Posted: June 5th, 2021
How did Khrushchev and Brezhnev respond to rebellions in some of the communist satellite states? Give specific examples of countries that rebelled, why they rebelled and an analysis of the responses by Khrushchev and Brezhnev to the rebellions: Khrushchev’s decision for de-Stalinization movements had repercussions in the Communist countries of Eastern Europe. Poland revolted against its government in October 1956. Hungary followed shortly afterward. Faced with open revolution, Khrushchev flew to Warsaw on October 19 with Soviet leaders and ultimately acquiesced in the Polish leader Wladyshaw Gomulka’s national Communist solution, which allowed the Poles a great deal of freedom.
Khrushchev’s shared decisions to crush the Hungarian Revolution by force came largely because of the Hungarian premier’s decision to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact. With this one exception Khrushchev allowed a considerable amount of freedom to the European Communist parties and this stress in Eastern Europe it helped to crystallized opposition to Khrushchev within the Soviet Party. His stand on reforms in economics and politics in the Soviet Union caused many enemies and party officials ended up removing him for power and replacing him with Brezhnev who opened the doors to the West for the soviet people and this was especially influential to the younger citizens of the population. Khrushchev widely asserted his doctrine of peaceful coexistence which he had first spoke of in a speech at the 20th Party Congress.
When Brezhnev came into power he left many affairs to other officials in the party, such as diplomatic relations with non-Communist states and internal economic development. Brezhnev concentrated on foreign and military affairs and undertook measures to curtail ideological dissidence within the Soviet Union. He traveled extensively to foreign countries between 1961 and 1964. He made visits to all the European Communist countries, except Albania to improve solidarity within the Communist block.
But when Czechoslovakia attempted to liberalize its Communist system of government and party control, Brezhnev developed the concept, known as the Brezhnev Doctrine that justified the invasion of Czechoslovakia by its Warsaw Pact partners. During the 70’s Brezhnev attempted to ease tensions with the West, especially the U.S. in a new policy of coexistence. It was during this time that under Brezhnev’s rule Soviet military power was significantly increased and modernized, and the Soviet Union pursued a policy of supporting “wars of national liberation” in developing countries. In domestic policy he was preoccupied with neutralizing internal dissent and seeking to improve the performance of the Soviet economy particularly in agriculture and consumer goods, with little or no success.
Treadgold, Donald W. and Herbert J. Ellison. Twentieth Century Russia. Bolder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2000.
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