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The Czechs return to Europe

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

The Czechs return to Europe

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Samenvatting

The objective of this dissertation is to investigate how Czech historical events during the twentieth century influenced Czech society and politics in relation to Europe.
During the twentieth century, the Czech Republic experienced highlights and downfalls. The founding fathers, Masaryk, Beneš, and Štefánik, established the first democratic Czechoslovak Republic in 1918. The first Czechoslovak Republic is considered as one of the most successful transformations from an occupied nation into a well-functioning democracy. The euphoric stability was brutally interrupted by the Munich Agreement in which France and Britain agreed together with Hitler's Nazi Germany that a part of Czechoslovakia would be given to the Third Reich.
In March 1939, Hitler broke the Munich Agreement and the first Czechoslovak Republic (1920 - 1938) was completely dissolved. In the period 1939 - 1945, a Czech government in exile was formed. They fought for the liberation of the Czech lands, but the war for liberation was finally won by the Russian Red Army.
The aftermath of World War II was a chaotic period in which Communist influences were dominant. Even though the public opinion of 1948 showed that the communist party would not receive a majority of votes if elections were held, the party sought illegal ways to
gain power.
In January 1968, Alexander Dubcek became president of the Czechoslovak people's democracy. He implemented reforms that gave Communism a human face. The Soviet Union leaders disliked these reforms and arrested Dubcek which caused a lot of protests and
culminated in the landmark suicide of Jan Palach. During this period, dissident movements, such as Charta 77were established.
In 1989, the Soviet bloc fell. In Czechoslovakia, the transition occurred without violence and was therefore named the Velvet Revolution. Three years later, the Czechoslovak Republic was peacefully split into two separate independent states.
After becoming an independent state, the Czech Republic applied to become part of the European Union. Most of the Czechs were pro-Europe although there was also a subculture of Euro-scepticism. Regardless of their frequently-voiced scepticism, the general public of the Czech Republic voted 'yes' to the binding referendum on EU Membership, and the Czech Republic finally became Member of the EU on May 1, 2004. In 2009, the Czech Republic was granted the EU Presidency.

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OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingESC Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2011
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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