Effects of Economic Change Before and After the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia POLS 326 December 11, 2011 Stacy Epps and Halley Tucker
Introduction Problem statement The aim of the paper is to try and identify the economic conditions of the people after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia and the consequent change in government. For this purpose the economic conditions of the people before and after the division are considered along with in order to capture the effect of the split. The study shall be based on some economic indicators like income, employment, and inequality. The question is “What economic changes did the people of the Czech Republic and Slovakia experience after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia?”
Importance of the Question The change of political scenario had always affected the Czechoslovakian citizens. In 1993 the people of the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic gained their respective rights (Wolchik and Curry, 193). However at what cost that right came is an important question.
Reasons for choosing the Czech Republic and Slovakia Every country during its transformation process undergoes economic turmoil. Czechoslovakia had been a country that had experienced transformation of its political, economic, and social scenario several times in history. However the division of Czechoslovakia had been a unique phenomenon. We want to study the effects of such collapse on the economic condition of the people.
Background Prague Spring The Prague Spring was a time of political turmoil in Czechoslovakia during the spring of 1968. It began on January 5th and continued until August 21st of the same year. There were years of mounting unrest with the Czechoslovakians in the 1960s but the movement was initiated when Alexander Dubček was elected the First Secretary of Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, and continued on to when the Soviet Union and members of the Warsaw Pact invaded the country to halt the reforms (Wolchik and Curry 191). Dubček’s intentions were to grant certain freedoms to the citizens of Czechoslovakia in the areas of travel, speech, and media to name a few. Dubček also sought to release political figures that had been imprisoned. This did not sit well with the Soviets, and after attempts at negotiating towards a middle ground; they sent troops into the country to ensure their policies remained unchanged. The Soviets continued to occupy Czechoslovakia until 1990. Gustáv Husák replaced Dubček as secretary in 1969 and later went on to become president. Husák eventually overturned almost all of Dubček's policies and would oust most of the liberal party members. His main goal was to get the country back to a functioning condition, and a period of “normalization” began. Husák worked to reinstate the power of the police authorities and strengthen ties with other socialist nations (Eyal, 48). He also sought to re-centralize the economy, as a considerable amount of freedom had been granted to industries during the Prague Spring (Eyal, 48).
Velvet Divorce The Velvet Divorce, also sometimes referred to as the Velvet Revolution, refers to the non-violent separation of Czechoslovakia into present-day Czech Republic and Slovakia. This movement began in November of 1989 when rising tensions made the Czechs and Slovaks realize that they could not find common ground on a number of issues. The fight against the Communists temporarily united both Czechs and Slovaks; however, upon the demise of the Soviet Union, both faced deviating economic pressures. After the 1990 elections, Czechs and Slovaks argued about economic reforms and how to enforce a steady transition out of a socialist structure. Klaus, the Czech premier, pursued policies that would bring the Czechoslovak nation closer to capitalism, in accordance with his free market training. He gathered support from the Czechs, proposing sharp and quick economic reforms to shock the economy. With the shock, Klaus hoped to motivated...
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