Episode Twenty Three
The Revolutions of 1989, sometimes called the Autumn of Nations, were a revolutionary wave that swept across Central and Eastern Europe in late 1989, ending in the overthrow of Soviet-style communist states within the space of a few months.
The largely bloodless political upheaval began in Poland, continued in Hungary, and then led to a surge of mostly peaceful revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria. Romania was the only Eastern-bloc country to overthrow its communist regime violently and execute its head of state. The subsequent events that continued in 1990 and 1991 are sometimes also referred to as a part of the revolutions of 1989. The Soviet Union collapsed by the end of 1991.
The Revolutions of 1989 greatly altered the balance of power in the world and marked the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the Post-Cold War era.