The Czechoslovakian Uprising was a period of political liberalization from the reign of the Soviet Union in 1968. It began early in the year on January 5, 1968 when reformist Alexander Dubcek came into power and ended in late August when the Soviet Union and members of the Warsaw Pact invaded the country to stop the reforms that were taking place.

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Reforms

Dubcek's reforms mainly involved the to give more rights to the citizens. The freedoms granted included a loosening of restrictions on the media, speech and travel. Dubček also categorized the country into two separate republics; this was the only lasting impression that Dubcek had made.

These reforms were not recieved well by the Soviet Union. After many failed negogiations and talks, the Soviet Union sent in thousands of troops and personel to occupy the company. This caused many violent protests in the country and Czechoslovakia remained occupied until 1990.


the Invasion of Czechoslovakia- 1968

Important Person

Alexander Dubcek

Dubcek was concieved in Chicago and born in Czechoslovakia on November 27, 1921. He was the political leader in Czeckosolvakia during Prague Spring, a reformist movement. He had many supporters from the time he gained office (January 5th, 1968) to the time of his removal when the forces of the members of the Warsaw Pact moved into the country to occupy it (August 21, 1968).
During this time, Dubcek had a great influence on the country. In April, Dubcek launched an "Action Program" of liberalizations, which included increasing freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of movement, with economic emphasis on consumer goods and the possibility of a multiparty government.
Unfortunately, Dubcek was removed from office when the forces had entered and controlled the country under communist regime once again. Dubcek was an influential political figure and inspired other movements throughout the world at the time of the Cold War.



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Alexander Dubcek

Timeline



  • January 5, 1968- Alexander Dubchek, a slovak with a liberal reputation, placed as First Secretary of the communist party.
  • April, 1968- Action Program
  • April 17, 1968- Gustav Husak replaced Dubchek as first secretary of the communist party.

  • July 29, 1968- Czech and Soviet leaders met at Cierna near the border to "discuss" the situation.

  • June 1968, Warsaw pact maneuvers held in Czechoslovakia.
  • August 20/21, 1968- Warsaw Pact invasion. The Czech army did not resist; although there were a few isolated outbreaks of fighting.
  • October 28, 1969- large protests occurred in Prague against the Soviet occupation.

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Life during "Liberation"

In Czechoslovakia, popular opposition by the general public took forms of non-violent resistance. In one case, in sheer protest, a student set himself on fire. It was hard living in such conditions as these, but eventually things calmed down by the early 1970's as Soviet Union had maintained control and occupation over Czechoslovakia (which would last until 1990).
Many took inspirations from Prague Spring, and wrote books, songs, poetry and film. Some commented, "They may crush the flowers, but they can't stop the Spring."

Influence on the Cold War

After they removed Dubcek from office, and replaced the First Secretary with Husak, a period of “normalization” began. The communists tried to quickly dissolve the impressions that the Prague Spring and Dubcek had on Czechoslovakia:


· 1. consolidate the Husák leadership and remove reformers from leadership positions;
· 2. revoke and removed laws enacted by the reform movement;
· 3. reestablish centralized control over the economy;
· 4. reinstate the power of police authorities
· 5. expand Czechoslovakia's ties with other socialist nation

The Uprising during 1968 had contributed to several Eurocommunist ideals that suggested further distance from reigning Soviet domination. A decade later, a period of Chinese political liberalization became known as the Beijing Spring. It also partly influenced the Croatian in Yugoslavia. In a 1993 Czech survey, 60% of those surveyed had a personal memory linked to the Prague Spring while another 30% were familiar with the events in some other form.

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The Uprising of 1968- Czechoslovakia