Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. With a population of about 430,000, it is one of the smaller capitals of Europe but still the country's largest city; the greater metropolitan area is home to more than 650,000 people. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia, occupying both banks of the River Danube and the left bank of the River Morava. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital; the city's history has been influenced by people of different nations and religions, namely Austrians, Croats, Germans, Jews and Slovaks. It was the coronation site and legislative center of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1536 to 1783, has been home to many Slovak and German historical figures. Bratislava is the political and economic centre of Slovakia, it is the seat of the parliament and the Slovak Executive. It has several universities, many museums, theatres and other cultural and educational institutions. Many of Slovakia's large businesses and financial institutions have headquarters there. In 2017, Bratislava was ranked as the third richest region of the European Union by GDP per capita.
GDP at purchasing power parity is about three times higher than in other Slovak regions. Bratislava receives around 1 million tourists every year; the city received its contemporary name in 1919. Until it was known in English by its German name, since after 1526 it was dominated by the Habsburg Monarchy and the city had a relevant ethnic-German population; that is the term from which the pre-1919 Czech names are derived. The city's Hungarian name, was given after the castle's first castellan, "Poson"; the origin of the name is unclear: it might come from the Czech Pos or the German Poscho, which are personal names. The medieval settlement Brezalauspurc is sometimes attributed to Bratislava, but the actual location of Brezalauspurc is under scholarly debate; the city's modern name is credited to Pavel Jozef Šafárik's misinterpretation of Braslav as Bratislav in his analysis of mediaeval sources, which led him to invent the term Břetislaw, which became Bratislav. During the revolution of 1918–1919, the name'Wilsonov' or'Wilsonstadt' was proposed by American Slovaks, as he supported national self-determination.
The name Bratislava, used only by some Slovak patriots, became official in March 1919. Other alternative names of the city in the past include Greek: Ιστρόπολις Istropolis, Czech: Prešpurk, French: Presbourg, Italian: Presburgo, Latin: Posonium, Romanian: Pojon and Serbo-Croatian: Požun / Пожун. In older documents, confusion can be caused by the Latin forms Bratislavia, Wratislavia etc. which refer to Wrocław, not Bratislava. The first known permanent settlement of the area began with the Linear Pottery Culture, around 5000 BC in the Neolithic era. About 200 BC, the Celtic Boii tribe founded the first significant settlement, a fortified town known as an oppidum, they established a mint, producing silver coins known as biatecs. The area fell under Roman influence from the 1st to the 4th century AD and was made part of the Danubian Limes, a border defence system; the Romans introduced grape growing to the area and began a tradition of winemaking, which survives to the present. The Slavs arrived from the East between the 6th centuries during the Migration Period.
As a response to onslaughts by Avars, the local Slavic tribes rebelled and established Samo's Empire, the first known Slavic political entity. In the 9th century, the castles at Bratislava and Devín were important centres of the Slavic states: the Principality of Nitra and Great Moravia. Scholars have debated the identification as fortresses of the two castles built in Great Moravia, based on linguistic arguments and because of the absence of convincing archaeological evidence; the first written reference to a settlement named "Brezalauspurc" dates to 907 and is related to the Battle of Pressburg, during which a Bavarian army was defeated by the Hungarians. It is connected to the fall of Great Moravia weakened by its own inner decline and under the attacks of the Hungarians; the exact location of the battle remains unknown, some interpretations place it west of Lake Balaton. In the 10th century, the territory of Pressburg became part of Hungary, it developed as a key administrative centre on the kingdom's frontier.
