How did Czechoslovakia try to resist Soviet rule?

Czechoslovakia tried to resist Soviet rule by engaging in internal reforms designed to relax restrictions on freedom of thought and expression. However, these reforms were strongly opposed by the Soviet leadership, who responded by invading Czechoslovakia. Resistance then took the form of street protests, demonstrations, acts of sabotage, and the forming of civilian defense units.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek, the ruling Communist Party of Czechoslovakia embarked upon a series of reforms that ushered in a period of change known as the Prague Spring.

The reforms sought to bring greater democratization, giving people more say in a country where power was exclusively exercised by...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek, the ruling Communist Party of Czechoslovakia embarked upon a series of reforms that ushered in a period of change known as the Prague Spring.

The reforms sought to bring greater democratization, giving people more say in a country where power was exclusively exercised by communist officials. Dubcek also wanted to relax restrictions on freedom of speech and expression. On the economic front, greater liberalization became the order of the day, with the decentralization of economic decision-making.

Taken together, these reforms could be seen as a form of resistance to Soviet rule, though that is not how they were presented by the Czech authorities at that time. In any case, the Soviet leadership most certainly did see the Prague Spring reforms as an act of resistance, and a challenge to continued Soviet rule.

Leaders in Moscow were enraged that the government in Prague had embarked on such reforms without their permission. Hard-liners within the Kremlin were certain that this was simply the thin end of the wedge, that it was only a matter of time before communism in Czechoslovakia was dismantled once and for all.

And so Brezhnev, the leader of the USSR, responded by sending over half a million Warsaw Pact troops into the country. This invasion provoked desperate resistance from the Czech people, who took to the streets of Prague in the thousands to protest against the invasion.

They also formed themselves into civilian defense units, which made it much harder for the invading forces to pacify the country. At a local level, the activities of the resistance movement were supplemented by acts of sabotage and civil disobedience.

In the end, however, resistance proved futile, as the Soviets established control, which they were not to relinquish for another twenty-one years.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on