As more people sought refinement in society to pursue a better quality of life, different types of law and change impacted many countries to develop into a more suitable governmental system. Different reforms such as the English Glorious Revolution or the collapse of the Soviet Union drastically changed how society worked for people and therefore created different outcomes. While it may not be the ‘perfect’ for everyone, most of these changes are still held until today.
Before these reforms happened in each country, England was heading toward the concept of absolute monarchy due to James II’s reaction to strengthening the king’s power.
After Charles I was executed by the Puritan revolution, the British king’s authority was significantly reduced, and the Parliament came to power. However, the Glorious Revolution occurred when Charles II and his brother James II attempted to suppress the Parliament and reinforce the kingship. After James II became king, he tried to fulfill his purpose with the Catholics by giving them freedom and privilege to strengthen their kingship.
That is why he issued a ‘Declaration of Tolerance’ that gave Catholics freedom of faith. In addition, he set up a military army as a basis for strengthening his power. He ignored the judging rate, recruited Catholics for public office, and illegally arrested seven nationalist bishops who opposed the king. His tyranny provoked national opposition and fear. At this point, the Tories, which has been a defender of the kingship, has also decided to deny the king jointly with the Whigs.
Recognizing that this was an attempt to revive the absolute monarchy, the British Parliament invited William of Orange (William III of England) and his wife, Mary, the Governor-General of the Netherlands, to be co-kings of England. They both responded to the invitation and led the troops to land in England. At first, the British were initially unhappy with William III as he was a foreigner (Dutch), but his attitude toward respecting parliamentary politics was well appreciated, and the support has spread. Furthermore, the people thought he could not speak English, but interestingly, he was fluent in four languages, including English. Later, the British co-ops, William III, and Mary ended the Glorious Revolution by approving the Bill of Rights, submitted by the British Parliament.
After all, this reform made Parliament’s supremacy over British kingship to be firmly established, and the ‘constitutional monarchy’ took place in England. It has had a significant impact on the establishment of civil society in the United Kingdom. ‘Moreover, the confrontation between the congress and the monarchy ended, the politics have stabilized, and the development of civil society became a great starting point of the industrial revolution.’ (lecture, February 10th) This content became the foundation for the governmental system that we see today in Britain.
Similarly, among Soviet Union nations, multiple problems arose as the Soviet Union was trying to pursue the ideology of communism. While there are multiple reasons for the fall of the Soviet Union, one of the biggest reasons was the Soviet founding philosophy. The ideal theory of socialism itself goes through the ancient agricultural state – early capitalism – capitalism – communism, and the final goal is to reach the ideal society of communism. Nevertheless, as we know in Soviet history, all policies are focused on state leadership, and the realization of the limits of communism has revealed. To simply put, the people’s willingness to work gradually disappeared. The dream of the world’s number one nation beyond the United States that emerged in the 1950s was eventually passed. For this reason, cheap raw materials, which were the main driver of growth, were depleted, Neo-liberalism emerged in the West, and the industry contained abundant labor. Later in the mid-1970s, it gradually began to lag behind in productivity.
In the 1980s, the structure of communism became increasingly severe due to ideological contradictions, corruption, and nationalist fever. The Soviet Union was an industrial nation that was comparable to the United States back then, but the food shortage was so severe that 60% of national income in the 1980s was food and industrial products, with the aftereffect of neglecting the primary industry, agriculture. ‘In 1985, the Soviet Union was inaugurated as Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev as the seventh secretary, and Gorbachev reformed and transformed the Soviet Union into a form equivalent to Western capitalist camps.’ (Powell, pg.317)
However, this prematurely radical reform did not prepare the Soviet Union for corruption and proper vision, but also accompanied the bad news such as the Chernobyl nuclear accident and oil shock, which resulted in considerable social turmoil. Intentions, with little or no intention, resulted in the collapse of Soviet politics, economics and society, and the suppression of nationalism. In a worsening situation, Gorbachev tried to maintain the federal system through a referendum, but when the dissatisfied conservatives in Gorbachev triggered a coup, Boris Yeltsin was put down. The leaders of the nine republics sought to form the CIS, leaving the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union was on the verge of death without a single member. In the end, Gorbachev resigned as Soviet president, and the Soviet Union was disbanded. They turned into independent states, whether they wanted to or not. As a result, Gorbachev’s opening and reform policies led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. Likewise, the Soviet Union was born after the collapse of the Russian empire in the Russian Revolution. Naturally, the Cold War was mitigated, and the Soviet Union was dismantled by nationalists and split into countries, including Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and so on.
Another big reason the Soviet Union disassembled was after President Reagan was elected in the United States and entered an arms race (Star Wars) with the Soviet Union. The space program was operating full time, and the United States and the Soviet Union competed with going out into space by producing better space shuttle more so than producing ground weapons. However, even now, space planning is infused with unimaginable money, resources, and human resources. However, when the United States enters Star Wars, the Soviet Union prepares countermeasures, plans space, and enters into arms competition. But technically and capitalistically, it was not something the Soviet Union could afford. In addition, as the United States continues to build nuclear carriers, the Soviet Union continues to build aircraft carriers that cost trillions of dollars and hundreds of billions of years in operating costs. Yet, they couldn’t operate it. In the arms race with the US, the Soviet economic situation could hardly follow.
It is true that since the collapse of the communist regime (Soviet Union), the economic system of individual countries has developed in part. But people’s lives were not better. It has changed so rapidly, and old communist countries had many problems to solve. In order to stabilize society, many countries had to solve the national problem with the necessary education to establish the right capitalism.