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The Emergence Of Solidarity Essay

579 words - 2 pages

Yes, the Soviet grip on Eastern Europe was complete. It was not until the emergence of ‘solidarity’, which became the first ‘mass’ movement against soviet communism that actually challenged the system effectively. By the early nineteen eighties solidarity had more than nine million members, that was over a third of the Polish workforce and in a survey at the time ninety five percent of poles said they trusted solidarity. Solidarity also had the support of the Catholic Church, which was a part of glue that held Poland together, in other Eastern European countries religion had been crushed because communism was anti religious but they could not do so in Poland because nearly all the Poles were Catholics. The head of the Catholic Church was a pole that made an influential visit home to Poland during the height of Solidarity. Lech Walesa was the man behind all of these new and ‘capitalistic’ ideas. Throughout his working career he fought the powers that were. Having led the strikes in the Gdansk shipyard in the summer of 1980. He then eventually founded solidarity in August of 1980 and became its leader soon after.

However despite the emergence of Solidarity in the 1980’s, there had already been challenges to the Soviet system before 1980. Such as the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, where students and workers took to the streets of Budapest and issued their ‘sixteen points’ which were demands for more democracy. The Soviets could not believe what was happening. They then which was dealt very ruthlessly and viciously by the USSR. Hundreds of tanks went into Budapest and probably three thousand Hungarians died with many hundreds of thousands expecting Soviet reprisals fled to the west with all their...

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