History Of The Prague Spring Of 1968

Satisfactory Essays
The Prague Spring of 1968


The Prague Spring of 1968 is a brief period of history during which the Czechoslovakian government, under the leadership of communist party leader Alexander Dubček, attempted to pass reforms, which would democratize the nation and reduce the influence of Moscow on them. These reforms reduced censorship of press, radio, television, speech and other media; they also lead to individual liberties, economic changes, and government restructuring. In all, the reforms gave more rights to the citizens through the decentralization of economy and authority. However, Moscow did not react well to Dubcek’s decisions and eventually invaded the country with Warsaw Pact troops. The sheer force of the invading troops resulted in no military resistance and the invasion remained bloodless (militarily speaking). After which, Dubcek was removed from power and his reforms were undone.

Setting the Stage

In the years leading up to the Prague Spring, Antonín Novotný governed Czechoslovakia. He openly supported Stalinism, and under his power, the people of Czechoslovakia suffered from fierce government regulations, censorship and poor leadership decisions. Although he led the process of de-Stalinization (since Stalin’s death in 1953), the pace of change was extremely slow and thus the people called for more reforms. In May of 1966 the Czechoslovakians began to complain that the Soviets were exploiting them, this was the first spark that eventually lead to the flame of his overthrow. Furthermore, Czechoslovakia was an industrialized nation and the Soviet’s model of economy did not suit them, in fact it hurt Czechoslovakians, and lead to a decline in their economy. In fact, the conditions for the working class were a...

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...rators. During this time frame, Husak’s rule was often described as “reluctant terror” as it closely copied the Soviet Union’s policies and objectives.
Conclusion and Discussion
The soviet troops stayed in Czechoslovakia for about 23 years, and left in 1991. The Prague spring can be considered as an abortive revolution as it was unsuccessful attempt at changing the political and potentially the social system of Czechoslovakia. However, I have a difficult time seeing as to why this would be considered a revolution. Yes, the reforms were bringing new ideas of thought and the changing the way the government treated its people. But it does not seem as though a political party or social group actually ‘revolted’.
But nevertheless, I feel that Dubcek had a great vision and had great strength to attempt such a bold move when the world’s largest country was his neighbor.
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