The Prague Spring and the Evolution of the Brezhnev Doctrine
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The Brezhnev Doctrine stated that a threat to socialism within any single socialist nation constituted a threat to socialism within the entirety of the Eastern bloc. Consequently, any such counterrevolutionary threat would be fought with all means at the disposal of the Soviet Union including, but not limited to, military force. What exactly constituted a "threat to socialism" was left to the discretion of Moscow to define. Inherent in the Brezhnev Doctrine was the concept of limited sovereignty. Although the individual nations within the Eastern bloc were free to apply socialism differently, as dictated by their different circumstances, the Soviet Union would only permit a limited degree of deviation from its vison of socialism. Nations straying too far from the line established by Moscow would henceforth be subject to diplomatic and ultimately military pressure to conform to the Soviet model of socialism. Chapter One provides a brief outline of the most significant events and geopolitical dynamics leading up to and during the Prague Spring in order to provide a backdrop for the remainder of this paper. The Second, Third, and Fourth chapters will set the context for the events of 1968, discussing the events and international background against which the Prague Spring is set. Chapters Five through Seven focus on the events of the Prague Spring itself. The Eighth Chapter examines the implementation of the Brezhnev Doctrine after the Prague Spring.