1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état

Communist coupcoup d'état1948 coup d'étatCommunist coup d'étatCommunist takeover1948 communist coup d'étatcommunist coup d'état of 1948Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia1948 coupCommunist takeover in 1948
The 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état (often simply the Czech coup) (Únor 1948, Február 1948, both meaning "February 1948") – in Marxist historiography known as "Victorious February" (Vítězný únor, Víťazný február) – was an event late that February in which the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, with Soviet backing, assumed undisputed control over the government of Czechoslovakia, marking the onset of four decades of communist rule in the country.wikipedia
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Communist Party of Czechoslovakia

Communist PartyCommunistKSČ
The 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état (often simply the Czech coup) (Únor 1948, Február 1948, both meaning "February 1948") – in Marxist historiography known as "Victorious February" (Vítězný únor, Víťazný február) – was an event late that February in which the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, with Soviet backing, assumed undisputed control over the government of Czechoslovakia, marking the onset of four decades of communist rule in the country.
After its election victory in 1946 it seized power in the 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état and established a one-party state allied with the Soviet Union.

Klement Gottwald

GottwaldPresident GottwaldGottwalda
Nonetheless, party leader Klement Gottwald said in 1945 that "in spite of the favourable situation, the next goal is not soviets and socialism, but rather carrying out a really thorough democratic national revolution", thereby linking his party to the Czechoslovak democratic tradition (he even claimed to be a disciple of Tomáš Masaryk) and to Czech nationalism by capitalizing on popular intense anti-German feelings.
He was the 14th Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia from July 1946 until June 1948, at which point he became the president of the third republic, four months after the 1948 coup d'état in which his party seized power with the backing of the Soviet Union.

Edvard Beneš

BenešPresident BenešBeneš, Edvard
President Edvard Beneš, not himself a Communist but very amenable to cooperation with the Soviets, and who hoped for restraint by the Allied powers, thus invited Gottwald to be prime minister.
His first resignation came after the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938 which brought his government into exile, and the second came about with the 1948 communist coup.

Cold War

the Cold Warcold-warCold War era
The coup’s significance extended well beyond the country’s boundaries as it was a clear marker along the already well-advanced road to full-fledged Cold War.
In early 1948, following reports of strengthening "reactionary elements", Soviet operatives executed a coup d'état in Czechoslovakia, the only Eastern Bloc state that the Soviets had permitted to retain democratic structures.

Marshall Plan

Marshall Aidthe Marshall Planreconstruction
The event alarmed Western countries and helped spur quick adoption of the Marshall Plan, the creation of a state in West Germany, vigorous measures to keep communists out of power in France, Greece and especially Italy, and steps toward mutual security that would, in little over a year, result in the establishment of NATO and the definitive drawing of the Iron Curtain until the Revolutions of 1989.
However, opposition against the Marshall Plan was greatly reduced by the shock of the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia in February 1948.

Prague Spring

invasion of CzechoslovakiaSoviet invasion of CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovakia
That notion would be reinforced during the Prague Spring, when party archives were opened and showed that Stalin gave up the whole idea of a parliamentary path for Czechoslovakia when the Communist parties of France and Italy stumbled in 1947 and 1948.
On the 20th anniversary of Czechoslovakia's "Victorious February", Dubček delivered a speech explaining the need for change following the triumph of socialism.

National Front (Czechoslovakia)

National FrontCzechoslovak National FrontCzechoslovak People's Party
During the early postwar period, working with the other parties in a coalition called the National Front, the Communists kept up the appearance of being willing to work within the system.
The KSČ definitively seized power in Czechoslovakia on 25 February 1948.

Iron Curtain

the Iron CurtainIron Curtain" speechthe fall of the Iron Curtain
The event alarmed Western countries and helped spur quick adoption of the Marshall Plan, the creation of a state in West Germany, vigorous measures to keep communists out of power in France, Greece and especially Italy, and steps toward mutual security that would, in little over a year, result in the establishment of NATO and the definitive drawing of the Iron Curtain until the Revolutions of 1989.
In Czechoslovakia, that required a Soviet-backed Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948, the brutality of which shocked Western powers more than any event so far and set in a motion a brief scare that war would occur and swept away the last vestiges of opposition to the Marshall Plan in the United States Congress.

Zdeněk Fierlinger

Most of the ministers remained at their posts, with Social Democratic leader Zdeněk Fierlinger making no secret of his support for the Communists.
His name is often associated with the merger of his Social Democratic Party with the Czechoslovak Communist Party after the communist coup in 1948.

Constituent National Assembly (Czechoslovakia)

Constituent National AssemblyNational Assembly
The National Assembly, freely elected two years earlier, quickly fell into line and gave Gottwald's revamped government a vote of confidence in March.
The Constituent National Assembly (Ústavodárné národní shromáždění, Ústavodarné národné zhromaždenie) was the unicameral constituent assembly of Czechoslovakia from 1946 until the Communist Party's coup d'état in 1948, which ended of democracy for 41 years.

