Mikhail Gorbachev (1931– ) was the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and, briefly, president of the Soviet Union. Gorbachev came to power as general secretary in 1985, following the death of Konstantin Chernenko. As the Soviet leader, Gorbachev implemented major political and economic reforms in an attempt to modernize and restructure the country. In 1989–1990, Gorbachev supported reform in the Soviet-bloc, and as Communist governments in eastern European countries began to collapse, Gorbachev agreed to the withdrawal of Soviet troops from those nations. He also supported the reunification of East and West Germany. Gorbachev’s policies helped end the Cold War and contributed to the breakup of the Soviet Union, and in 1990 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Peace. On December 25, 1991, upon the dismantlement of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev resigned his presidency, though he remained active in Russian politics and public life.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Already have an account?

Please click here to login and access this page.

How to subscribe

Click here to get a free subscription if you are a K-12 educator or student, and here for more information on the Affiliate School Program, which provides even more benefits.

Otherwise, click here for information on a paid subscription for those who are not K-12 educators or students.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Become an Affiliate School to have free access to the Gilder Lehrman site and all its features.

Click here to start your Affiliate School application today! You will have free access while your application is being processed.

Individual K-12 educators and students can also get a free subscription to the site by making a site account with a school-affiliated email address. Click here to do so now!

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Why Gilder Lehrman?

Your subscription grants you access to archives of rare historical documents, lectures by top historians, and a wealth of original historical material, while also helping to support history education in schools nationwide. Click here to see the kinds of historical resources to which you'll have access and here to read more about the Institute's educational programs.

Individual subscription: $25

Click here to sign up for an individual subscription to the Gilder Lehrman site.

Make Gilder Lehrman your Home for History


Upgrade your Account

We're sorry, but it looks as though you do not have access to the full Gilder Lehrman site.

All K-12 educators receive free subscriptions to the Gilder Lehrman site, and our Affiliate School members gain even more benefits!

How to Subscribe

K-12 educator or student? Click here to edit your profile and indicate this, giving you free access, and here for more information on the Affiliate School Program.

Not a educator or student? Click here for more information on purchasing a subscription to the Gilder Lehrman site.

Related Site Content