This strategic position destined the city to be the site of frequent attacks and battles, but brought it economic development and high political status. It was granted its first known "town privileges" in 1291 by the Hungarian King Andrew III, was declared a free royal town in 1405 by King Sigismund. In 1436 he authorized the town to use its own coat of arms; the Kingdom of Hungary was defeated by the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Mohács in 1526. The Turks failed to conquer it. Owing to Ottoman advances into Hungarian territory, the city was designated the new capital of Hungary in 1536, after becoming part of the Habsburg Monarchy and marking the beginning of a new era; the city became a coronation town and the seat of kings, the nobility and all major organisations and offices. Between 1536 and 1830, eleven Hungarian kings and queens were crowned at St. Martin's Cathedral. The
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was a Soviet politician. The fifth leader of the Soviet Union, he was General Secretary of the Central Committee of the governing Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1964 until his death in 1982. Ideologically, he was a Marxist-Leninist. Brezhnev was born to a Russian worker's family in Kamenskoye in the Russian Empire. After graduating from the Kamenskoye Metallurgical Technicum, he became a metallurgical engineer in the iron and steel industry. After the October Revolution led to the formation of a one-party state led by the Communist Party, Brezhnev joined the party's youth league, Komsomol, in 1923, became an active party member by 1929. With the onset of World War II, he was drafted into immediate military service and left the army in 1946 with the rank of major general. In 1952 Brezhnev was promoted in 1957 to full member of the Politburo. In 1964, he succeeded Nikita Khrushchev as First Secretary of the CPSU; as the leader of the Soviet Union, Brezhnev's conservatism and carefulness to reach decisions through consensus within the Politburo resulted in sustained political stability within the party and the country.
However, his hostility towards reform and tolerance of corruption ushered in a period of socioeconomic decline that came to be known as the Brezhnev Stagnation. On the world stage, Brezhnev pushed hard for the adoption of détente to relax tensions and foster economic cooperation between the two Cold War superpowers. Despite such diplomatic gestures, his regime presided over widespread military interventionism and a massive arms buildup that grew to comprise 12.5% of the nation's GNP. After years of declining health, Brezhnev died on 10 November 1982 and was succeeded as General Secretary by Yuri Andropov. Upon coming to power in 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev denounced his regime's pervasive inefficiency and inflexibility before overseeing steps to liberalize the Soviet Union. Brezhnev's eighteen-year term as General Secretary was second only to that of Joseph Stalin in duration. During Brezhnev's rule, the global influence of the Soviet Union grew in part because of the expansion of its military during this time.
His tenure as leader was marked by the beginning of an era of economic and social stagnation in the Soviet Union. Brezhnev was born on 19 December 1906 in Kamenskoye, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Russian Empire, to metalworker Ilya Yakovlevich Brezhnev and his wife, Natalia Denisovna Mazalova, his parents used to live in Brezhnevo before moving to Kamenskoe. Brezhnev's ethnicity was specified as Ukrainian in main documents including his passport, Russian in some others. Like many youths in the years after the Russian Revolution of 1917, he received a technical education, at first in land management and in metallurgy, he graduated from the Kamenskoye Metallurgical Technicum in 1935 and became a metallurgical engineer in the iron and steel industries of eastern Ukraine. Brezhnev joined the Communist Party youth organisation, the Komsomol, in 1923, the Party itself in 1929. In 1935 and 1936, Brezhnev served his compulsory military service, after taking courses at a tank school, he served as a political commissar in a tank factory.
In 1936, he became director of the Dniprodzerzhynsk Metallurgical Technicum. In 1936, he was transferred to the regional center of Dnipropetrovsk, in 1939, he became Party Secretary in Dnipropetrovsk, in charge of the city's important defence industries; as a survivor of Stalin's Great Purge of 1937–39, he was able to advance as the purges created numerous openings in the senior and middle ranks of the Party and state governments. When Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941, Brezhnev was, like most middle-ranking Party officials drafted, he worked to evacuate Dnipropetrovsk's industries to the east of the Soviet Union before the city fell to the Germans on 26 August, was assigned as a political commissar. In October, Brezhnev was made deputy of political administration for the Southern Front, with the rank of Brigade-Commissar; when Ukraine was occupied by the Germans in 1942, Brezhnev was sent to the Caucasus as deputy head of political administration of the Transcaucasian Front.
In April 1943, he became head of the Political Department of the 18th Army. That year, the 18th Army became part of the 1st Ukrainian Front, as the Red Army regained the initiative and advanced westward through Ukraine; the Front's senior political commissar was Nikita Khrushchev, who had supported Brezhnev's career since the pre-war years. Brezhnev had met Khrushchev in 1931, shortly after joining the Party, before long, as he continued his rise through the ranks, he became Khrushchev's protégé. At the end of the war in Europe, Brezhnev was chief political commissar of the 4th Ukrainian Front, which entered Prague in May 1945, after the German surrender. Brezhnev temporarily left the Soviet Army with the rank of Major General in August 1946, he had spent the entire war as a political commissar rather than a military commander. After working on reconstruction projects in Ukraine, he again became General Secretary in Dnipropetrovsk. In 1950, he became a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union's highest legislative body.
