Discuss the significant role of leadership in contributing to the Prague Spring of 1968.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that Alexander Dubcek's role in the Prague Spring is representative of how important leadership is in fostering change.  Dubcek understood the critical elements of the time and advocated for a system that brought him into direct conflict with the Soviet Union and made him enamored amongst the Czech people.  The idea of "socialism with a human face" and liberalizing a nation that did not fit the Soviet model of socialism/ communism is something that makes him such a vital representation of the power of leadership.  Dubcek understood the moment of time in which he was thrust into power.  He recognized that his nation was fundamentally different from other nations occupied by the Soviet Union and his response was to construct a vision that would work for his country and his people.  The fact that he was seen as a such a threat by the Soviets helped to bring out the idea that his role of leadership was a significant one, and that he was perceived as to being the fundamental catalyst for change.  Indeed, when he was removed as leader, most of his liberalization tenets and ideas went with him.  Dubcek is a stark reminder of the importance and need for individual personality and leadership in the drive for revolution and seeking change and transformation in a setting that negates it.

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