Comparing and contrasting Hungary 1956 and Czechoslovakia 1968
This I/GCSE History revision podcast looks at the uprisings in Communist Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Although they were 12 years apart, they share some common similarities but also have some marked differences. The podcast is divided into three main sections. Considering Hungary first, then Czechoslovakia, I explain the respective causes of the uprisings, the events during them, and finally the consequences. The third part of the podcast compares the two revolutions.
The first part of the episode addresses the Hungarian uprising of 1956 from the downfall of Rakosi to the rise of Nagy and his own eventual execution before the USSR reasserted its control over Hungary through Kadar. An explanation is given of why the USSR was so unwilling to allow Nagy’s reforms to take hold, and the extent to which the Hungarian people fought to assert their independence.
The second part of the revision podcast focuses on Czechoslovakia in 1968. The policies of Dubček and the Prague Spring are outlined, along with their effect on the attitudes of both the Czech people and the Soviet Union. The eventual demise of Dubček following the USSR’s invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 is then described.
The final part of the podcast is arguably the most important for revising History GCSE and IGCSE. The episode concludes with a comparison of the two uprisings, detailing an essay technique that helps you to explain the similarities and differences between them in an examination answer. It doesn’t actually matter whether you think they were more similar or more different, but it is important to present a balanced answer as outlined in the podcast.