The Velvet Revolution Essay example

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The citizens of Czechoslovakia had not known freedom in decades. During much of World War II the nation was occupied by the Nazis and later by the Red Army as it drove the Nazis back to Berlin. When they Red Army moved into an area, communist regimes were set up to govern the area, and establish satellite nations. There were numerous uprisings throughout the decade that were violently suppressed by the communist governments with help from the USSR. After Alexander Dubcek tried to grant reforms to the people of Czechoslovakia in 1968, the USSR and most members of the Warsaw Pact sent their military forces to intervene and suppress any unrest or reforms. Things grew somewhat violent and brutal, as any demonstrators were either or beaten, …show more content…
The government called in military and riot police to forcibly break up the demonstration. Within that same week, Vaclav Havel organized formed the “Civic Forum”, which gave a lot more organization to the protests and demonstrations. The group demanded free and open democratic elections and an end to government censorship. Protestors would gather together throughout Prague and Bratislava and then eventually throughout the entire country. Within a month the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia had fallen and Havel had been named President in the first free election in Czechoslovakia since 1948. Even more amazing was that there was hardly any violence during the uprising. For years it seemed almost impossible for the oppressive Czechoslovakian government to be toppled, and yet in roughly a month Havel and the student demonstrators were able to do it. What events lead to this peaceful overthrow of the Communist party and role did Havel play in them? What role did popular culture play in the revolution? The events that eventually led to the successful revolution in 1989 got their start in the “Prague Spring” in 1968. There was a brief period of political reform in Czechoslovakia in 1968, when Alexander Dubcek was elected to be the First Secretary of Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. Many of Dubcek’s reforms were trying to give more rights to the citizens as well as relaxing government censorship.