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|Newspaper||Mladá fronta (1945–1953)|
The National Front (in Czech: Národní fronta, in Slovak: Národný front) was the coalition of parties which headed the re-established Czechoslovakia from 1945 to 1948. During the Communist era in Czechoslovakia (1948–1989) it was the vehicle for control of all political and social activity by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ). It was also known in English as the National Front of Czechs and Slovaks.
As World War II began, Czechoslovakia disappeared from the map of Europe. The Czech lands became the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia under direct Nazi rule, while Slovakia ostensibly became independent. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was included in the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union. Postwar Czechoslovakia was organized according to a program worked out by the KSČ (whose leaders were in exile in Moscow), and Edvard Beneš, representing the government-in-exile in London—these being the two most important groups seeking the reconstitution of the country. Part of the program was the formation of a popular anti-Nazi coalition of parties. Negotiations began in December 1943 in Moscow. The KSČ and the non-Communist parties had very different ideas about this.
This coalition was established as the "National Front" in April 1945, when a Czechoslovak government came into being in the city of Košice, recently liberated by Soviet troops. The model of government was adopted from similar French tripartisme.
The Slovak People's Party was banned due to its collaboration with the Nazis. The government decided not to allow the re-creation of other pre-war democratic parties, such as the Republican Party of Farmers and Peasants, due to its lead of the Party of National Unity.
The National Front was dominated by the socialist parties: KSČ (which held key ministerial officies), KSS and ČSSD.
The Communists viewed the National Front as a permanent entity, while the remaining parties considered it a temporary coalition until normal conditions would arise in Czechoslovakia. Many quarrels arose between the KSČ and the remaining parties of the National Front in the transitory period 1945–1948.
|Organization||Emblem||Foundation||Seats in the CNA (1946)||Ideology||Range|
|Communist Party of Czechoslovakia||16 May 1921||93||Communism, Marxism-Leninism||Czech lands|
|Communist Party of Slovakia||May 1939||21||Communism, National communism||Slovakia|
|Democratic Party||December 1944||43||Conservatism, Agrarianism||Slovakia|
|Czechoslovak Social Democracy||7 April 1878||37||Social democracy, Centrist Marxism||Czech lands|
|Czechoslovak National Social Party||4 April 1897||55||Social liberalism, Popular socialism, Atlanticism||Czech lands|
|Czechoslovak People's Party||3 January 1919||46||Christian democracy, Social conservatism||Czech lands|
|Freedom Party||March 1946||3||Christian democracy, Republicanism||Slovakia|
|Labour Party||March 1946||2||Social democracy||Slovakia|
The KSČ definitively seized power in Czechoslovakia on 25 February 1948. The other parties were quickly purged of their more courageous elements, and also dropped their original ideologies. The Front took on a character similar to similar alliances in the Communist bloc. All member parties accepted the "leading role" of the KSČ as a condition of their continued existence.
After the 1948 coup, the member parties were:
The nonsocialist members of the Front were allowed to maintain their existence in order to keep up the appearance of pluralism. However, the KSČ held all real power; no one could take part in the political process without KSČ approval.
The other parties were structured just like the Communists, with a secretariat, central committee, and Presidium. Despite their actual impotence and subservience, they retained significant memberships through the entire Communist era. In 1984, the CPP had about 66,000 members, and the CNSP had about 17,000 members. Voters were presented with a single list of National Front-approved candidates, which was usually approved by margins of well over 99 percent against fewer than one percent who either rejected the list or cast blank or spoiled ballots. Non-KSČ candidates were represented, but seats were allocated in accordance with a set quota that guaranteed a large Communist majority.
In 1969, the country was re-organized as a federation of the Czech Socialist Republic and Slovak Socialist Republic. Separate National Front organizations for each federal component were set up, which nominated candidates for the Czech National Council and Slovak National Council.
The National Front enabled the KSČ to maintain the fiction of political pluralism and at the same time control all political activity. In other Communist states, there were similar "coalitions" with identical names (in the German Democratic Republic) or similar names (in Poland, Bulgaria, and Vietnam).
|Communist Party of Czechoslovakia||16 May 1921||Communism, Marxism–Leninism||Czech lands|
|Communist Party of Slovakia||May 1939||Communism, Marxism–Leninism||Slovakia|
|Party of Slovak Revival||23 March 1948||Democratic socialism||Slovakia|
|Czechoslovak Socialist Party||4 April 1897||Democratic socialism||Czech lands|
|Czechoslovak People's Party||3 January 1919||Christian socialism||Czech lands|
|Freedom Party||March 1946||Christian socialism||Slovakia|
After the 1948 coup, the National Front was converted into a broad-based patriotic organization that controlled nearly all organized activity in the country, excluding only religion. Thus the Front was extended to include mass organizations that were not political parties. Among the other member organizations which were made full members were:
All these groups were given the standard Communist organization, and Party members held all controlling positions in these, even as they did not send elected deputies to parliament. This ensured that no secular organization could exist in the country that was wholly independent of KSČ leadership. These groups permeated workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods. As with the Front, many of these organizations added Czech and Slovak regional components in 1969 and after.
After the Velvet Revolution of 1989 ended Communist rule, the National Front was dissolved.
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Czechoslovakia, or Czecho-Slovakia, was a sovereign state in Central Europe, created in October 1918, when it declared its independence from Austria-Hungary.