That year he was appointed Party First Secretary in the Moldavian SSR. In 1952, he had a meeting with Stalin after which Stalin promoted Brezhnev to the Communist Party's Central Commit
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary was a monarchy in Central Europe that existed from the Middle Ages into the 20th century. The Principality of Hungary emerged as a Christian kingdom upon the coronation of the first king Stephen I at Esztergom around the year 1000. By the 12th century, the kingdom became a European middle power within the Western world. Due to the Ottoman occupation of the central and southern territories of Hungary in the 16th century, the country was partitioned into three parts: the Habsburg Royal Hungary, Ottoman Hungary, the semi-independent Principality of Transylvania; the House of Habsburg held the Hungarian throne after the Battle of Mohács until 1918 and played a key role in the liberation wars against the Ottoman Empire. From 1867, territories connected to the Hungarian crown were incorporated into Austria-Hungary under the name of Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen; the monarchy ended with the deposition of the last king Charles IV in 1918, after which Hungary became a republic.
The kingdom was nominally restored during the "Regency" of 1920–46, ending under the Soviet occupation in 1946. The Kingdom of Hungary was a multiethnic state from its inception until the Treaty of Trianon and it covered what is today Hungary, Slovakia and other parts of what is now Romania, Carpathian Ruthenia, Vojvodina and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders. From 1102 it included Croatia, being in personal union with it, united under the King of Hungary. Today, the feast day of the first king Stephen I is a national holiday in Hungary, commemorating the foundation of the state; the Latin forms Ungarie. The German name Königreich Ungarn was used from 1784 to 1790 and again between 1849 and the 1860s; the Hungarian name was used in the 1840s, again from the 1860s to 1946. The unofficial Hungarian name of the kingdom was Magyarország, still the colloquial, the official name of Hungary; the names in the other native languages of the kingdom were: Polish: Królestwo Węgier, Romanian: Regatul Ungariei, Serbian: Kraljevina Ugarska, Croatian: Kraljevina Ugarska, Slovene: Kraljevina Ogrska, Slovak: Uhorské kráľovstvo, Italian, Regno d'Ungheria.
In Austria-Hungary, the unofficial name Transleithania was sometimes used to denote the regions of the Kingdom of Hungary. The term Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen was included for the Hungarian part of Austria-Hungary, although this term was in use prior to that time; the Hungarians led by Árpád settled the Carpathian Basin in 895, established Principality of Hungary. The Hungarians led several successful incursions to Western Europe, until they were stopped by Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor in Battle of Lechfeld; the principality was succeeded by the Christian Kingdom of Hungary with the coronation of St Stephen I at Esztergom on Christmas Day 1000. The first kings of the kingdom were from the Árpád dynasty, he fought with Bavarian help, defeated him near Veszprém. The Catholic Church received powerful support from Stephen I, who with Christian Hungarians and German knights wanted a Christian kingdom established in Central Europe. Stephen I of Hungary was canonized as a Catholic saint in 1083 and an Orthodox saint in 2000.
After his death, a period of revolts and conflict for supremacy ensued between the royalty and the nobles. In 1051 armies of the Holy Roman Empire tried to conquer Hungary, but they were defeated at Vértes Mountain; the armies of the Holy Roman Empire continued to suffer defeats. Before 1052 Peter Orseolo, a supporter of the Holy Roman Empire, was overthrown by king Samuel Aba of Hungary; this period of revolts ended during the reign of Béla I. Hungarian chroniclers praised Béla I for introducing new currency, such as the silver denarius, for his benevolence to the former followers of his nephew, Solomon; the second greatest Hungarian king from the Árpád dynasty, was Ladislaus I of Hungary, who stabilized and strengthened the kingdom. He was canonized as a saint. Under his rule Hungarians fought against the Cumans and acquired parts of Croatia in 1091. Due to a dynastic crisis in Croatia, with the help of the local nobility who supported his claim, he managed to swiftly seize power in northern parts of the Croatian kingdom, as he was a claimant to the throne due to the fact that his sister was married to the late Croatian king Zvonimir who died childless.
