Changes in Central & Eastern Europe
Sarah Hardin, Justin Dorton, John Russell and Madison Thomas
Poland and Hungary Reform
In 1980, Polish workers at Gdansk shipyard went on strike, demanding government recognition of their union, Solidarity.
The government then gave into the Polish people’s demands, and this made the Union leader Lech Walesa a national hero.
After finally holding meetings with Solidarity leaders, General Jaruzelski legalized Solidarity and agreed to hold Poland’s first free election.
They then elected Lech Welesa as president.
After taking control of a bankrupt economy, Lech Welesa then had troubles reviving the economy.
This made Poles unhappy and they then voted out President Welesa.
Under a new president (Kwasniewski) Poland was lead to become a member of the european community.
Inspired by the changes in Poland, Hungarian leaders launched their own reform program.
Reformers in Hungary encouraged private enterprise, and they now allowed a small stock market to operate
In 1994, a socialist party mostly made up of former communists won a majority of Hungary’s parliament.
The East German government had closed its borders, causing many of the civilians to protest.
On November 9, 1989 East German leader, Egon Krenz opened the Berlin Wall.
By the end of 1989, the East German Communist Party ceased to exist
With the fall of East German Communism, the many Germans wanted Reunification between the two Germanys.
On October 3, 1990 Germany was officially reunited.
After Germany became one, they faced many problems since the eastern part of their country was under communist rule for so long.
Eastern Germany’s problems ranged from the lack of modernization in the railways, roads, and telephone systems to the bankruptcy of their economy.
To pay the cost to repair the nation, Kohl raised taxes which only hurt the people of their nation.
In 1998 a new chancellor was elected, Gerhard Schroeder of the Socialist Democratic party.
- Schroeder has worked hard to rebuild the German economy and rise unemployment.
Democracy Spreads in Czechoslovakia
About 10,000 people gathered in Wenceslas Square in the center of prague and demanded democracy and freedom.
Three weeks later about 25,000 students inspired by the fall of the Berlin wall gathered in Prague to demand reform
But the police who were ordered by the government to brutally attack the demonstrators and injured hundreds.
This angered the Czech people
November 25, about 500,000 protesters crowded into downtown Prague. and within hours, Milos Jakes and his entire Politburo resigned.
One month after Milos Jakes and his entire Politburo resigned a new parliament elected vaclav Havel president of Czechoslovakia.
In Czechoslovakia reformers also launched an economic program based on shock therapy. It would cause a sharp rise in unemployment.
But slovakia and the Czech Republic split apart
They could not agree on economic policy
When the country split apart Havel resigned
But later on became the president of the Czech Republic and when he died in 2003 Vaclav Klaus succeed him.
Slovakia proceeded on a reformist, pro-western path and experienced one of the highest economic growth rates in 2002.
Slovakia hoped to join both NATO and the EU in the near future
The Breakup of Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia was formed after World War I
Yugoslavia had 8 major ethnic groups: Sebs, Croats, Muslims, Slovenes, Macedonians, Albanians, Hungarians, and Montenegrins
After World War II, Yugoslavia became a federation of six republics, these republics had mixed populations
Josip Tito, 1945 to 1980, led Yugoslavia
Resentment between ethnic groups occurred after Tito’s death
Slobodan Milosevic took over the leadership of Yugoslavia
Opposing this policies, many Serbs fled the country
Slovenia and Croatia, two republics, declared for their independence
Both Slovenia and Croatia were invaded by the Serbian-led Yugoslav army on June 1991
Bosnia-Herzegovina joined Slovenia and Croatia, in 1992, for declaring independence.
Bosnia’s Serbs strongly opposed Bosnia’s Muslims and Croats when backing for independence.
Bosnia’s Serbs were supported by Serbia when launching a war on March 1922
70% of Bosnia was controlled by the Serbian military
December of 1995, the leaders of the three factions involved in the war signed a UN- and U.S.-broken peace treaty
Bosnians elected a third person presidency in September 1996. There was one leader for each ethnic group.