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11-08-2015, 17:20

REVOLUTIONARY RUSSIA AND THE NEW NATIONS OF EASTERN EUROPE

The war had equally immediate and spectacular consequences for imperial Russia. World War I led directly to revolution. Removed from the international system by the Bolshevik Revolution of November 1917, Russia (soon reshaped into the Soviet Union) was transformed for several decades into an inwardly looking country wrestling with the domestic problems of forced industriahzation and the perfection of a Communist dictatorship. Under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, the turmoil of World War II and its aftermath allowed the Soviet Union to expand into eastern Europe. Communism, established in one country as a result of World War I, now entrenched itself in half a dozen more. Other products of the war were the new nations of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. As the fighting came to a close, a victorious Serbia with a winning army at its disposal controlled the construction of a Yugoslav (meaning "south Slav") state. The prestige of Thomas Masaryk and the leadership of other Czech intellectuals and politicians brought together Czechs and Slovaks—as well as numerous other groups—in a united Czechoslovakia. Both of those states survived the turmoil of the twentieth century to last through the 1980s. Dominated for decades by Serbs, Yugoslavia was destroyed during World War II, then reconstituted under the Communist leadership of Marshal Tito (Joseph Broz). Czechoslovakia was dismembered starting with the Munich Pact of 1938, then restored after World War II, only to find itself in the Soviet sphere.

 

 

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