World History: Czechoslovakia

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  • Communists in Czechoslovakia used massive repression to maintain power after Soviet troops helped to crush a reform movement in 1968. Writers and other intellectuals tried to oppose the government. But they had little success.
  • Then, in 1988 and 1989, mass demonstrations took place all over Czechoslovakia. Crowds as large as five hundred thousand were forming. Finally, in December of 1989, the Communist government collapsed.
  • Since the country faced old ethnic conflicts, two national groups agreed to a peaceful division of the country. Václav Havel was elected to be the president of the new Czech Republic. While Michal Kovác was elected president of Slovakia.
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