During World War II, Czechoslovakia had largely disappeared from the map of Europe. The Third Czechoslovak Republic which emerged as a sovereign state after the end of the war was not only the result of the policies of the victorious Western allies, the French Fourth Republic, the United Kingdom and the United States, but also an indication of the strength of the Czechoslovak ideal embodied in the First Czechoslovak Republic. However, at the conclusion of World War II, Czechoslovakia fell within the Soviet sphere of influence, and this circumstance dominated any plans or strategies for postwar reconstruction. Consequently, the political and economic organisation of Czechoslovakia became largely a matter of negotiations between Edvard Beneš and Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) exiles living in Moscow.
From the Communist coup d'état in February 1948 to the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Czechoslovakia was ruled by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The country belonged to the Eastern Bloc and was a member of the Warsaw Pact and of Comecon. During the era of Communist Party rule, thousands of Czechoslovaks faced political persecution for various offences, such as trying to emigrate across the Iron Curtain.
The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia was a Communist and Marxist–Leninist political party in Czechoslovakia that existed between 1921 and 1992. It was a member of the Comintern. Between 1929 and 1953, it was led by Klement Gottwald. The KSČ was the sole governing party in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic though it was a leading party alongside with the Slovak branch and four other legally permitted non-communist parties. 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. Nationalization of virtually all private enterprises followed.
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The mass media in Communist Czechoslovakia was controlled by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ). Private ownership of any publication or agency of the mass media was generally forbidden, although churches and other organizations published small periodicals and newspapers. Even with this informational monopoly in the hands of organizations under KSČ control, all publications were reviewed by the government's Office for Press and Information. Censorship was lifted for three months during the 1968 Prague Spring but afterward was reimposed under the terms of the 1966 Press Law. The law states that the Czechoslovak press is to provide complete information, but it must also advance the interests of socialist society and promote the people's socialist awareness of the policy of the communist party as the leading force in society and state.
With the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy at the end of World War I, the independent country of Czechoslovakia was formed as a result of the critical intervention of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, among others.
The Czech Social Democratic Party is a social-democratic political party in the Czech Republic. It holds 15 seats in the Chamber of Deputies following the 2017 legislative election in which the party lost 35 seats. The party has been led by Jan Hamáček since 2018. It has been a junior coalition party within a minority cabinet since June 2018, and was a senior coalition party from 1998 to 2006 and from 2013 to 2017.
Gustáv Husák was a Slovak communist politician, who served as the long-time First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia from 1969 to 1987 and the president of Czechoslovakia from 1975 to 1989. His rule is known as the period of the Normalization after the Prague Spring.
Czech National Social Party is a civic nationalist political party in the Czech Republic, that once played an important role in Czechoslovakia during the interwar period. It was established in 1897 by break-away groups from both the national liberal Young Czech Party and the Czech Social Democratic Party, with a stress on achieving independence of the Czech lands from Austria-Hungary. Its variant of socialism was moderate and reformist rather than a Marxist one. After the National Labour Party dissolved and merged with National Socialists in 1930, the party also became the refuge for Czech liberals. Its best-known member was Edvard Beneš, a co-founder of Czechoslovakia and the country's second President during the 1930s and 1940s.
The Czechoslovak Republic existed between 1948 and 1960. The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was the name of Czechoslovakia from 1960 to 23 April 1990, when the country was under Communist rule. It was a satellite state of the Soviet Union. 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 socialist republic after the Ninth-of-May Constitution became effective. The traditional name Československá republika was changed on 11 July 1960 following the implementation of the 1960 Constitution of Czechoslovakia as a symbol of the "final victory of socialism" in the country, and remained so until the Velvet Revolution in November 1989. Several other state symbols were changed in 1960. Shortly after the Velvet Revolution, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic was renamed to the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic.
In late February 1948, 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.
Resistance to the German occupation of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia during World War II began after the occupation of the rest of Czechoslovakia and the formation of the protectorate on 15 March 1939. German policy deterred acts of resistance and annihilated organizations of resistance. In the early days of the war, the Czech population participated in boycotts of public transport and large-scale demonstrations. Later on, armed communist partisan groups participated in sabotage and skirmishes with German police forces. The most well-known act of resistance was the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. Resistance culminated in the so-called Prague uprising of May 1945; with Allied armies approaching, about 30,000 Czechs seized weapons. Four days of bloody street fighting ensued before the Soviet Red Army entered the nearly liberated city.
A bloc party in politics may refer to a political party that is a constituent member of an electoral bloc. However, this term also has a more specific meaning, referring to non-ruling but legal political parties in an authoritarian or totalitarian regime as auxiliary parties and members of a ruling coalition, differing such governments from pure one-party states such as Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, although such minor parties rarely if ever constitute opposition parties or alternative sources of power.
A popular front is a broad coalition of different political groupings, usually made up of leftists and centrists. They are very broad and sometimes include centrist radical or liberal forces as well as social-democratic and communist groups. Popular fronts are larger in scope than united fronts.
Parliamentary elections were held in Czechoslovakia on 30 May 1948. They were the first elections held under undisguised Communist rule; the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) had seized complete power three months earlier.
Parliamentary elections were held in Czechoslovakia on 12 June 1960. Voters were presented with a single list from the National Front, dominated by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ). According to official figures, 99.7 percent of eligible voters turned out to vote, and 99.9 percent of those who voted approved the National Front list. Within the Front, the Communists had a large majority of 216 seats–147 for the main party and 69 for the Slovak branch.
The Košice Program was a 1945 agreement between Czechoslovak Communists who had spent the war in the Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak government-in-exile, which had been based in London. They met in the city of Košice, which had already been liberated by the Red Army. The program outlined the postwar political settlement, the National Front under which all political parties would operate, and promised the expulsion of Germans from Czechoslovakia. The program was the basis of both the Third Czechoslovak Republic and, following the 1948 coup, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.