin Wall fall?
Answer: November 1989.
8. Who was the General Secretary of Communist Party of Soviet Union in 1985?
Answer: Mikhail Gorbachev.
9. Mention the role of Boris Yeltsin in the disintegration of the USSR.
Answer: Boris Yeltsin had emerged as national hero after popular election in Russian Republic. In Dec 1991, under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus declared themselves independent.
10. What does CIS stand for?
Answer: Commonwealth of Independent States.
Very Short Answer Type Questions [2 Marks]
1. What is meant by Shock Therapy?
Answer: The ‘Shock Therapy’ was the state of affairs which signifies the collapse of communism followed by a painful process of transition from an authoritarian socialist system to a democratic capitalist system-
1. ‘Shock Therapy’ administered in the year 1900 not to lead the people into the promised utopia of mass consumption.
2. It brought ruin to economies and disaster upon the people of entire region.
2. Why is it said that collapse of Berlin wall signified the collapse of bipolar world?
Answer: Collapse of Berlin Wall unified the
divided Germany and eight east European countries of the Soviet Bloc replaced their Communist government resulting into disintegration of Soviet Union. With the disintegration of Soviet Union, military alliances came to an end and the world became unipolar.
3. Mention any two characteristics of Soviet Political System.
Answer: 1. The Soviet Political System central around the Communist Party and no other political party or opposition was allowed.
2. The economy was planned and controlled by the state only.
The one party system had tight control over all institutions and was unaccountable to people.
3. People locked democracy and were snatched away their right to freedom of speech and expression.
4. “The Soviet Union lagged behind the West”. Comment.
Answer. The Soviet Union lagged behind the West in technology, infrastructure (transport, power etc.) as it could not cope with the political and economic aspirations of people and resulted in:
1. Though wages continued to grow but productivity and technology fell considerably behind that of the West.
2. This led to shortage of consumer goods and increased food import every year.
3. The above mentioned reasons made the Soviet economy stagnant.
5. Mention some features of Soviet Society.
Answer: 1. Soviet Society gave priority to the state and party institutions only.
2. Only the Communist Party was ruling over there and no opposition was allowed.
3. The economy was planned and controlled by the state only.
4. The Soviet Union became the great power after the Second World War.
6. Write anote onformationof Commonwealth of Independent States.
Answer: Disintegration of the USSR gave birth to Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) when under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin Russia, Ukraine and Belarus declared themselves as independent and gave a surprise to other republics especially to central Asian Republics. This issue was resolved quickly by making these republics as founding
members of the CIS and Russia became the successor state who inherited the Soviet sea in the UN and accepted all the international treaties and commitments.
7. Mention any two possibilities which were being presumed in changed scenario of world politics after disintegration of the USSR.
Answer: 1. The US, the only superpower could dominate the world and make a unipolar world.
2. A multipolar world could also exist where no other power could dominate or the group of countries could participate in the international affairs.
8. How did the USSR come into existence?
Answer: The USSR came into existence after the Socialist revolution in Russia in 1917 with the inspiration of socialism and a need of egalitarian society who opposed capitalism. This was considered the biggest attempt in human history to abolish the institution of private property and to design a society based on equality.
9. Who was Gorbachev? Why did he seek to reform Soviet Society?
Answer: Gorbachev was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1985. He was forced by the following factors to seek reforms in Soviet Society:
1. To keep the USSR abreast of the
information and technological revolutions.
2. To bring Soviet economy at par with the west.
3. To loosen the administrative system.
4. To democratise Soviet System and to normalise relations with the west.
10. How did Shock Therapy affect trade and commerce of Russia?
Answer. Shock Therapy affected trade and commerce of Russia in the following manner:
1. The value of Ruble, the Russian ’ currency declined.
2. Inflation rose at a very high rate and it lost all savings of people.
3. Lack of productivity and technology created shortage of food which increased food imports every year.
4. The GDP of Russia also declined between 1989 to 1999.
11. When and how did Russia revive its economy?
Answer: Russia revived its economy in 2000 by the export of natural resources like oil, natural gas and minerals. Even other countries have also gained due to crossing of pipelines from their region and they have been paid a rent. Russia has started some manufacturing units also to revive its economy.