However, kingship over all of Croatia would not be achieved until the reign of his successor Coloman. With the coronation of King Coloman as "King of Croatia and Dalmatia" in Biograd in 1102, the two kingdoms of Croatia and Hungary were united under one crown. Although the precise terms of this relationship became a matter of dispute in the 19th century, it is believed that Coloman created a kind of personal union between the two kingdoms; the nature of the relationship varied through time, Croatia retained a large degree of internal autonomy overall, while the real power rested in the hands of the local nobility. Modern Croatian and Hungarian historiographies view the relations between Kingdom of Croatia and Kingdom of Hungary from 1102 as a form of a personal union, i.e. that
Václav Havel was a Czech statesman and former dissident, who served as the last President of Czechoslovakia from 1989 until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1992 and as the first President of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003. As a writer of Czech literature, he is known for his plays and memoirs, his educational opportunities having been limited by his bourgeois background, Havel first rose to prominence as a playwright. In works such as The Garden Party and The Memorandum, Havel used an absurdist style to criticize communism. After participating in the Prague Spring and being blacklisted after the invasion of Czechoslovakia, he became more politically active and helped found several dissident initiatives, including Charter 77 and the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted, his political activities brought him under the surveillance of the secret police and he spent multiple stints in prison, the longest being nearly four years, between 1979 and 1983. Havel's Civic Forum party played a major role in the Velvet Revolution that toppled communism in Czechoslovakia in 1989.
He assumed the presidency shortly thereafter, was re-elected in a landslide the following year and after Slovak independence in 1993. Havel was instrumental in expanding NATO membership eastward. Many of his stances and policies, such as his opposition to Slovak independence, condemnation of the Czechoslovak treatment of Sudeten Germans after World War II, granting of general amnesty to all those imprisoned under communism, were controversial domestically; as such, at the end of his presidency, he enjoyed greater popularity abroad than at home. Havel continued his life as a public intellectual after his presidency, launching several initiatives including the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, the VIZE 97 Foundation, the Forum 2000 annual conference. Havel's political philosophy was one of anti-consumerism, environmentalism, civil activism, direct democracy, he supported the Czech Green Party from 2004 until his death. He received numerous accolades during his lifetime including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Gandhi Peace Prize, the Philadelphia Liberty Medal, the Order of Canada, the Four Freedoms Award, the Ambassador of Conscience Award, the Hanno R. Ellenbogen Citizenship Award.
The 2012–2013 academic year at the College of Europe was named in his honour. He is considered by some to be one of the most important intellectuals of the 20th century; the international airport in Prague was renamed to Václav Havel Airport Prague in 2012. Havel was born in Prague on 5 October 1936 into a wealthy family celebrated in Czechoslovakia for its entrepreneurial and cultural accomplishments, his grandfather, Vácslav Havel, a real estate developer, built a famous entertainment complex on Prague's Wenceslas Square. His father, Václav Maria Havel, was the real estate developer behind the suburban Barrandov Terraces, located on the highest point of Prague—next door to which his uncle, Miloš Havel, built one of the largest film studios in Europe. Havel's mother, Božena Vavrečková came from an influential family. In the early 1950s, because of his class background, Havel entered into a four-year apprenticeship as a chemical laboratory assistant and took evening classes at a gymnasium, he completed his secondary education in 1954.
For political reasons, he was not accepted into any post-secondary school with a humanities program. On July 9, 1964, Havel married Olga Šplíchalová; the intellectual tradition of his family was essential for Havel's lifetime adherence to the humanitarian values of the Czech culture. After finishing his military service, Havel had to bring his intellectual ambitions in line with the given circumstances with the restrictions imposed on him as a descendant of a former middle-class family, he found employment in Prague's theatre world as a stagehand at Prague's Theatre ABC – Divadlo ABC, at the Theatre On Balustrade – Divadlo Na zábradlí. He was a student of dramatic arts by correspondence at the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, his first own full-length play performed in public, besides various vaudeville collaborations, was The Garden Party. Presented in a series of Theatre of the Absurd, at the Theatre on Balustrade, this play won him international acclaim; the play was soon followed by The Memorandum, one of his best known plays, The Increased Difficulty of Concentration, all at the Theatre on Balustrade.
