This change was tremendous. Gorbachev gave the people freedom of speech, freedom of th press, and freedom to have their own business. This was unheard of since 1917, when The Soviet Union became communist. Communism did not allow this, so people were surpirsed and unsure of how to use thir new freedoms. Even though Gorbachev believed this to be a good change, it also weakened the government and himself.