Revolution and Change in Central and Eastern Europe: Political, Economic, and Social Challenges

By Minton F. Goldman | Go to book overview

5
From Czechoslovakia to the Czech and Slovak Republics

Like the rest of Central and Eastern Europe, Czechoslovakia came under communist rule following World War II. And like its neighbors, it soon became a satellite of Moscow. From the outset, the Czechoslovak communist system was Stalinist, namely, committed to a rigid ideological orthodoxy in the political and economic spheres of national life. The Czechoslovak communists slavishly imitated Soviet policies, especially after the ascendancy in 1953 of Antonín Novotný as head of the Czechoslovak Communist Party. Under Novotný, Czechoslovakia adopted a carbon copy of the Soviet political system.1


The Prague Spring

In the 1960s, politicians, journalists, and ordinary citizens questioned the Stalinist dictatorship. Convinced that they could live better if they reformed the system, many Czechs and Slovaks supported liberalization of the country's political environment and economic structures. Pressures for change reached a climax in January 1968, when party chief Novotný was replaced by Alexander Dubček, a Slovak and a reformer. Dubček tried to liberalize the political system by lifting censorship and allowing open debate of national problems and policies, moves that were called the "Prague Spring."2

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Revolution and Change in Central and Eastern Europe: Political, Economic, and Social Challenges
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Introduction xi
  • 1 - Roots and Causes of Communist Collapse 3
  • Conclusions 22
  • 2 - Problems of Postcommunist Development 23
  • Conclusions 51
  • 3 - Albania 53
  • Conclusions 82
  • 4 - Bulgaria 83
  • Conclusions 111
  • 5 - From Czechoslovakia to the Czech and Slovak Republics 113
  • Conclusions 152
  • 6 - East Germany 155
  • Conclusions 178
  • 7 - Hungary 181
  • Conclusions 216
  • 8 - Poland 219
  • Conclusions 263
  • 9 - Romania 265
  • Conclusions 298
  • 10 - Yugoslavia-----Collapse and Disintegration 299
  • Conclusions 331
  • 11 - Yugoslavia--The Bosnian Civil War 341
  • Conclusions 389
  • Conclusions 391
  • Notes 405
  • Bibliography 453
  • Index 471
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