Czechslovakia 1968

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  • Czechoslovakia
    • It was a soviet satellite state.
    • Mid 1960's, Czech was run by secret police which brutally abolished all political opposition.
    • Communism was highly popular to the Czech people.
    • 5th January 1968, Dubcek became the communist party leader.
    • Dubcek
      • His aim was to create a popular form of communism.
      • He wanted to get rid of the most repressive aspects of communism rule and allow more cultural freedom.
      • He hoped to revitalise Czech politics, economics and social life.
    • Prague Spring
      • Liberal changes brought from Dubcek April 1968
      • He introduced these reforms:
        • relaxation of the press censorship.
        • legalisation of political opposition groups.
        • more power given to regional governments.
        • More power to Czech parliment.
        • reintroduction of capitalist elements into Czech economy.
      • Brezhnev and allies across eatern europe did not like Dubcek's reforms.
    • Brezhnev Doctrine
      • Brezhnev tried to persuade Dubcek to change his reforms but Dubcek did not.
      • Late August 1968, Brezhnev ordered a full scale invasion of Czech in order to over throw Dubcek.
      • Brezhnev argued that Dubcek's actions threatened to undermine the Warsaw pact and communist control in eastern europe.
      • Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia.
        • Soviet tanks rolled into Czechoslovakia on the evening of 20th August 1968.
        • Dubcek ordered the Czech people not to respond with violence- many students stood in the way of tanks.
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    • International reaction
      • America; Brezhnev believed that America would do nothing to help Czech, as they did not help Hungary.
        • America were already fighting a bloody war against communism in Vietnam so they wanted to avoid a further war.
      • Western Europe; Communist parties in the west were outraged by the soviet invasion.
        • Therefore they declared themselves as independent of the communist party.
          • This created rival forms- soviet communism in the west and eurocommunism in the west .  This was inportant because it showed the extent to which soviet communism had lost support of the invasion.
      • Eastern Europe: Yugoslavian and Romanian governments distanced themselves from the soviet union.
        • 1968, they formed allies with China, the worlds other major communist world.
        • east German and Polish governments welcomed the soviet response and they were concerned Czech were being too liberal.


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