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To what extent did the liberalisation policies adopted by Czechoslovakian politicians cause the Prague Spring - Coursework Example

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To what extent did the liberalisation policies adopted by Czechoslovakian politicians cause the Prague Spring

In spite of the severe crushing of the reforms, the period of Prague Spring is cherished in the history of the country as a breakthrough in the dictatorship climate during the time and as a harbinger of hope for the people of not only Czechoslovakia, but also of Hungary and Poland. The available literture on the history of Czechoslovakia reveals that Prague Spring was not the result of just the change in the political will of the government, but it had several antecedent conditions that led to it. These antecedents are deeply rooted in the history of Czechoslovakia starting after the World War I in 1919 and the political decisions and forces that shaped the destiny of the nation for the next three decades upto the 1950s. This paper aims to understand the causes that led to the Prague Spring and also to assess if the liberalization policies of politcians played an active role in its inception. In rder to evaluate if the liberalization policies adopted by Czechoslovakian politicians cause the Prague Spring, it is important to understand the antecedent conditions in Czechoslovakia with respect to the socio-economic and political environment. Political Decision Making in Czechoslovakia Leading Up To the Prague Spring Czechoslovakia had come into existence as an independent country after the fall of the Habsburg monarchy after the World War I (Evans, 1979). The new formed Czechoslovakia was characterized by parliamentary democracy and a strong center of government and a robustly growing economy (Windsor and Roberts, 1969). However, the political turmoil in the neighboring countries, hostile neighbours like Hungary, Poland and Germany, and the impeding march of the Hitler’s forces towards Czechoslovakia all added to insecurities about the future of Czechoslovakia. In addition, the country faced internal ethnic and religious tensions and economic inequalities between its Czech and Slovak people. The World War II saw the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Germany, and later liberation of the country with help from teh Russian Army (Ramet 1999). Thus, post the World War II Czechoslovakia was placed in the power of the Soviet Union and its political and economic policies oriented towards communism. Czechoslovakia soon moved towards a socialist regime and the political set up went into the hands of the socialist parties (Davies, 2007). The coalition consitsed of both the socialist and the communuist elements and it initiated economic policies favoring socialism. This was the time when the people of Czechoslovakia were optimistic of their future as an emerging economy and a free country (Chad, 2007). However, within a decade Czechoslovakia was overtaken by the communist party and a regime of purging the politics of all non-communist elements was set into motion (Davies, 2007)). During the communist era, Czechoslovakia invested greatly in the development of heavy industries and acquired an inmressive growth rate of 170 percent . By 1948, Stalins’ collectivism ecomomic policies greatly inspired Czechoslovakia which followed an approach of forced labour and excessive government control in the market (Segel, 2003). This was the dark period of repression of public opinion and freedom of speech in Czechoslovakia and led to the public simmering with resentment against the political approach. The ...Show more

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Topic:  To what extent did the liberalisation policies adopted by Czechoslovakian politicians cause the Prague Spring? Introduction Prague Spring is the term used to designate the short period of time in the history of Czechoslovakia which saw the introduction of political and civil reforms that promised to free the country from the repressive social-political legacy of the Soviet Union…
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