12. Write a note on tension and conflicts that occurred in Russia.
Answer: In Russia, two republics—Chechnya and Dagestan—had violent secessionist movements. Moscow’s method of dealing with the Chechen rebels and indiscriminate military bombings have led to many human rights violation but failed to deter the aspirations for ‘independence’.
13. Mention the methods of‘Shock Therapy’ amongst the former Second World countries.
Answer: 1. The newly evolved criterion required to make a total shift to a capitalist economy to root out completely any structures evolved during Soviet period.
2. Shock therapy involved a drastic change in the external orientation.
3. Sudden and complete switch to free trade was considered essential.
4. It also involved openness to foreign investment, financial opening up and currency convertibility.
14. “ The old system of social welfare was systematically destroyed”. With reference to Shock Therapy, justify the statement.
Ans: 1. The Government withdrew subsidies and pushed people into poverty.
2. The middle classes were pushed to the periphery of society and the academic and intellectual manpower migrated.
3. A mafia had been emerged and started controlling many economic activities.
4. Privatisation led to new disparities.
Short Answer Type Questions [4 Marks]
1. Describe any four consequences of the disintegration of Soviet Union.
Answer: (i) The disintegration of Soviet Union meant the end of Cold War confrontations which demanded the end of armed race and restoration of possible peace.
(ii) This disintegration created the possibility to bring in a ‘multipolar system’ where no power could dominate.
(iii) The US became the sole superpower and the ‘capitalist economy’ was now dominant economic system at international level.
(iv) This disintegration emerged in many new countries dividing Soviet Union into 15 independent countries alongwith their own aspirations and choices.
2. Explain any two reasons for disintegration of the USSR.
Answer: 1. The internal weaknesses of Soviet political and economic institutions failed to meet the aspirations of the people.
2. Economic stagnation for many years led to severed consumer shortage and a large section of Soviet society began to double the system because Communist Party was not accountable to peoples.
3. What were the political reasons for disintegration of Soviet Union?
Answer: 1. The Communist Party of Soviet Union had ruled for over 70 years but it was not accountable to people.
2. Ordinary people had been alienated and were exempted from enjoying the privileges and to participate actively in political affairs.
3. Due to slow and stifling administration, the inability of system to correct mistakes lost popular support.
4. The centralisation of authority in > vast land.
4. In what manner Gorbachev’s reform policy was protested? Who took the command during these events?
Answer. 1. The East European countries which were the part of the Soviet Bloc, started to protest against their own
government and Soviet control.
2. Boris Yeltsin took the command during these events as he got popular support of people in the elections and began to shake off centralised control.
3. Power began to shift from centre to the republics which declared themselves independent.
4. In December 1991, under the leadership of Boris Yeltsin Russia, Ukraine and Baltics declared themselves as sovereign states.
5. Why did Soviet system become so weak and Soviet economy stagnant?
Answer: Soviet system became so weak and Soviet economy stagnant due to the following reasons:
1. The Soviet economy used much of its resources in maintaining nuclear and military arsenals.
2. Soviet economy concentrated on the development of its satellite states in Eastern Europe especially in the five central Asian Republics.
3. This led to a huge economic burden on people to be coped up with.
4. Ordinary citizens became more knowledgeable about the economic advancement of the West and backwardness of Soviet system.
6. Why did Gorbachev’s reform policy fail in spite of his accurate diagnosis of the problem?
Answer. 1. When Gorbachev carried out his reforms and loosened the system, he set in motion forces and expectations that few could have predicted and became virtually impossible to control.
2. Some sections of Soviet Society felt that Gorbachev should have moved much faster and were disappointed and impatient with him.
3. The members of communist party felt that their power and privileges were eroding and Gorbachev was moving too quickly.
4. In this tug of war, Gorbachev lost support on all sides and divided public opinion with the disillusionment of inadequate dependence.
