How similar were the causes and consequences of the Hungarian uprising of 1956 and the Prague Spring of 1968?
Published: March 19, 2017
Since 1945 Hungary was under the control of the USSR. She was exploited and all her resources were in the service of the soviets. Stalin put Rakosi to power in Hungary. When Stalin died and Khrushchev came to power he criticized some of his policies. This gave hope to Hungarian people that they might get free from the soviet rule. On 23rd October 1956 students and workers protested and issued sixteen points containing some rights and freedom. Poland was granted similar rights in 1956 after several protests. Imre Nagy, who was appointed Prime Minister, said on air that Hungary would withdraw itself from Warsaw Pact. This was too much for the USSR to swallow. On 4th November the soviet tanks entered Budapest and crushed protesters with brutality. Within ten days order was reestablished after killing some 30,000 peoples.
Prague Spring of 1968 is the short period of time when the Czechoslovakian government led by Alexander Dubcek tried to democratize Czechoslovakia and lessen the influence of Moscow in nation’s affair. In April 1968 Dubcek tried to introduce reforms like more personal freedom by amending the constitution. Members of the Communist party were given the right to challenge the official policies of the government. Farmers, trade unions, media were given more freedom. The Russian leadership started to panic. Though Dubcek assured Moscow that Czechoslovakia will not leave Warsaw Pact but it was not stopped the soviet troops to enter Czechoslovakia. The only difference this time, as against Hungarian rising, was that all events were almost bloodless.
Thus, we can see the parallel in terms of causes, demands and the soviet response to it in both the Hungarian rising of 1956 and Prague spring of 1968.
Model Questions Category: 013 - Cold War and Other Major Events of 20th Century