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How did the Prague Spring challenge Soviet authority in 1968?

The Prague Spring challenged Soviet authority in 1968 by attempting to liberalise and democratise Czechoslovakia's communist regime.

In 1968, Czechoslovakia, under the leadership of Alexander Dubček, initiated a series of reforms known as the Prague Spring. These reforms aimed to create 'socialism with a human face', a more liberal and democratic version of the existing communist regime. This was a direct challenge to the Soviet Union's authority, as it contradicted the principles of the Warsaw Pact, which promoted strict adherence to Soviet-style communism.

The Prague Spring reforms included the abolition of censorship, the promotion of freedom of speech and assembly, and the introduction of a multi-party system. These changes were seen as a threat by the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries, as they feared that such liberalisation could spread to their own countries and undermine their communist regimes. The Prague Spring was thus seen as a challenge to the Soviet Union's authority over its satellite states.

Furthermore, the Prague Spring also challenged the Brezhnev Doctrine, a policy declared by Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev that justified the Soviet Union's right to intervene in the affairs of its satellite states to protect communism. The Prague Spring's reforms were seen as a threat to communism, and thus, according to the Brezhnev Doctrine, warranted Soviet intervention. However, the Czechoslovakian people resisted the Soviet invasion, further challenging Soviet authority.

The Prague Spring was ultimately crushed by the Soviet Union, but it had a lasting impact. It showed that there was significant opposition to Soviet-style communism within the Eastern Bloc, and it demonstrated that the Soviet Union was willing to use force to maintain its control over its satellite states. This challenged the legitimacy of Soviet authority, as it showed that it was maintained through coercion rather than consent. The Prague Spring was a significant event in the Cold War, as it highlighted the tensions within the Eastern Bloc and challenged the authority of the Soviet Union.

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