Portal:1980s

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

1980s

The 1980s, spoken as "the Nineteen Eighties" or abbreviated as "the Eighties" or "the '80s", was the decade that began on January 1, 1980, and ended on December 31, 1989, this was the ninth decade of the 20th century.

The time period saw great social, economic, and general change as wealth and production migrated to newly industrializing economies, as economic liberalization increased in the developed world, multiple multinational corporations associated with the manufacturing industry relocated to Thailand, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, and the People's Republic of China. Developed countries such as the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and West Germany continued to enjoy rapid economic growth during the decade. Glasnost and Perestroika in the Soviet Union, and the fall of the Berlin Wall, paved the way for its dissolution in the early 1990s, and transition from the bipolar world of the Cold War.

The 80s also represented a significant technological and cultural transition, as computing expanded from a primarily business and academic phenomenon into the home with the advent of the personal computer, accompanied by the growth of the software industry, ultimately paving the way for the World Wide Web on the Internet.

Selected article

30-years of Solidarity (Polish trade union) mural in Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski.
Solidarity (Polish: Solidarność, pronounced [sɔliˈdarnɔɕt͡ɕ] (About this sound listen); full name: Independent Self-governing Trade Union "Solidarity"Niezależny Samorządny Związek Zawodowy „Solidarność” [ɲezaˈlɛʐnɨ samɔˈʐɔndnɨ ˈzvjɔ̃zɛk zavɔˈdɔvɨ sɔliˈdarnɔɕt͡ɕ]) is a Polish trade union that was founded on 17 September 1980 at the Gdańsk Shipyard under the leadership of Lech Wałęsa. It was the first trade union in a Warsaw Pact country that was not controlled by a communist party, its membership reached 9.5 million members before its September 1981 Congress (when it reached 10 million), which constituted one third of the total working-age population of Poland.

In the 1980s, Solidarity was a broad anti-bureaucratic social movement, using the methods of civil resistance to advance the causes of workers' rights and social change, the government attempted to destroy the union by imposing martial law in Poland, which lasted from December 1981 to July 1983 and was followed by several years of political repression, but in the end it was forced to negotiate with Solidarity. In the union's clandestine years, the United States provided significant financial support, estimated to be as much as 50 million US dollars.

The round table talks between the government and the Solidarity-led opposition led to semi-free elections in 1989. By the end of August, a Solidarity-led coalition government was formed; in December 1990, Wałęsa was elected President of Poland. Since then Solidarity has become a more traditional, liberal trade union, its membership had dropped to 680,000 by 2010 and 400,000 by 2011.

Selected picture

Mount St. Helens from the northeast.
Credit: Donald A. Swanson

Mount St. Helens from the northeast.

Selected biography

General Secretary of the CPSU CC M. Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman. He was the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991 when the party was dissolved. He served as the country's head of state from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991 (titled as Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet from 1988 to 1989, as Chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 1989 to 1990, and as President of the Soviet Union from 1990 to 1991). He was the only general secretary in the history of the Soviet Union to have been born after the October Revolution.

Gorbachev was born in Stavropol Krai into a peasant UkrainianRussian family, and in his teens operated combine harvesters on collective farms. He graduated from Moscow State University in 1955 with a degree in law. While he was at the university, he joined the Communist Party, and soon became very active within it; in 1970, he was appointed the First Party Secretary of the Stavropol Regional Committee, First Secretary to the Supreme Soviet in 1974, and appointed a member of the Politburo in 1979. Within three years of the death of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, following the brief "interregna" of Andropov and Chernenko, Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo in 1985.

Gorbachev's policies of glasnost and perestroika and his reorientation of Soviet strategic aims contributed to the end of the Cold War, he removed the constitutional role of the Communist Party in governing the state, and inadvertently led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He was awarded the Otto Hahn Peace Medal in 1989, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 and the Harvey Prize in 1992, as well as honorary doctorates from various universities.


Did you know...

that John Moschitta, Jr. is best known as "The Micro Machines Man"?
...that John Moschitta is best known as "The Micro Machines Man"?

(Pictured left: Galoob Micro Machines ladder truck.

Other "Did you know" facts... Read more...

Categories

Select [+] to view subcategories

WikiProjects

Md apr2004 4.jpg You are invited to participate in WikiProject History, a group of editors dedicated to developing and improving articles about History. If interested, add your name to our list of members

Things to do

  • Tag 1980s related articles
  • Finish the portal!

Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wikivoyage 
Travel guides

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Wikispecies 
Species