Ninth-of-May Constitution

1948 Constitution of Czechoslovakia1948 Constitution of the Czechoslovak Republica new constitution
On 9 May, a new constitution was approved by parliament.
It came into force on 9 May, shortly after the communist seizure of power in the country on 25 February 1948.

1948 Czechoslovak parliamentary election

194830 May electionsCzechoslovak parliamentary elections
However, it was close enough to the Soviet model that Beneš refused to sign it. At the 30 May elections, voters were presented with a single list from the National Front, which officially won 89.2% of the vote; within the National Front list, the Communists had an absolute majority of 214 seats (160 for the main party and 54 for the Slovak branch).
They were the first elections held under undisguised Communist rule; the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia had seized complete power three months earlier.

Ludvík Svoboda

Czechoslovak General Ludvík SvobodaGeneral in command of the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, Ludvík SvobodaSvoboda
The army, under the direction of Defence Minister Ludvík Svoboda, who was formally non-partisan but had facilitated Communist infiltration into the officer corps, was confined to barracks and did not interfere.
Two days later (and one day after a general strike in which 2.5 million citizens participated), President Edvard Beneš gave in to growing pressure from Gottwald and appointed a government dominated by Communists and pro-Soviet Social Democrats--in effect, giving legal sanction to a Communist coup.

Collective farming

collective farmcollectivisationcollective farms
The activities of the police—headed by Interior Minister Václav Nosek, a Communist—were acutely offensive to many citizens; farmers objected to talk of collectivization, and some workers were angry at Communist demands that they increase output without being given higher wages.
This phase was carried out in April 1948, two months after the Communists took power by force.

Czechoslovakia

CzechoslovakCzechTCH
The 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état (often simply the Czech coup) (Únor 1948, Február 1948, both meaning "February 1948") – in Marxist historiography known as "Victorious February" (Vítězný únor, Víťazný február) – was an event late that February in which the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, with Soviet backing, assumed undisputed control over the government of Czechoslovakia, marking the onset of four decades of communist rule in the country.

1946 Czechoslovak parliamentary election

19461946 elections1946 election
Thus, in the 1946 election, the KSČ won 38% of the vote.
After the non-Communist members resigned from the Cabinet on 25 February 1948, the Communists seized full control of the country.

Rudolf Slánský

SlánskýSlanskySlánský show trial
The KSČ's number-two leader, General Secretary Rudolf Slánský, represented the KSČ at the meeting.
In 1948 the Communist Party seized power in the February coup.

Defenestration

defenestratedself-defenestrationdefenestrate
However, a longstanding Western suspicion was that he had actually been thrown to his death, a hypothesis which, according to Lawrence S. Kaplan, was later confirmed by Soviet archives.
On March 10, 1948, the Czechoslovakian minister of foreign affairs Jan Masaryk was found dead, in his pajamas, in the courtyard of the Foreign Ministry below his bathroom window. The initial investigation stated that he committed suicide by jumping out of the window, although some believe that he was murdered by the ascendant Communists. A 2004 police investigation into his death concluded that, contrary to the initial ruling, he did not commit suicide, but was defenestrated, most likely by Czechoslovak Communists and their Soviet NKVD advisers for opposing the February 1948 Communist putsch.

Valerian Zorin

Valerian Aleksandrovich Zorin
Soviet deputy foreign minister Valerian Zorin, who had been his country's ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1945 to 1947, returned to Prague to help with the final arrangements for the coup.
In 1948, he helped organize the Czechoslovak coup d'état.

Jan Masaryk

JanDeath of a DemocratMasaryk
The only senior minister who was neither a Communist nor a fellow traveller was Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk, who was however found dead two weeks later outside a third-floor window.
In February 1948 the majority of the non-communist cabinet members resigned, hoping to force new elections, but instead a communist government under Gottwald was formed in what became known as the Czech coup (Victorious February in the Eastern Bloc).

1948 Italian general election

1948 general election1948Italian general election of 1948
In Italy, elections were scheduled for 18 April and the Communist-dominated Popular Democratic Front stood a realistic chance of victory.
After the communist coup in Czechoslovakia in February 1948, the US became alarmed about Soviet intentions and feared that, if the leftist coalition were to win the elections, the communist Left would draw Italy into the Soviet Union's sphere of influence.

Czechoslovak Socialist Republic

CzechoslovakiaČSSRcommunist Czechoslovakia
Following the coup d'état of February 1948, when the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia seized power with the support of the Soviet Union, the country was declared a people's republic after the Ninth-of-May Constitution became effective.

Berlin Blockade

Berlin AirliftblockadeBerlin Crisis
The coup and the Berlin Blockade that June made clear that constant reassurance was needed to bind the Europeans to the U.S. system; hence, the remobilization of U.S. armed forces began.
The Soviets' contravention by the blockade of the agreement reached by the London 6-Power Conference, and the Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948, convinced Western leaders that they had to take swift and decisive measures to strengthen the portions of Germany not occupied by the Soviets.

Third Czechoslovak Republic

CzechoslovakiaCzechoslovak RepublicCzechoslovak government
In February 1948, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia seized full power in a coup d'état.

Petr Zenkl

After the communist coup d'état of 1948 Zenkl was under constant surveillance by the communist State Security apparatus.