1740-1790 1815-1848

Note : as Bohemia formed the largest, economically and politically most important of the three Lands of the Bohemian Crown, accounts on the history of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown must, for many periods, largely be identical with accounts of the history of Bohemia proper.

The Bohemian Lands in 1790-1815

Administration . The "Lands of the Bohemian Crown", by 1790 reduced to Bohemia, Moravia and (Austrian) Silesia, were held together by a common dynasty, the Habsburg dynasty, which in 1790 also ruled Galicia-Lodomeria, the Bukovina, the Kingdom of Hungary, Transylvania, the Kingdom of Croatia, the Austrian Lands and the Austrian Netherlands. Bohemia, Moravia, (Austrian) Silesia, the Austrian Lands and the Austrian Netherlands formed part of the Holy Roman Empire (until 1806). In 1806 the Bohemian Lands became part of the Empire of Austria.
During the Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815), the Lands of the Bohemian Crown temporarily became battleground (Austerlitz, Moravia, Dec. 2nd 1805), but remained part of the Habsburg complex of territories, and thus to Austrian legislation.

Economic History . The history of the beet sugar industry in the region begins in 1801, steam engine production began in 1803, the first spinning machine was imported in 1804. From c.1800 to c.1820, potato cultivation spread in the Bohemian lands.
The Lands of the Bohemian Crown were affected by the Austrian state bankrupcy of 1811.

Socio-Ethnic Structure . In 1800, Prague had c. 77,000 inhabitants. Serfdom was to last on until 1848.

Cultural History . Already in the 1770es and 1780es the first societies were founded, with the object of scientific research or promotion of the arts, but also patriotic in nature, most notably the Royal Society of Bohemia (1784), the Patriotic-Economic Society of the Kingdom of Bohemia (1788) and the Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts (1796). The latter established Prague's Academy of Fine Arts in 1799. A countly National Theater, the first theater open to the general public, opened in 1783.
In 1806 the Bohemian Estates founded the Prague Polytechnic College; in 1811 they founded the Prague Musical Conservatory.
In 1792 Josef Dobrovsky (1753-1829) published Geschichte der böhmischen Sprache und Literatur (history of the Bohemian language and literature, Bohemian to be read as Czech). A two volume German-Czech dictionary was published in 1802 resp. 1821, a Detailed Grammar of the Czech Language in 1809. Karel Tham had already published a German-Czech dictionary in 1788, updated in 1807-1808; F.J. Tomsa had published a Czech grammar in 1782, a German-Czech dictionary in 1789, a Czech-German-Latin dictionary in 1791.< In 1814 a Historic Museum was established in Opava (Troppau), Silesia.
The years between 1790 and 1820 were the period of awakening national identity. Yet Bohemia combined, at least, two ethnic identities. The National Theater, founded by Count Nostitz, performed almost exclusively German language theater pieces, and among the exceptions were Italian language operas such as Mozart's Don Giovanni. Of course, at that time the majority of the citizens of Prague were German-speaking, as was much of Bohemia's nobility.
Yet there were others, most notably Josef Jungmann, who interpreted 'national Bohemian' differently, as distinctively Czech-speaking. This was to become a conflict in later years; in the early years of the 19th century, German and Czech Bohemian patriotism thrived side by side.

Timeline Bohemia 1800-1850, from Familiy Lines CZ
History of the Theatre of the Estates, from Narodny Divadlo
REFERENCE Derek Sayer, The Coasts of Bohemia, A Czech History, Princeton : Univ. Press 1998, pp.53-81, KMLA Lib. Call Sign 943.71 S274t
Hugh Agnew, The Czechs and the Lands of the Bohemian Crown, Stanford : Hoover Institution Press 2004, KMLA Lib. Call Sign 943.71 A273c
Mikulas Teich (ed.), Bohemia in History, Cambridge UP (1998) 2000, KMLA Lib. Call Sign 943.71 T262b

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on October 11th 2007

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