Essay On Czech Republic: History, Economy, And Culture

1507 words - 6 pages

The formation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 was the conclusion of the long struggle of the Czechs against their Austrian rulers and of the Slovaks against their Hungarian rulers. The independence of Czechoslovakia was officially announced in Prague, the nation's capital, on October 28, 1918. A provisional constitution was adopted and Tomas Masaryk was declared the president on November 14 the same year. The Treaty of St. Germain was signed in September of 1919, and formally recognized the new country. The new state was plagued by problems because of its wide ethnic diversity, separate histories and differing religious, cultural, and social traditions of the Czechs and the Slovaks.The Czechoslovakian state was conceived as a parliamentary democracy. The constitution named the "Czechoslovak nation" as the creator and principal constituent of the Czechoslovak state. Czechoslovakia was the only central European country to remain a parliamentary democracy from 1918 to 1938.After taking power in Germany, Czechoslovakia was to become Hitler's target. On September 29, 1938, the Munich Agreement was signed by Germany, Italy, France, and Britain, and the Czechoslovakian government agreed to tolerate the agreement. Czechoslovakian military units, however, fought alongside the Allied forces during World War II. Except for the brutalities of the German occupation, Czechoslovakia suffered relatively little from the war. In late November 1938, Czechoslovakia was reconstituted in three sovereign units: Czechia, Slovakia, and Ruthenia.The "Third Republic" came into existence in the month of April in 1945. Its government was a National Front coalition which contained three socialist parties: the KSC, the Czechoslovak Social Democratic Party, and the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party. Following Nazi Germany's surrender, some 2.9 million Germans were kicked out of Czechoslovakia with the approval of the Allied Forces. Czechoslovakia then fell victim to the Soviet Union's sphere of influence. In February of 1948, when the Communists took power, Czechoslovakia was declared a "people's democracy", which was seen as an initial step toward socialism and communism.Anti-Soviet demonstrations in August 1969 ushered in a period of harsh tyranny. Through the 1970s and 1980s, the National Assembly was confronted by would-be individuals and organized groups connected to independent thinking and activities. The first anti-Communist demonstration took place on March 25, 1988 in the city of Bratislava. It was an unauthorized peace gathering containing almost two-thousand Catholics; the anti-Communist revolution, however, did not start until November 16, 1989, with a demonstration of Slovak university students for democracy in the same city where the first demonstration had took place a year and a half before, Bratislava. On November 17, 1989, the communist police violently broke up a peaceful pro-democracy demonstration, and brutally beat many student participants.While facing...

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