1956: Counter-Revolution in Hungary
By: Wendy • Research Paper • 913 Words • March 16, 2009 • 744 Views
Essay title: 1956: Counter-Revolution in Hungary
1956: Counter-revolution in Hungary.
Following the death of Josef Stalin in 1953, the harsh policies he implemented in not only the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, but also its many satellite nations began to break down. There was a movement to distance all of the socialist nations from Stalin?s sadistic rule. In the Peoples? Republic of Hungary, there was much disillusionment with this Stalinist absolutism (Felkay 50). This disillusionment with the Soviet ideal of socialism lead the people of the fledgeling socialist state of Hungary to rise up in revolt, but ill-preparedness and the strength of the Soviet Red Army put down the insurrection within several days.
Several forces influenced and provoked counter-revolutionary forces in Hungary, both internal and external. Externally, there was support for pro-democratic groups within Hungary, and Г©migrГ© groups from Hungary(Berecz 15). The United States government implemented several acts to support reactionary groups who fled eastern European countries in the years following World War II. Among these acts was the ?Lodge Act? of 1951, decreeing that 12,500 persons from among these reactionary groups be armed and form a ?foreign legion.? The number was increased in 1955 to 25,000 persons (Berecz 16) The United States government also passed several bills for funding activities of pro-democratic forces within these countries, ?Congress adopted Article 101a of the Mutual Security Bill?it authorized the spending of 100 million dollars annually on financing activities carried out by ?any selected persons who are residing in or escapees from the Soviet Union, Albania, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Czeckoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Estonia? to form such persons into elements of the military forces supporting NATO or for other purposes. (Berecz 16)? All these measures posed a direct threat to the security and the peaceful life of socialist Hungary.
Internally, several factors lead to the radical events in October of 1956. the forces of the Soviet Union pressed the ideas of soviet communism almost unilaterally, ?the Soviet Embassy supervised all activities in Hungary?Soviet ?experts? were present in all important agencies (Felkay 45).? The communist regime in Hungary wanted to remake Hungary in the image of the Soviet Union, ?the newly elected Peoples? Front adopted a new Hungarian Constitution , almost an exact copy of the Soviet Constitution of 1936 (Felkay 43).? Such Sovietization was of course aided by the Soviet Union, and it had been a policy of Stalin, to ?aid and support the fledgling Soviet states by any and all means necessary (?????????? 1:577).? This lead to a wide-spread anti-Soviet feeling in Hungary and a growing feeling of Hungarian nationalism, and eventually lead to the counter-revolutionary uprising in 1956. ?In the night of the 23rd to the 24th [October 1956]? Soviet aggression provoked an explosion of nationalism?the Russian intervention drew their bonds tighter, crystallized their latent anti-Sovietism, stirred up the already excited people (Sartre 25).? The all-encompassing control of the Soviets and the feeling of inferiority where prime instigators in the uprising, ?in all respects, soviet pressure was resented (Lloyd 28).?
Hungary as a modern nation-state has only existed since the late 1860?s, when it won autonomy from the Hapsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire (Felkay 10). The fragile nation of Hungary did not last long however, and in 1919, socialist and communist forces took over, proclaiming ?the formation of a Hungarian Council Republic. Bela Kun was to lead the new Communist nation of Hungary, declaring in May of 1919, ?the proletarian revolution can confidently rely on our armies, who have won! (??? 132)? Bela Kun and the communist government only lasted until August of that same year, when western forces occupied Budapest, establishing Miklos Horthy?s military dictatorship, ?to stave off
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