1867-1893 1914-1918

The Bohemian Lands in 1893-1914

The Era Taaffe ended in 1893, and with it the period in which the Old Czech Party provided the support for the Taaffe administration. The Celje high school language conflict, which had begun in 1888, was followed by similar such conflicts all over Bohemia. Here the German and the Czech patriots both demanded their respective language to be made exclusive language of administration in Bohemia. In January 1897, chancellor Count Badeni in the BADENI ORDINNANCE had made both Czech and German official languages in Bohemia - a solution which alienated both ethnic groups. In 1898 the government attempted a solution intended to appease both sides - German was to be used in exclusively German areas, Czech in exclusively Czech areas, both languages in mixed areas - a compromise which satisfied neither group; it was not implemented; the Badeni ordinnance remained in force.
TOMAS GARRIGUE MASARYK, professor of philosophy at the University of Prague, gained fame by defending Leopold Hilsner, a Jew wrongly accused of having murdered a young girl, by the means of publishing letters in which he proved the man's innocence (1899). Just as the Dreufus affair in France, the case was dealt with in an emotionally charged anti-Semitic atmosphere.
Masaryk entered politics, was member of the Reichsrat 1891-1893 and again 1907-1914. In 1900 he founded his own party, the radicals. Masaryk was opposed to Austro-Hungarian Dualism, as both the German Austrians and the Hungarians regarded themselves Staatsvoelker (state building nations) at the expense of the so-called minorities. Austria-Hungary was backward, because the double monarchy feared that with reform disintegration might come. Masaryk and other Czech patriots of his time saw a community in faith of the Czechs and the Slovaks, both Slavic nations the languages of which were rather similar.
RAINER MARIA RILKE, born in Prague, began writing, in German language, in 1894; in 1910 he published the Notebook of Malte Laurids Brigge. FRANZ KAFKA, born in Prague, began writing novels etc. in German language in 1904. Moravian painter ALPHONSE MUCHA spent many years in Paris; here he developed his peculiar Mucha style, part of the ART DECO (Jugendstil) movement.
The Bohemian national ice hockey team (first match in 1909) won the European championships in 1911 and 1914. The Bohemian National Olympic Committee was formed in 1899; at the Summer Olympics of Paris 1900, Bohemian athletes took 1 silver and 1 bronze medal. Bohemian athletes did not participate in the Summer Games of St. Louis 1904, nut did participate in the Summer Games of London 1908 (2 bronze) and of Stockholm 1912 (no medals).

Article National Olympic Committee, from Wikipedia
Articles Bohemian National Ice Hockey Team, Sokol, Czech National Social Party, from Wikipedia
Biography of Franz Kafka, from Books and Writers
Biography of Rainer Maria Rilke, from Books and Writers
Biography of Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, from Radio CZ
Links on Tomas Garrigue Masaryk
Biography of Alphonse Mucha, from Bud Plant Illustrated Books
Gallery (ed.), Geschichte Verstehen, Die Entwicklung der Deutsch-Tschechischen Beziehungen in den Böhmischen Ländern 1848-1948, in German
DOCUMENTS The Writings of Tomas Masaryk, from Hradcany, in English
News from Austria (on Bohemia), in "The Great Round World and What is Going on in it", Vol.1 No.57, Vol.1 No.59, Vol.1 No.60, posted by Gutenberg Library Online
REFERENCE Derek Sayer, The Coasts of Bohemia, A Czech History, Princeton : Univ. Press 1998
A.J.P. Taylor, The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809-1918, Univ. of Chicago Press 1983
Article : Bohemia, in : International Year Book 1898 p.109, 1899 pp.118-119 [G]
Article : Czechs, in : International Year Book 1898 pp.254-255 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on October 20th 2007

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