In 1968, The Memorandum was brought to The Public Theater in New York, which helped to establish Havel's reputation in the United States. The Public Theater continued to produce his plays in the following years. After 1968, Havel's plays were banned from the theatre world in his own country, he was unable to leave Czechoslovakia to see any foreign performances of his works. During the first week of the invasion of Czechoslovakia, Havel assisted the resistance by providing an on-air narrative via Radio Free Czechoslovakia station. Following the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968, he was banned from the theatre and became more politically active. Short of money, he took a job at Krakonoš brewery in Trutnov, an experience he wrote about in his play Audience; this play, along with two other "Vaněk" plays, became distributed in samizdat form across Czechoslovaki
Stalinism is the means of governing and related policies implemented from around 1927 to 1953 by Joseph Stalin. Stalinist policies and ideas as developed in the Soviet Union included rapid industrialization, the theory of socialism in one country, a totalitarian state, collectivization of agriculture, a cult of personality and subordination of the interests of foreign communist parties to those of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, deemed by Stalinism to be the leading vanguard party of communist revolution at the time. Stalinism promoted the escalation of class conflict, utilizing state violence to forcibly purge society of the bourgeoisie, whom Stalinist doctrine regarded as threats to the pursuit of the communist revolution; this policy resulted in persecution of such people. "Enemies" included not only bourgeois people, but working-class people with counter-revolutionary sympathies. Stalinist industrialization was designed to accelerate the development towards communism, stressing the need for such rapid industrialization on the grounds that the Soviet Union was economically backward in comparison with other countries and asserting that socialist society needed industry in order to face the challenges posed by internal and external enemies of communism.
Rapid industrialization was accompanied by mass collectivization of agriculture and by rapid urbanization. Rapid urbanization converted many small villages into industrial cities. To accelerate the development of industrialization, Stalin imported materials, ideas and workers from Western Europe and from the United States and pragmatically set up joint-venture contracts with major American private enterprises, such as the Ford Motor Company, which under state supervision assisted in developing the basis of the industry of the Soviet economy from the late 1920s to the 1930s. After the American private enterprises had completed their tasks, Soviet state enterprises took over; the term came into prominence during the mid-1930s when Lazar Kaganovich, a Soviet politician and associate of Stalin declared: "Let's replace Long Live Leninism with Long Live Stalinism!". Stalin met this usage with hesitancy, dismissing it as excessively praiseful and contributing to a cult of personality. Stalinism is used to describe the period during which Stalin was acting leader of the Soviet Union while serving as General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party from 1922 to his death on 5th of March 1953.
While some historians view Stalinism as a reflection of the ideologies of Leninism and Marxism, some argue that it stands separate from the socialist ideals it stemmed from. After a political struggle that culminated in the defeat of the Bukharinists, Stalinism was free to shape policy without opposition, ushering forth an era of harsh authoritarianism that soldiered toward rapid industrialization regardless of the cost. From 1917 to 1924, Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Stalin appeared united, but they had discernible ideological differences. In his dispute with Trotsky, Stalin de-emphasized the role of workers in advanced capitalist countries. Stalin polemicized against Trotsky on the role of peasants as in China whereas Trotsky's position was in favor of urban insurrection over peasant-based guerrilla warfare. Whilst all other October Revolution 1917 Bolshevik leaders regarded their revolution more or less just as the beginning, they saw Russia as the leapboard on the road towards the World Wide Revolution, Stalin introduced the idea of Socialism in One Country by the autumn of 1924.
This did not just stand in sharp contrast to Trotsky's "Permanent Revolution", but in contrast to all earlier Socialistic theses. But by time and through circumstances, the revolution did not spread outside Russia, as Lenin had assumed it soon would. Not within the other former territories of the Russian Empire such as Poland, Lithuania and Estonia had the revolution been a success. On the contrary, all these countries had returned to capitalist bourgeois rule, but still, by the autumn of 1924, Stalin's idea of socialism in Soviet Russia alone was next to blasphemy in the ears of the other Politburo members- Zinoviev and Kamenev to the intellectual left, Rykov and Tomsky to the pragmatic right and the powerful Trotsky, who belonged to no side but his own. None of them had thought of Stalin's concept as a potential addition to Communist ideology. Hence, Stalin's "Socialism in One Country" doctrine couldn't be imposed until he had become close to being the autocratic ruler of the U. S. S. R.. While traditional communist thought holds that the state will "wither away" as the implementation of socialism reduces class distinction, Stalin argued that the proletarian state must become stronger before it can wither away.
