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 1848-1849

In the 1840es, the Bohemian Lands (Bohemia and Moravia with Austrian Silesia), as other regions in central Europe, felt the full impact of the industrial revolution. Brno was connected by railway with Vienna in 1839, Prague in 1845; Prague's population in 1848 stood at 115,000 (a modest, but significant increase over the 77,000 the city had had in 1800); social unrest among the emerging working class had manifested itself in protests occasionally accompanied by violence in 1844, 1847 and 1848.
Then in March 1848, following a revolution in Paris, revolutionaries took over control in Vienna and Berlin; the Habsburg monarchy for the moment was paralyzed. Meetings were held in Prague, on which a new election for the Bohemian diet was demanded and a Bohemian petition to the Emperor, requesting political reform ( the merger of Bohemia and Moravia-Silesia into one state within Austria), was discussed. A Provisional Government Council was established on May 28th, in which parity of Czech and German members, the president excluded, was observed.
In the meantime the German National Assembly at Frankfurt was prepared, and Frantisek Palacky invited to represent Bohemia. After initially accepting, he turned the invitation down and organized the first Pan-Slavic Congress in Prague, held June 2th to 12th. Palacky himself propagated Austroslavism, the concept of political and cultural autonomy within a federal Austro-Hungarian state. The congress was a turning point in the national awakening of the Slavic nations.
The Austrian monarchy still being paralyzed, in Prague, immediately after the end of the congress, the Pentecostal Uprising took place (June 12th to 17th); desperation among the city's poor, the growing working class, had erupted in violence. The Bohemian authorities decided to suppress it; Prince Alfred von Windischgrätz, military governor of Prague, was charged with the task; 10,000 soldiers took the barricades.
The Constituent Assembly of the Bohemian lands moved to Kromeriz in Moravia (Oct. 1848 - March 1849), where both groups, the Bohemian Germans and the Czechs, compromised on the Kromeriz Constitution, among the defects if which was that it neither provided a clear specification of how governments should be formed and operate nor that it provided a practical solution for an ethnicity-based Danubian Federation, of which there had been much talk. The Kromeriz assembly was dissolved in 1849.
With suppressing the revolution in Hungary and Italy, the Habsburg Monarchy reestablished control. An insurrection planned by radical students of both German and Czech nationality in May 1849 was uncovered beforehand; the authorities imposed the state of siege (until 1853).

In 1848-1849, first Prague (Bohemia), later Kromeriz (Moravia) were the centers of action; Moravia's capital Brno (where the ethnic German population element dominated). Czechs and Germans participated in the revolution; the division of the population along linguistic lines had become ever more apparent.

Among the lasting legacies of the revolution of 1848 were the abolition of serfdom and of certain privileges of the nobility.

William Henry Stiles, Austria in 1848-1849, Being a History of the Late Political Movements in Vienna, Milan, Venice and Prague with Details of the Campaigns of Lombardy and Novara; a Full Account of the Revolution in Hungary and Historical Sketches of the Austrian Government and the Provinces of the Empire (1852), partially posted by Google Books
Josef V. Polisensky, Aristocrats and the Crowd in the Revolutionary Year 1848, A Contribution to the History of Revolution and Counterrevolution in Austria, translated from the Czech, (1980), partially posted by Google Books
History of Brno 1848-1918, from porges.net
Timeline, from Brno.CZ
History, from Brno.CZ
Articles from the Encyclopedia of 1848 Revolutions : Bedich Bloudek, Congress of the Slavs in Prague, Prague June Uprising, Prague Upheavals of 1848
Gallery (ed.), Geschichte Verstehen, Die Entwicklung der Deutsch-Tschechischen Beziehungen in den Böhmischen Ländern 1848-1948 (The Development of German-Czech Relations in the Bohemian Lands, 1848-1948), in German
Article Kremsier Parliament (Kromeriz Assembly), from Wikipedia
DOCUMENTS Böhmische Charta : Das Kaiserliche Reskript vom 8. April 1848 (The Imperial Response of April 8th 1848), from Bohemistik, in German
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

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on October 7th 2007

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