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The Velvet Revolution Essay

1464 words - 6 pages

The Velvet Revolution
The Velvet Revolution is not about delicious red velvet cake but instead sweet freedom of a new government. Even better than a new government it was short and sweet as well. The Velvet Revolution took place in Czechoslovakia from November 17,1989 and ended December 29, 1989. Czechoslovakia was located in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east, and Poland to the north.When I choose this revolution I was intrigued by the name of it. Also, I wanted a non-violent revolution and that’s exactly what I found.
Before the outbreak of World War I, Slovakia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and declared its independence in October 1918, joining the Czech provinces of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia to form the Republic of Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia in the interwar period was the only functioning parliamentary democracy in eastern Europe. Even though it was the only functioning parliamentary democracy, the Czechs and Slovaks had issues that divided them from one another. In the Czech lands, they were more populated and industrialized than Slovakia’s. The Slovak population was also poorer, less educated, and extremely Catholic. The Prague government (Prague is the capital of Czechoslovakia; and why the government is called the Prague government) “attempted to address these economic inequalities by industrializing Slovakia in the 1920s but these efforts were cut short by the Great Depression (Merriman, Winter 2358). The result from the attempted fixes was the Slovaks grew resentful in the 1930s and a separatist movement began, which was led by Father Andrej Hlinka and Jozef Tiso.
In September of 1938, Czechoslovakia was dismembered due to the Munich agreement and on March 14, 1939, Slovakia declared its independence and quickly became a “German puppet” (Merriman, Winter 2358) while still being led by Tiso. However, in August 1944 roughly about sixty thousand Slovak troops rose up and revolted against the TIso regime, and was called the Slovak National Uprising. The Tiso regime also included Nazi backers and the revolt ended in brutality. By the end of World War II, Soviet troops had taken over and now ruled Slovakia and most of Bohemia. After WWII had ended, the Czechs and Slovaks campaigned to be reestablished as Czechoslovakia and be an independent state again in 1946. Although, in Slovakia the Democratic Party won the election and the Czechoslovak Communist Party won the election in the Czech Republic, which became the largest party throughout the Federation. Eventually, the communists seized power in an overturn in 1948.
Under the communist rule, they had concentrated efforts to industrialize Slovakia. The efforts included heavy industry and processing of raw materials. From the rapid economic development led to emerge an increasing in Slovak intelligentsia and increased influence by Slovaks in national politics. In 1968, it reached an end in ascension of the Slovak...

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