The Revolutions of 1989 (also known as the Fall of Communism, the Collapse of Communism, the Revolutions of Eastern Europe and the Autumn of Nations) were the revolutions which overthrew the communist regimes in European countries.
The events began in Poland in 1989, and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania. One feature common to most of these developments was the extensive use of campaigns of civil resistance demonstrating popular opposition to the continuation of one-party rule and contributing to the pressure for change. Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country to overthrow its Communist regime violently. The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 failed to stimulate major political changes in China. However, powerful images of courageous defiance during that protest helped to spark a precipitation of events in other parts of the globe. Among the famous anti-Communist revolutions was the fall of the Berlin Wall, which served as the symbolic gateway to German reunification in 1990.
The Soviet Union was dissolved by the end of 1991, resulting in Russia and 14 nations declaring their independence from the Soviet Union: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Communism was abandoned in Albania and Yugoslavia between 1990 and 1992, the latter splitting into five successor states by 1992: Slovenia, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (comprising Serbia and Montenegro). The impact was felt in dozens of Socialist countries. Communism was abandoned in countries such as Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Mongolia and South Yemen. The collapse of Communism led commentators to declare the end of the Cold War.
The adoption of varying forms of market economy generally resulted at first in decreasing living standards in post-Communist States, together with side effects including the rise of business oligarchs in countries such as Russia, and disproportional social and economic development. Political reforms were varied; in many countries Communist institutions were able to keep themselves in power, such as the People's Republic of China, while for other states various emerging political parties succeeded. Many Communist and Socialist organisations in the West turned their guiding principles over to social democracy. The European political landscape was drastically changed, with numerous Eastern Bloc countries joining NATO and stronger European economic and social integration entailed.