World History 1990- 1991
Lithuania Independent, Yeltsin President Of Russia, Germany United, Yugoslavia Brakes Up, Walesa-Polish President, Elections in Myanmar, Nelson mandela Freed, Nambia Free, Iraq Attacks Kurds, Gulf War, Free elections in Nicaragua, Coaltion Frees Kuwait, Hubble Telescope, Airlift of EthiopianJews, Failed Kremlin Coup, U.S.S.R. Comes to an End, Rajiv ghandi Killed, Cambodia Civil War Ends, Free Elections in Taiwan, Eritrea Independent, U.S. Massive Nuclear Cutback
|1990 Lithuania Independent On March 11, the Lithuanian Parliament declared its independence from the Soviet Union. The parliament elected Vitautas Landsbergis the new leader. The Soviet Central Government took no significant action against the new Lithuanian regime, and soon the other Baltic States Latvia and Estonia declared their independence as well.
Minor clashes developed between Soviet troops and local demonstrators, but as the Soviet Union crumbled, there was little that it could do.
|1990 Yeltsin President Of Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin was elected President of the Russian Federation. The election made Yeltsin the highest official directly elected by the Russian people and, thus, placed him on an equal status with Gorbachev, who had never been elected.|
|1990 Germany United On October 3, East and West Germany formally reunited. The newly-reunited Germany ended the division of Germany created with the end of World War II.|
|1990 Yugoslavia Brakes Up The Yugoslavian Communist Party voted to give up its monopoly on power and declared the country a "multi-party democracy." In Slovenia, a center right coalition favoring independence was elected. They then held a referendum, in which independence was approved for Slovenia. In Croatia, the population also voted for independence; while in Serbia, a party dedicated to a strong central government won the election.|
|1990 Walesa, Polish President Lech Walesa became the first freely-elected President of Poland. He received 74% of the vote.|
|1990 Elections in Myanmar In the first free elections in 30 years, the voters of Myanmar (formerly Burma) repudiated the military government. The military ignored the election and maintained their rule.|
|1990 Nelson mandela Freed Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress, was released after spending 27 years behind prison walls. Mandela was released by President F.W. DeKlerk, as the first step in the creation of a multi-racial democracy.|
|1990 Nambia Free After being occupied by South Africa for nearly 70 years, Namibia became independent.|
|1990 Iraq Attacks Kurds in Northern Iraq Iraqi troops began an all-out assault on Kurdish forces revolting against Saddam Hussein in northern Iraq. After pressure from the US, Iraq withdrew from the northern border area, and the United States set up a security zone for the Kurds in northern Iraq.|
|1990 Gulf War Begins On August 2, Iraq attacked Kuwait. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had a number of claims against Kuwait, but most important among them was Iraq's longstanding assertion that Kuwait was actually part of Iraq. The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding Iraqi withdrawal, and the US rushed troops to Saudi Arabia to defend it against an expected Iraqi attack. US President Bush put together an international coalition that massed in Saudi Arabia to force Iraq out of Kuwait.
On January 15, 1991 the US-led coalition struck with a massive air attack against Iraqi targets. Hussein responded with a missile attack against Israel, which did not retaliate due to US pressure.
On February 24, a land offensive was begun; it met little resistance as Iraqi forces collapsed. Coalition forces liberated Kuwait and occupied parts of Southern Iraq. A cease-fire was accepted before complete destruction of the Iraqi army occurred. When the war ended, Saddam Hussein remained in power. He successfully suppressed a Shi'ite revolt in the South and a Kurdish revolt in the North.
|1990 Free elections were held in Nicaragua Violetta Chamorro, owner of the opposition newspaper La Prensa, led a broad spectrum of opposition to the Sandinistas. She won the election.|
|1991 Hubble Telescope Launched The space shuttle Discovery launched the Hubble Telescope -- seven years behind schedule. The telescope was defective and it required a later repair mission to fix it.|
|1991 Airlift of Ethiopian Jews To Israel In a period of 36 hours, Israel airlifted 14,500 Jews from Ethiopia to Israel.|
|1991 Failed Kremlin Coup On August 21, hardline Communists staged a coup attempt against the government of Gorbachev, putting him under house arrest. The coup, however, failed when Boris Yeltsin, the leader of the Russian Republic, rallied supporters at the Parliament building in Moscow. Thousands joined Yeltsin there, and many military leaders announced their support for Yeltsin. The coup ended when it became clear that the troops would not open fire on the citizens of Moscow. Gorbachev returned to power as President, in a much diminished capacity– true power having passed to Boris Yeltsin, who soon declared the Communist party illegal.|
|1991 Rajiv ghandi Killed Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India and son of Indira Gandhi, was killed in a massive explosion while campaigning. His death was attributed to the Tamil, who were revolting in Sri Lanka.|
|1991 Cambodia Civil War Ends Under pressure from the US, U.S.S.R. and China, the Vietnamese-controlled Cambodian government and the three rebel forces it was fighting reached a peace agreement. The day-to-day administration of the country was to be taken over by the UN until free elections could be held.|
|1991 Free Elections in Taiwan The first free elections since the government of Taiwan was established were held. The ruling party won the majority of seats in the Parliament.|
|1991 Eritrea Independent After a thirty-year armed struggle against Ethiopian domination, Eritrean forces suceeded in defeating the Ethiopian military and gained independence. Two years later, in a referendum at home and abroad, Eritreans voted for independence from Ethiopia.|
|1991 U.S. Announces Massive Nuclear Cutback US President Bush announced that all US tactical nuclear weapons would be eliminated from Europe. He also announced that the US Strategic Command would stand down from the 24 hour alert status it had maintained since the beginning of the Cold War.|
|1991 U.S.S.R. Comes to a formal End On December 21 representatives of 11 former Soviet Republics met in Alma Ata and signed the founding "Declaration of the Commonwealth of Independant States" – a loose confederation of the former Republics. Four days later, Gorbachev announced his resignation and the Soviet Union ceased to exist.|