Mikhail Gorbachev
USSR ruler after 1985; renewed attacks on Stalinism; urged reduction in nuclear arrangement; proclaimed policies of glasnost and perestroika.
Policy of openness or political liberation in Soviet Union put forward by Mikhail Gorbachev in the late 1980s.
Policy of Mikhail Gorbachev calling for economic reconstruction in the USSR in the late 1980s; more leeway for private ownership and decentralized control of industry and agriculture.
Boris Yeltsin
Began to move up the ladder of the communist party in Soviet Union in 1968, becoming First Secretary of the Moscow City Party Committee in 1985; initially a loyal backer of Gorbachev but increasingly criticized him for slow pace of reform; stood up to a coup attempt in 1991 but then managed to displace Gorbachev; in his position as president of the Russian republic, sponsored several subsequent constitutional provisions and weathered battles with the opponents in parliament.
Persian Gulf War
1991 war led by United States and various European and Middle Eastern allies, against Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. The war led to Iraqi withdrawal and a long confrontation with Iraq about armaments and political regime.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
Agreement that created an essentially free trade zone among Mexico, Canada, and the United States, in hopes of encouraging economic growth in all three nations; after difficult negotiations, went into effect January 1, 1994.
The increasing inter-conectedness of all parts of the world, particularly in communication and commerce but also in culture and politics.
Multinational Corporations
Powerful companies, mainly from the West or Pacific Rim, with production as well as countries. Multinationals surged in the decades after World War II.