16 - Pressures On The Ussr, C1963-72 Flashcards Preview

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Summarise the Khrushchev era

Relaxation, allowing different routes to socialism


Summarise the Brezhnev era

Return to Stalin’s repression + use of force in attempt to reassert Soviet dominance (met with E.European resistance)


What was the change to US leadership in Nov 1963?

Kennedy -> Johnson


Why did Johnson become President?

He was Vice President, gaining power in 1963 after President Kennedy’s assassination
Gained Presidency in his own right in 1964


What was the change to USSR leadership in Oct 1964?

Khrushchev -> Brezhnev


Why did Brezhnev gain power?

- Khrushchev becoming seen as a failure (results of CMC + BC, inability to improve standards of living)
- Khrushchev absent from Kremlin for 5 months
- Brezhnev led other party members in ousting Khrushchev
- Khrushchev accepted ‘retirement’ (old age + poor health)


What was Brezhnev’s position before he became Premier of USSR?

Secretary of Central Committee
Deputy leader of Communist Party


Did Czechoslovakia try to take Marshall Aid?

Summoned to Moscow + forced to reject aid


When did the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSC) gain power?

Feb 1948


When was there a crisis in Czechoslovakia?



What caused the discontent in Czechoslovakia in 1968?

- An economy that had been prosperous recorded negative growth for the first time in 1963
- Czechoslovakian economy/growth was limited as they were forced to produce goods (E.g. steel) for the USSR
- Return to harsh censorship + repression under Brezhnev + Novotny


Who was Novotny?

Head of Czechoslovakian Communist Party (KSC) + President of Czechoslovakia


Who spoke out about need for political reform in Czechslovakia in 1968 to stop the dissatisfaction?

Ota Sik
(Economist Professor)


What did Professor Ota Sik say in Czechoslovakia?

- Proposed reforms to the planned command economy to reduce the dissatisfaction
- KSC refused
- Spoke out about need for political reform, which was clearly the only way to make change + increase satisfaction (1966)


Who supported Ota Sik’s call for political reform?

Intellectuals, then members of the wider public


Why was communism being questioned in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s?

The declining economic + social conditions became associated with the Communist Party leadership (they refused to make change to reduce public dissatisfaction!)


Why did Brezhnev pressurise a change in leadership in Czechoslovakia in 1968?

Soviets saw public support for Sik’s suggestion that political reform was needed + became concerned that if Novotny stayed in power, a coup would oust him + the rest of the Communist Party


What was the change to leadership in 1968 Czechoslovakia?

Novotny -> Dubcek


Who was Dubcek?

- Long term Slovak communist
- Became President of Czechoslovakia in 1968


Why did Brezhnev choose Dubcek to lead Czechoslovakia + their Communist Party?

- He appeared to be a typical communist Party bureaucrat (Thought he would prevent revolt as a fresh leader)
- He was a Slovak
(Thought he would appeal to minorities who were revolting)


Why did Dubcek turn out not to be a good choice for Czechoslovakia leader in the eyes of the USSR?

He turned out to be a charismatic advocate for political reform, not a typical communist who would shut down talk of reform


When did Dubcek become President of Czechoslovakia?

Jan 1968


How did Dubcek start his transition towards reform?

Began with caution (knew he was watched by USSR)
- Started bringing in politicians who supported reform
- Vaguely said Czechoslovakia needed a ‘new start to socialism’


What action did Dubcek take to make his desire for reform clear?

Action Programme (April 1968)


What message did Dubcek advocate?

‘Socialism with a human face’


What is the meaning of ‘socialism with a human face’?

Liberalising to make the communist rule more acceptable for the population - less oppressive + harsh etc


What reforms did Dubcek propose in his 1968 Action Programme?

- Freedom of speech + press
- Freedom of movement (including to western countries)
- Formal recognition of the state of Israel
- Freedom of economic enterprise
- Rights of autonomy for the politically repressed + underrepresented (e.g. Slovaks)


What is freedom of economic enterprise?

Making business decisions based on consumer demand, not government targets (e.g. amount + type of goods produced centred around consumer desire)


What actions did Dubcek make to try to protect his reforms + prevent USSR anger?

- Communist Party retained its leading role
- CZ stayed in Warsaw Pact


What was the Prague Spring (spring-summer 1968)?

Period of countrywide hope as Dubcek’s Action Plan of reforms began, e.g.
- Press censorship ended
- Plan to open borders with West
- Discussions of trade agreement with Germany


How did other Warsaw Pact states view the Prague Spring?

Many feared that CZ were becoming more capitalist/Western


What actions were taken by Warsaw Pact countries to try to end Dubcek’s reforms or provoke a pro-Soviet group to emerge from the party that could be supported?

- Military exercises in CZ to intimidate (June 1968)
- Warsaw Letter (July 1968)
- Brezhnev had 6 meetings with Dubcek (July 1968)


What was the Warsaw Letter?

Letter by Warsaw Pact countries in July 1968 that outlined how the CZ reforms were threatening the whole socialist community + encouraged them to end them


Did Dubcek stop his reforming path due to the actions taken by other Warsaw Pact countries?



What was the Warsaw Pact’s ultimate solution to end the liberalisation in CZ?



Briefly outline the Invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968

- 20th Aug: 500,000 Warsaw Pact troops entered CZ
- Troops received no resistance by army, only by some public
- Dubcek + other leaders arrested + replaced by harsh, pro-soviet leadership under Husak (officially from April 1969)


Give 3 ways the public showed resistance to the Invasion of Czechoslovakia

- Threw petrol bombs
- Protested in Wenceslas Square
- Radio broadcast situation to the world


Who was Dubcek replaced by?

Husak (harsh, pro-Soviet)


When did Warsaw Pact troops invade CZ?

20th Aug 1968


How did NATO react to the invasion of Czechoslovakia?

No physical reaction (US only verbally condemned invasion + cancelled a summit with the Soviets)


How did other communist countries react to the invasion of Czechoslovakia?

Most negatively
- China: relations worsened. (Feared similar Soviet invasion)
- Yugoslavia + Romania: relations worsened (had supported reforms)
- Albania: relations worsened greatly, left WP (had supported reforms)


Which countries reacted most negatively to the invasion of CZ? Why?

Other communist countries - saw Soviets as controlling + threatening


How did the Red Army react to the invasion of Czechoslovakia? Why?

Angry/more hostile towards Brezhnev
- He lied to them + told them the CZ people had requested their military assistance (clearly not - people had resisted)


How did the people of the country react to the invasion of Czechoslovakia?

Developed a deep-rooted hatred for the USSR that would emerge later


What did the Brezhnev Doctrine (Nov 1968) state?

Any threat to socialist rule in a Soviet bloc state/ally was a threat to the whole community so other socialist states must intervene to stop it


When was the Brezhnev Doctrine outlined?

Nov 1968