Resistance To Soviet Authority Essay, Research Paper
Following WWII, The United States and Soviet Union were gripped in the clenches of a Cold War. Stalin felt the need to spread communism and add on to the Soviet Union by installing communist governments in the countries to the east, while the goal of the Truman Doctrine in America was to prevent the spread of communism. With the transition to communism of many countries in the eastern bloc, resistance to Soviet authority was inevitable. The uprisings in Hungary and Czechoslovakia are but two incidents where the people resisted the control of the USSR.
People instinctively crave freedom. This was the case in Hungary. In 1956, the people revolted against Russian occupation by holding a free election for a new government. The revolt was triggered by the growing disenchantment of the people towards the communist government. The government admitted falsely accusing Laszlo Rajk of espionage and having him executed. Students felt the need for democracy and demanded reforms. The Soviets sent troops into Budapest to rid Hungary of its new government.
Alexander Dubcek of Czechoslovakia also felt the need to move away from communism. He took practical steps toward political, social, and economic reforms. These were knows as the “Prague Spring.” In 1968, the groundwork was lain for a Humanistic Socialist Democracy that would guarantee freedom of religion, speech, press, and travel. In accordance of the Brezhnev doctrine, which stated that the USSR could intervene in any satellite nation whose communist government was threatened, Soviet tanks were sent to suppress this new government. Riots broke out in Prague. The Russians killed over one thousand and arrested several thousand more supporters of the new government, effectively ending the uprising.
During the Cold War, many Soviet satellite nations resisted the authority of the USSR. The uprisings in Hungary and Czechoslovakia failed, although they would later gain independence when Mikhail Gorbachev abrogated the Brezhnev doctrine in 1989, they affected the stability of the USSR and contributed to its eventual fall.