Communist Influence in Western Europe
Communism: Communist Influence in Noncommunist Countries Western Europe
The communist parties of Western Europe were all established between 1918 and 1923, following the Russian Revolutions. They were responsive to Soviet directives, yet at the same time drew on European socialist roots going back to the 19th century. Most improved on their popularity during the hard times of the 1930s. During and immediately after World War II, the majority of communist parties in the region cooperated with sympathetic political forces in pursuing the war effort and postwar recovery. One exception was Greece, where the communists fought a full-scale guerrilla war against the royalist government from 1946 to 1949. From 1948 to 1956 the Western European communists generally adhered to a confrontational approach. They incited strikes, mobilized peasants for land reform, and organized mass demonstrations against the European Recovery Program (commonly called the Marshall Plan) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The communists’ strident tactics and opposition to programs that spurred economic recovery greatly diminished their appeal. Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin in 1956, the suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 led to confusion and disillusionment among the party faithful. Communist parties in Western Europe went into steep decline in the 1980s, as communism unraveled in the USSR and Eastern Europe. (1)
In this Section: Communist Influence, Communist Influence in United States, Communist Influence in Canada, Communist Influence in Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Communist Influence in Western Europe, Communist Influence in Italy, Communist Influence in France and Communist Influence in Western European Parties.