Discussion response needed:
To what extend the uprisings in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 reflect national, European, or superpower tensions? (Feel free to concentrate on one or the other.)
The uprising in Czechoslovakia seemed to be a reflection of all three, though the superpower tension theme might be more obvious. If the USSR were to loose Czechoslovakia, it would show how Communism could be defeated by Democracy. The uprising in Czechoslovakia, demonstrated to the Soviet Regime that it was loosing influence and control over sections of Europe it had gained after World War Two. The economic boom that had followed the war had begun to slow down, and Czechoslovakia was looking for a way to revive it. Social reforms were beginning to take place within the communist community, and with the election of Alexander DubÄek, Soviet Russia attempted to re-assert control of the communist party. Alexander DubÄek allowed more freedoms to take place, ie.; lifting censorship. This was not in support to Soviet ideology, and these actions ran in direct conflict with the other socialist communities sense of interdependence. If Czechoslovakia were allowed to continue down this path of political reform, it would eventually spill over into other Eastern Bloc satellites.
“The Soviet politburo, after much hesitation, decided that DubÄek could not control the growing tide of radical reform, which was acquiring revolutionary proportions.” – Leonid Brezhnev – 1968
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