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The only Important Factor in the Communist Take-Over of Eastern Europe Was Armed Force. How Far Do You Agree with This Statement?

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The only important factor in the Communist take-over of eastern Europe was armed force. How far do you agree with this statement?

When the war ended in 1945, France, Britain and the USSR were allies. These countries had put away their ideological differences in order to fight a common enemy: Italy, Germany and Austria. However, when this common enemy was defeated, a new problem faced Britain and France which was the spread of communism. Communism spread in eastern Europe for several reasons: either to have the support of one of the most powerful countries in the world, the USSR, or to have a stable government and to make the workers happy which was very popular after the horrors of the war. Some countries did not choose to become communist and the USSR used armed force, in other words an army, to impose their ideology. Some may argue that the use of a military intervention was what spread communism in the east and led to the increase of power for the USSR but this was not the only key factor.

Firstly, it may be true that without military intervention from the USSR, some countries may have never been communist, for example, east Germany. Initially, east Germany was Fascist which is the complete opposite of communism. That is why without the presence of the Red Army, USSR’s army, east Germany would not have been communist for a short period of time. Evidence for that can be found a few years later, when the USSR withdrew from Germany, the German Democratic Republic was created in 1949. To conclude, the USSR did use armed force to spread communism by imposing it on countries.

However, this was not the only key-factor. Other reasons led to the spread of communism such as its popularity. Indeed, communism was very popular mostly because countries that became communist would have the support of the USSR and other communist countries. For example, Albania had become communist during the war due to its Communist movement that had opposed the Italians and Germans. At the end of the war, Albania was a strong communist country because it had the support of the USSR and the communist Yugoslavia, a neighboring country. This meant that, communism took over not with military intervention but because it was a way for a small country to increase considerably its power through the large network of communist countries.

Moreover, the USSR did not have to use armed force in order to spread communism, it used political means to establish communist governments through the elections. It may seem like the USSR had no influence in the matter but it interfered with the elections. For example, Czechoslovakia became a one-party state after the communists banned the other parties when communism was threatened. Or in Bulgaria where the leaders of the other parties got executed. This shows that communism also spread through legal procedures, although violent, no armed force was used.

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