Outbreak of the war
End of the war

Martin Mutschlechner


The place-names battle

In a multi-ethnic state like the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the language and the spelling of place names in official usage was a hotly discussed issue, since they could be used to mark "national property". It sparked off a bitter struggle particularly in the multilingual regions.


School policies and the language of teaching

School policies were a sensitive topic in the multi-ethnic Habsburg Empire. A particularly hot issue was the question of the language of teaching. Following the Austrian-Hungarian Compromise of 1867, the two halves of the Empire pursued very different objectives.


The Czechs’ Spectrum of Parties

Towards the end of the nineteenth century the Czechs availed of a fully developed spectrum of parties, with the parliamentary representatives of the Czechs in the Vienna Imperial Council assigned to different political camps.


Attempts at Solutions and Escalation: Language Conflict and Badeni Crisis

Shortly prior to 1900 there was a change in political culture: reforms in the electoral system now gave the broad-based public a say in political matters. Against all expectations, this triggered a radicalisation. Now Germans and Czechs were in uncompromising opposition to each other in Bohemia – and both ethnic groups saw their national development shackled by the Austrian Empire.


Hardening of the Fronts: The Czech Demand for the Bohemian Compromise

The demand for autonomy for Bohemia was a core issue in the national movement, which by now had become a mass phenomenon. From the Czech perspective Bohemia was seen as a political nation with an emphatically Czech character – consciously suppressing the fact that this contradicted the ethnic concept of the nation: because “Bohemians” no longer existed; national agitation now applied only to Czechs and Germans.


The Call for Autonomy

Coming next after the suppression of the 1848 Revolution was at first a political ice age. Nevertheless, the people’s demands could not be permanently ignored. National-liberal ideas had cast strong roots also in the Czech bourgeoisie, just emerging at the time.


The Vectors of Czech National Identity

The Czech people’s national interpretation of history always accentuated the democratic element. The evolution of the nation was seen here as the endeavour to emancipate the broader mass of the people from feudal or national oppression. The opponents from the camp of those defending German hegemony in Bohemia designated the Czechs demeaningly as “a nation of plebeian lackeys”.