The definition of perestroika is Mikhail Gorbachev's reform plan and movement from 1987 through the dissolution of the USSR which changed the political, social and economic systems in the Soviet Union.
Perestroika was intended to:
- Improve social and working conditions for the masses
- Value and uphold the cultural and religious traditions of different groups of people
- Allow health care and solid education to the Union’s youth
History of Perestroika
- In the mid-1980s, the one-party, one-candidate political system upset Soviet Union citizens who saw the democratic process in action throughout Europe and the United States.
- Administrative management of the Soviet Empire was dictated by decades-old regulations and outdated methods.
- Soviet military forces were scattered throughout the world in attempts to maintain communism—but all the while, communist dictatorships were being overthrown across Europe and Asia.
- In 1989 an election was held to decide the Congress of People’s Deputies—the first time citizens in the Soviet Union ever got to elect their country’s administrative officials.
- Gorbachev began withdrawing forces from Afghanistan, and allowed for the freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
- Citizens were allowed to own and run their own businesses, and to profit from their sales.
- Qualified laborers now had the freedom to engage in buying and selling
- In June 1991, the Soviet Union had its first President elected by popular vote, Boris Yeltsin.
Perestroika was the first step toward dismantling the Soviet system in favor of free-market economics, democratic elections, and religious and cultural freedoms
An example of perestroika was Gorbachev's policy of creating safer working conditions for employees.
perestroika definition by Webster's New World
Origin: Russian perestrojka, reconstruction ; from perestroit', to rebuild, reorganize
perestroika definition by American Heritage Dictionary
Origin: Russian perestroĭka : pere-, around, again (from Old Russian; see per1 in Indo-European roots) + stroĭka, construction (from stroit’, to build, from Old Russian stroiti, from strojĭ, order; see ster-2 in Indo-European roots).