The Hungarian Revolution of 1956
March 5, 2013
Hungary, located in Eastern Europe, is a country where the people have long been strongly nationalist. Throughout its history it has been under the control of numerous empires, and its people have always made clear their demands for independence. After being defeated by Western powers in World War I, Hungary (then Austria-Hungary) was forced to give up approximately 65% of its land, and as a result lost 58% of its total population. (Hungarian Nationalism) In an attempt to regain the territories it had lost, Hungary sided with the Axis powers of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy in World War II. While it did regain the majority of the land it lost, Hungary could not remove itself from the Axis powers, and ended up being forced to participate in the occupation of Yugoslavia and then invade the Soviet Union in 1941.
As the Soviet Union began to fight back, Hungary attempted to negotiate with the Allies until Nazi Germany occupied Hungary in 1944. After being occupied by Soviet forces in 1945, Hungary was under the control of the Soviet Union, which imposed communism on the government. Matyas Rakosi, the Soviet appointed leader of Hungary, turned it into a communist state. From 1949-1956, Hungary went through a period of political repression and economic decline, which deeply angered its people. After a series of peaceful protests were violently disrupted by Soviet forces and the Hungarian government, the people revolted, causing the entire country to break out in revolution. The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 became a symbol of the desire for freedom from Soviet control that existed throughout Eastern Europe. Although the revolution was suppressed, the Hungarian people put up an incredibly strong fight and came close to defeating the Soviets...