The Hungarian Revolution of 1956

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Following the death of Josef Stalin in 1953, the harsh policies he implemented in not only the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, but also its many satellite nations began to break down. There was a movement to distance all of the socialist nations from Stalin?s sadistic rule. In the Peoples? Republic of Hungary, there was much disillusionment with this Stalinist absolutism (Felkay 50). This disillusionment with the Soviet ideal of socialism lead the people of the fledgeling socialist state of Hungary to rise up in revolt, but ill-preparedness and the strength of the Soviet Red Army put down the insurrection within several days.

Several forces influenced and provoked counter-revolutionary forces in Hungary, both internal and external. Externally, there was support for pro-democratic groups within Hungary, and émigré groups from Hungary(Berecz 15). The United States government implemented several acts to support reactionary groups who fled eastern European countries in the years following World War II. Among these acts was the ?Lodge Act? of 1951, decreeing that 12,500 persons from among these reactionary groups be armed and form a ?foreign legion.? The number was increased in 1955 to 25,000 persons (Berecz 16) The United States government also passed several bills for funding activities of pro-democratic forces within these countries, ?Congress adopted Article 101a of the Mutual Security Bill?it authorized the spending of 100 million dollars annually on financing activities carried out by ?any selected persons who are residing in or escapees from the Soviet Union, Albania, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Czeckoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Estonia? to form such persons into elements of the military forces supporting NATO or for other purposes. (Berecz 16)? All these measures posed a direct threat to the security and the peaceful life of socialist Hungary.

Internally, several factors lead to the radical events in October of 1956. the forces of the Soviet Union pressed the ideas of soviet communism almost unilaterally, ?the Soviet Embassy supervised all activities in Hungary?Soviet ?experts? were present in all important agencies (Felkay 45).? The communist regime in Hungary wanted to remake Hungary in the image of the Soviet Union, ?the newly elected Peoples? Front adopted a new Hungarian Constitution , almost an exact copy of the Soviet Constitution of 1936 (Felkay 43).? Such Sovietization was of course aided by the Soviet Union, and it had been a policy of Stalin, to ?aid and support the fledgling Soviet states by any and all means necessary (?
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