Ninth-of-May Constitution
The Ninth-of-May Constitution was a constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 in force from 1948 to 1960. It came into force on May 9, shortly after the communist seizure of power
Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948
The Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948 – in Communist historiography known as "Victorious February" – was an event late that February in which the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, with Soviet backing, assumed undisputed control over the government of Czechoslovakia, ushering in over four decades...

 in the country on 25 February 1948. It replaced the 1920 Constitution
Czechoslovak Constitution of 1920
After World War I, Czechoslovakia established itself and as a republic and democracy with the establishment of the Constitution of 1920. The constitution was adopted by the National Assembly on 29 February 1920 and replaced the provisional constitution adopted on 13 November 1918.The introduction...

. Although it was not a fully Communist constitution, it was close enough to the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 model that President Edvard Beneš
Edvard Beneš
Edvard Beneš was a leader of the Czechoslovak independence movement, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the second President of Czechoslovakia. He was known to be a skilled diplomat.- Youth :...

 refused to sign it and resigned. It was flagrantly violated by the KSČ
Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, in Czech and in Slovak: Komunistická strana Československa was a Communist and Marxist-Leninist political party in Czechoslovakia that existed between 1921 and 1992....

, the government and many individuals throughout the period of its being in force, especially regarding the provisions on private ownership and human rights.

The constitution had been prepared since the summer of 1946. There had been many disputes concerning nationalization
Nationalisation, also spelled nationalization, is the process of taking an industry or assets into government ownership by a national government or state. Nationalization usually refers to private assets, but may also mean assets owned by lower levels of government, such as municipalities, being...

, the relation of Czechs and Slovaks
History of Czechoslovak nationality
The history of Czechoslovak nationality involves the rise and fall of national feeling among Czechs and Slovaks. Once forming a rather unified group, they were historically separated, unified under a democratic system, separated during threat of war, and reunified under an authoritarian regime...

 and other crucial issues, but after the Communist take-over in February 1948, the Communist concept was largely applied. Although the constitution did not establish the vanguard role of the KSČ
Communist Party of Czechoslovakia
The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, in Czech and in Slovak: Komunistická strana Československa was a Communist and Marxist-Leninist political party in Czechoslovakia that existed between 1921 and 1992....

 within the Czechoslovak state and government administration under the Leninist principle of democratic centralism
Democratic centralism
Democratic centralism is the name given to the principles of internal organization used by Leninist political parties, and the term is sometimes used as a synonym for any Leninist policy inside a political party...

 (these were provisions only of the following "socialist" 1960 Constitution of Czechoslovakia
1960 Constitution of Czechoslovakia
The Constitution of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic , promulgated on 11 July 1960 as the constitutional law 100/1960 Sb., codified the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia...

), it confirmed the KSČ had in Czechoslovakia the absolute power, just as other Communist parties in Communist countries.

The constitution declared that the economy of Czechoslovakia was based on nationalized industries, nationalized trade and a nationalized financial sector. The government sector was declared the basis of the economy, but it protected the private sector and cooperatives too. It also granted a small degree of autonomy to Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, which was given its own legislative body and governmental structure, although these were made subordinate to the central authorities in Prague. The parliament continued to be called the National Assembly.
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