57 years ago today, the Czechoslovak Republic became the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic under the communist rule on July 11, 1960 and remained the official name of the state until the Velvet Revolution on November 17, 1989.
The communist party, KSČ, won the free elections in 1946. The leader of the party, Klement Gottwald, became the Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia. The Soviet Union was not pleased with the government’s efforts to eliminate bourgeois influence in the army and the industries and the Kremlin was under the impression that the support for western democracy had strengthened.
The country was a People’s Republic after the passage of the Ninth-of-May Constitution, which was in force from 1948 till 1960. President Edvard Beneš refused to sign the Constitution due to its similarities to the Soviet model. Beneš, however, resigned a week before the constitution was ratified and died shortly after. The Ninth-of-May Constitution stated that the communist party had absolute power. KSČ held a monopoly on politics and controlled mass media.
The ratification of the constitution was followed by the name change. The Czechoslovak Republic officially became the “Czechoslovak Socialist Republic” and the served as a satellite state of the Soviet Union. The name change symbolized the final victory of socialism in the country.