Passage Based Questions [5 Marks]
1. Read the following passage (NCERT Textbook, page 27) carefully and answer the questions:
In eastern Europe, Czechoslovakia split peacefully into two, with the Czechs and the Slovaks forming independent countries. But the most severe conflict took place in the Balkan republics of Yugoslavia. After 1991, it broke apart with several provinces like Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina declaring independence. Ethnic Serbs opposed this, and a massacre of non-Serb Bosnians followed. The NATO intervention and the bombing of Yugoslavia followed inter¬ethnic civil war.
1. In Eastern Europe which republic split into two?
2. Name the republic/place where severe conflict took place.
3. Name various provinces with which Yugoslavia had been broken in 1991?
4. Which incidents resulted into inter-ethnic civil war?
1. Czechoslovakia split into two with Czechs and Slovaks.
2. Balkan republics of Yugoslavia.
3. Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Herzegovina.
4. 1. Ethnic Serbs opposed the breakirigup
of several provinces independently following a massacre of non-serb Bosnians.
2. NATO intervention and bombing on Yugoslavia.
2. Read the following passage (NCERT Textbook, page 18) carefully and answer the questions:
The Soviet system, however, became very bureaucratic and authoritarian, making life very difficult for its citizens. Lack of democracy and the absence of freedom of speech stifled people who often expressed their dissent in jokes and cartoons. Most of the institutions of the Soviet state needed reform : the one-party system
represented by the communist party of the Soviet union had tight control over all institutions and was unaccountable to the people. The party refused to recognise the urge of people in the fifteen different republics that formed the Soviet Union to manage their own affairs including their cultural affairs. Although, on paper, Russia was only one of the fifteen republics then together constituted the USSR in reality Russia dominated everything, and people from other regions felt neglected and often suppressed.
1. What was Soviet system?
2. How many republics formed Soviet Union?
3. Which republic dominated in the USSR?
4. Why did people become dissatisfied
with the rule of Communist Party of Soviet Union?
1. 1. Soviet system was bureaucratic and
authoritarian making life difficult for citizens.
2. Soviet system lacked democracy and the freedom of speech of people was also snatched away.
2. 15 Republics.
4. 1. Soviet Union had tight control over
2. Soviet Union was unaccountable to people.
3. Soviet Union refused 15 republics to manage their own affairs.
Long Answer Type Questions [6 Marks]
1. What was Soviet system? Assess any four features of Soviet system.
Answer: Soviet system was introduced after Socialist Revolution in Russia in 1917. It was based on the principle of egalitarian society and planned economy controlled by the state. Its four features can be summed up in the following ways:
1. The Soviet system ensured a minimum standard of living for its citizens.
2. The government subsidised basic necessities including health,education, childcare and other welfare schemes.
3. There was no unemployment in the Soviet system.
4. State ownership was the dominant owned and controlled by the Soviet state.
2. Explain six factors which helped Soviet Union becoming superpower after Second World War.
Answe: The following factors helped Soviet Union becoming superpower after Second World War:
1. The east European countries the Soviet army had liberated from the fascist forces came under the control of the USSR.
2. The political and economic systems of all these countries were modelled after the USSR and collectively were called the second world.
3. The WARSAW PACT, a military alliance held them together and the USSR was the leader of the bloc.
4. The Soviet economy was then more developed than the rest of the world except for the US.
5. It had a complex communication network, vast energy resources including oil, iron and steel, (machinery) production and a transport sector that connected its remotest _areas with efficiency.
6. It had a domestic consumer industry that produced everything from pins to cars to make themselves self-dependent.
3. “During the Cold War era India and the USSR enjoyed a special relationship which made critics to say that India was part of Soviet camp”. Examine the statement.
“India and the USSR enjoyed mutual dimensional relationship.” Justify the statement.
Answer: During the Cold War era India and the USSR enjoyed a special relationship which made critics to say that India was part of the Soviet camp. It was a multi-dimensional relationship:
(a) The Soviet Union assisted India’s public sector companies at a time when such assistance was difficult to get.
