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The transition to a Solidarity-led government in Poland was closely associated with the introduction of market-oriented economic reforms. Many Poles hoped that this might lead to a dramatic improvement in the country‚Äôs economy, not only through the stimulation of domestic growth but also through the attraction of investment and outright financial aid from the West. In this brief exchange with….

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In August 1980, a worker's strike began in Gdansk, Poland in reaction to the struggling economy and massive shortages. In a compromise to resolve the strike, the Communist government legalized Solidarity, but this only increased tensions as the shortages failed to improve. Imports from the Soviet Union and the West failed to improve the economy, with more strikes becoming endemic throughout….

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President George H. W. Bush visited Poland and Hungary in July 1989 after June elections in which Solidarity candidates won 160 of the 161 seats in the Sejm that were available to them and 92 of the 100 seats of the Polish Senate. In addition, many leaders of the Communist Party failed to secure enough votes to be elected to the parliament they had controlled for four decades. Pursuing….

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