In Stalin's view, counter-revolutionary elements will try to derail the transition to full communism, the state must be powerful enough to defeat them. For this reason, Communist regimes influenced by Stalin have been described as totalitarian. Sheng Shicai collaborated with the Soviets, allowing Stalinist rule to be extended to the Xinjiang province in the 1930s. In 1937, Sheng conducted a purge similar to the Great Purge. Stalin blamed the kulaks as the inciters of reactionary violence against the people during the implementation of agricultural collectivisation. In response, the state under Stalin's leadership initiated a violent
In political and social sciences, communism is the philosophical, social and economic ideology and movement whose ultimate goal is the establishment of the communist society, a socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes and the state. Communism includes a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Marxism and anarchism, as well as the political ideologies grouped around both. All of these share the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism; the two classes are the working class—who must work to survive and who make up the majority within society—and the capitalist class—a minority who derives profit from employing the working class through private ownership of the means of production. The revolution will put the working class in power and in turn establish social ownership of the means of production, which according to this analysis is the primary element in the transformation of society towards communism.
Critics of communism can be divided into those concerning themselves with the practical aspects of 20th century communist states and those concerning themselves with communist principles and theory. Marxism-Leninism and democratic socialism were the two dominant forms of socialism in the 20th century; the term "communism" was first coined and defined in its modern definition by the French philosopher and writer Victor d'Hupay. In his 1777 book Projet de communauté philosophe, d'Hupay pushes the philosophy of the Enlightenment to principles which he lived up to during most of his life in his bastide of Fuveau; this book can be seen as the cornerstone of communist philosophy as d'Hupay defines this lifestyle as a "commune" and advises to "share all economic and material products between inhabitants of the commune, so that all may benefit from everybody's work". According to Richard Pipes, the idea of a classless, egalitarian society first emerged in Ancient Greece; the 5th-century Mazdak movement in Persia has been described as "communistic" for challenging the enormous privileges of the noble classes and the clergy, for criticizing the institution of private property and for striving to create an egalitarian society.
At one time or another, various small communist communities existed under the inspiration of Scripture. For example, in the medieval Christian Church some monastic communities and religious orders shared their land and their other property. Communist thought has been traced back to the works of the 16th-century English writer Thomas More. In his treatise Utopia, More portrayed a society based on common ownership of property, whose rulers administered it through the application of reason. In the 17th century, communist thought surfaced again in England, where a Puritan religious group known as the "Diggers" advocated the abolition of private ownership of land. In his 1895 Cromwell and Communism, Eduard Bernstein argued that several groups during the English Civil War espoused clear communistic, agrarian ideals and that Oliver Cromwell's attitude towards these groups was at best ambivalent and hostile. Criticism of the idea of private property continued into the Age of Enlightenment of the 18th century through such thinkers as Jean Jacques Rousseau in France.
Following the upheaval of the French Revolution communism emerged as a political doctrine. In the early 19th century, various social reformers founded communities based on common ownership. However, unlike many previous communist communities they replaced the religious emphasis with a rational and philanthropic basis. Notable among them were Robert Owen, who founded New Harmony in Indiana, as well as Charles Fourier, whose followers organized other settlements in the United States such as Brook Farm. In its modern form, communism grew out of the socialist movement in 19th-century Europe; as the Industrial Revolution advanced, socialist critics blamed capitalism for the misery of the proletariat—a new class of urban factory workers who labored under often-hazardous conditions. Foremost among these critics were his associate Friedrich Engels. In 1848, Marx and Engels offered a new definition of communism and popularized the term in their famous pamphlet The Communist Manifesto; the 1917 October Revolution in Russia set the conditions for the rise to state power of Vladimir Lenin's Bolsheviks, the first time any avowedly communist party reached that position.
The revolution transferred power to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, in which the Bolsheviks had a majority. The event generated a great deal of theoretical debate within the Marxist movement. Marx predicted that socialism and communism would be built upon foundations laid by the most advanced capitalist development. However, Russia was one of the poorest countries in Europe with an enormous illiterate peasantry and a minority of industrial workers. Marx had explicitly stated; the moderate Mensheviks opposed Lenin's Bolshevik plan for socialist revolution before capitalism was more developed. The Bolsheviks' successful rise to power was based upon the slogans such as "Peace and land" which tapp
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta