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  • In Poland, workers had started protests that demanded a change in Poland. One worker named Lech Walesa organized a national trade union named Solidarity. The solidarity gained the workers support of five hundred thousand people, so eventually in December 1989 the communist government collapsed.  
  • Vaclav Havel was a writer who played a huge role in bringing down the communist government. At the end of December Havel became the new president. Havel became an eloquent spokesperson for Czech democracy and a new order in Europe.
  • The new government soon faced old ethnic problems. The two groups the Czechs and Slovaks came to an agreement that the nation should be divided into two. On January 1 1993 Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Havel was elected the first president of the new Czech Republic, and Michal Kovác was elected president of Slovakia.
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