Two USSR Invasions: 1956 Hungary and 1968 Czechoslovakia

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Two USSR Invasions: 1956 Hungary and 1968 Czechoslovakia

<p>Khrushchev formed the Warsaw Pact in 1955 to counter NATO. Eastern European members of the Communist bloc were tightly controlled by Moscow. The invasions of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in

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Khrushchev formed the Warsaw Pact in 1955 to counter NATO. Eastern European members of the Communist bloc were tightly controlled by Moscow. The invasions of Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 created further international tensions during the Cold War. Attempts to liberalise the Communist regimes in both countries were ruthlessly suppressed by USSR tanks and invasion forces. Imre Nagy, the Hungarian leader who tried to abolish one party dictatorship was executed in 1958. Alexander Dubcek, the leader of the Prague Spring survived but his liberalisation program was violently suppressed. Stalin’s East European legacy remained intact until the break up of the USSR 1990.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Victor Sebestyen, 12 Days; The Storm of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, Vintage, 2007
  • Tony Judt, Post War; History of Europe Since 1945, Penguin 2006
  • The Prague Spring and the Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia 1968, Harvard University Cold War Series, 2010


COURSE OUTLINE

  • The legacy of World War II and the Warsaw Pact 1955 and the establishment of the East European Communist bloc in the Cold War period
  • Imre Nagy and the attempts at liberalisation in Hungary 1956 and the violent response of Khrushchev and the USSR
  • Alexander Dubcek and attempts at liberalisation in the Prague Spring of 1968 and the violent response of Brezhnev and the USSR
  • Impact nationally and internationally of the severity of the USSR responses


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Gain a sound understanding of the 1950s and 1960s Cold War flash points in Eastern Europe in the 1950s and 1960s.
  2. Discuss the Hungarian, Czech and Russian leaders during the crises.
  3. Evaluate the impact of the events on contemporary and later generations of the failed liberal agendas and the responses of the USSR by different USSR leaders, twelve years apart.