(b) It gave aid and technical assistance for steel plants like Bhilai, Bokaro, Vishakhapatnam and machinery plants like Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd.
(c) The Soviet Union accepted Indian currency for trade when India was short of foreign exchange.
(а) The Soviet Union supported India’s positions on the Kashmir issue in the WN.
(b) The Soviet Union also supported India during its major conflicts during the war with Pakistan in 1971.
(c) India too supported Soviet foreign policy in some crucial but indirect ways.
(a) India received military hardware from Soviet Union.
(b) India got technological know-how regarding maintenance of military arsenal.
(c) India and Soviet Union got mutual agreements to produce military equipments.
(a) Hindi films and Indian culture were popular in the Soviet Union.
(b) A large number of Indian writers and artists visited the USSR.
(c) Indian heroes from Raj Kapoor to Amitabh Bachhan are household names in Russia.
4. Mention the causes of Soviet disintegration.
Answer: The causes of Soviet disintegration can be summed up as follows:
1. Economic Stagnancy:
(a) Economic institutions experienced internal weaknesses to meet the aspirations of people.
(b) Economic stagnation for many years to severe consumer shortages.
2. Political and Administrative Causes:
(a) The only ruling Communist Party was not accountable despite its rule of 70 years.
(b) Theordinaiypeoplewereabstained from taking participation in political riots, hence the system became incapable of correcting its mistakes.
(c) The ordinary citizens were exempted from gaining the privileges.
(d) Due to non-participation of people, the government lost popular support from all sides.
3. Gorbachev’s Reform Policies:
(а) Gorbachev’s reforms aimed at keeping the USSR abreast of information and technological revolutions taking place in the west.
(b) Gorbachev focused to normalise relations with the west.
(c) Gorbachev worked to democratise the Soviet System.
(d) But Society was divided into two sections towards Gorbacheve’s reforms and both of them had contradictory views towards him.
4. Rise of Nationalism and Desire for Sovereignty:
(a) The rise of nationalism in various republics of Soviet Union proved to be immediate cause of revolutions in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Georgia.
(b) The nationalist dissatisfaction with the Soviet Union was strongest in European and prosperous part in Russia and the Baltic areas as well as Ukraine and Georgia.
(c) Ordinary people felt alienated from Central Asia.
5. What sot of conflicts had occurred in Soviet Republics? Explain.
Answer: 1. In Russia:
(a) Chechnya and Dagestan had violent secessionist movements.
(b) Moscow’s method to deal with Chechen rebels and indiscriminate military bombings led to many human rights violation but for deter aspirations for independence.
2. In Central Asia:
(a) Tajikistan witnessed a civil war that went on for ten years till 2001.
(b) In Azerbaijan’s provinces of Nagorno-Karobakh, some local Armenians want to secede and join Armenia.
(c) In Georgia, the demand for independence came from two provinces resulting in a civil war.
(d) There are still movements against the existing regimes in Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia.
(e) Even countries and provinces are fighting over river water.
3. In Eastern Europe:
(a) Czechoslovakia, split peacefully into two with the Czechs and Slovaks, forming independent countries.
(b) The severe conflict took place in the Balkan republics of Yugoslavia.
(c) After 1991, Yugoslavia broke \ apart with several provinces like Croatia, Slovania, Bosnia and Herzegovina declaring independence.
(d) Ethnic Serbs opposed this and a massacre of non-Serbs Bosanians followed.
(e) The NATO intervention and the bombing of Yugoslavia followed inter-ethnic Civil war.
Map Based Questions [5 Marks]
On a political map of world locate and label the following by giving symbols to them:
1. A republic of Eastern Europe split into two independent countries peacefully.
2. Most dominating republic of Soviet Union.
3. Identify two major oil and gas producers of Soviet Union.
members of Commonwealth of Independent States.
1. Czechoslovakia Czechs (1) and Slovakia(2).
2. Russia (3).
3. Turkmenistan (4) and Uzbekistan (5).
4. Yugoslavia (6).
5. Ukraine (7) and Belarus (8)