Solidarity Comes to Power

Document-Based Questions

Using the primary sources in this module, answer ONE of the following prompts:

1. The labor union Solidarity was the major agent of political dissidence in Poland from the late 1970s until the transition to democracy in Poland in 1989. Discuss the strategies used by Solidarity to convince the Polish people that Solidarity was both a legitimate voice for the Polish people and an effective political alternative to Poland’s communist government.

2. In the events of 1989 in Poland, the Roundtable talks formed the basis for the peaceful and orderly transition from communism to democracy. Interestingly, the model of ‘roundtable talks’ became a standard demand across Eastern Europe as pro-democracy groups formed on other countries in the months leading up to 1989. Discuss Solidarity’s demands prior to their Roundtable talks. What did they hope to achieve? What did they stand to loose or to gain?