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The Czech Renacence of the Nineteenth Century

The Czech Renacence of the Nineteenth Century

Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1970
Pages: 346
  • Book Info
    The Czech Renacence of the Nineteenth Century
    Book Description:

    This volume contains essays on Dobrovský, the pioneer of Czech language studies, and on Palacký, the author of the first great national history, as well as on other facets of literary history which have influenced national feeling.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3249-3
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
    (pp. v-vii)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. viii-x)
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. 1 The Periodization of Czech Literary History, 1774–1879
    (pp. 3-13)

    THE DIVISION of Czech literary history into periods has, as is generally the case with such classifications, given rise to difficulties in the form of arbitrary terms or inconsistencies, or produced evasive reactions on the part of literary historians aware of the difficulties but unable to solve them. The present paper is devoted to the periodization of Czech literary history during the national renascence and the subsequent decades down to 1879. Before focusing more closely on the problems involved, however, let us see what methods of dividing Czech literary history into periods have been used in the more important literary...

  6. 2 Changing Views on the Role of Dobrovský in the Czech National Revival
    (pp. 14-25)

    THE FIRST PERIOD of the Czech national revival is dominated by the figure of Josef Dobrovsky (1753–1829); and for many who have studied him and his work with attention it is hard to dissociate him from the portrait by Frantisek Tkadlik, painted in Vienna in 1821 and now preserved in the museum (Památník národního písemnictví) at Strahov. In it the great scholar is brilliantly depicted gazing with a glance at once questing and sceptical at whatever of the real world reveals itself to him. We are reminded of the bust of Newton in Trinity College, Cambridge. Dobrovsky too voyaged...

  7. 3 Locus Amoenus: An Aspect of National Tradition
    (pp. 26-32)

    THE CZECH NATIONAL ANTHEM is not tuned to the thunder of marching steps, nor is its melody built upon majestic harmonies characteristic of some others of its kind. Words liketsar,expressions likeenfants de la patrieorGott erhalte,are not to be found in its text. It lives by a lyrical mood.

    Kde domov muj?

    Huči voda po lučinách,

    bory sumí po skalinách,

    v sadě skví se jara květ,

    zemskỳ ráj to na pohled!

    A to je ta krásná země

    země ceská – domov mûj!¹

    The poem was written by Josef Kajetan Tyl (1808–56), for the musical a...

  8. 4 The Social Composition of the Czech Patriots in Bohemia, 1827–1848
    (pp. 33-52)

    MUCH RESEARCH has been done on the Czech national renascence which tells us in great detail about the development of the national programme, about how Czech patriots(vlastenci)thought, what books they printed, and how they organized their activity. However, we know less about the structural changes undergone by Czech society during the first half of the nineteenth century. So far, the question of who these patriots were, what social groups they came from, and in what social environment they moved, has been almost entirely neglected. Yet, it is necessary to obtain the most concrete knowledge possible regarding the social...

  9. 5 The Matice Česká, 1831–1861: The First Thirty Years of a Literary Foundation
    (pp. 53-73)

    THE VITAL ROLE played by language and literature in the various Austro-Slav revivals of the nineteenth century has been studied exhaustively and is well known and appreciated. Little, however, has been written about the many institutions which promoted and supported the literary renascences. Probably the most famous of such institutions was the Matice ceská, or the Czech Literary Foundation, which the great historian Frantisek Palacky organized in 1831 as a special committee of the Bohemian Museum for the purpose of the scholarly fostering and revival of the Czech language.¹ Even though learned societies had existed in the lands of St....

  10. 6 Jan Ernst Smoler and the Czech and Slovak Awakeners: A Study in Slav Reciprocity
    (pp. 74-94)

    THE CZECH AWAKENING, as it gained strength and direction during the first half of the nineteenth century, exercised a powerful influence over the emergent national consciousness of other, less nationally developed Slav peoples. In turn, the national renascences of these peoples helped to strengthen the Czechs’ confidence in their own ability to attain a level of civilization equal to that of the most advanced European nations. The call went out from the Czech-speaking intelligentsia for “Slav reciprocity,” for the free circulation of cultural values and the sharing of cultural achievements among the various Slav groups. Nowhere did the Czechs find...

  11. 7 Metternich’s Censors: The Case of Palacký
    (pp. 95-112)

    THE PROSPECT which faced the tiny band of Czech “national awakeners” at the beginning of the nineteenth century was a dismaying one. For almost two centuries, since the disaster of the Thirty Years’ War, Czech culture in Bohemia had been moribund. Written Czech, theRebellen-Sprachearrested in its development since the sixteenth century, was too antiquated to cope with modern concepts; spoken Czech was largely the mutilated tongue of servants and peasants. The number of Czech inhabitants of the kingdom who possessed a strong national consciousness was pathetically few-so few that, as the contemporary wits put it, they could all...

  12. 8 Karel Havlíček and the Czech Press before 1848
    (pp. 113-130)

    IN THE YEARS PRECEDING 1848 newspapers and magazines, just as plays and novels, presented a means of reviving the Czech language as well as of educating the people.¹ In the 1820s and the 1830s a number of both scholarly journals and papers of a more popular nature came into existence in Czech.² Of the latter,Praíské noviny(Prague News) and its literary supplementRozličnosti(Miscellanea) enjoyed the greatest longevity.

    Most of the popular papers were printed at irregular intervals and in limited editions, and tended to be mere compilations of news and anecdotes with little or no comment. TheČasopis...

  13. 9 The “Czechoslovak” Question on the Eve of the 1848 Revolution
    (pp. 131-145)

    ONE OF THE MOST STRIKING FEATURES of the history of east-central Europe has been the fact that diverse peoples which today inhabit the same countries and share common political destinies frequently placed greater value on associating with one another prior to their unification than in the period following the achievement of national statehood. In the first decades of the nineteenth century, political realities in the Austrian Empire created among the Slavic peoples living there a strong attraction to the notion of “cultural reciprocity” and the advantages it might bring. The Congress of Vienna of 1815 had led to Great Power...

  14. 10 German Liberalism and the Czech Renascence: Ignaz Kuranda, Die Grenzboten, and Developments in Bohemia, 1845–1849
    (pp. 146-175)

    THE HISTORY of modern Europe knows few greater tragedies than the seemingly endless hostility of German and Slav, and the history of the nineteenth century, in particular, knows few more unfortunate developments than the almost simultaneous rise and bitter frustration of German liberalism and the Czech renascence.

    It is one of the strange gaps of central European historiography that the relationship between these two epochal developments has yet to be fully explored, but it is one of the notable achievements of the distinguished scholar and teacher to whom this volume is inscribed that he has, in both capacities, contributed significantly...

  15. 11 The Preparatory Committee of the Slav Congress, April–May 1848
    (pp. 176-201)

    LATE IN APRIL 1848, when the idea of a “Slav assembly” or a “Slav congress” was first suggested from at least three different quarters-Poznan, Prague, and Zagreb-the Slavs both within and without the Austrian empire found themselves faced with an increasingly dangerous situation, menaced by Germans and Magyars alike. For one intoxicating month they had stood “on the threshold of Paradise,” as the poet Ferdinand Freiligrath subsequently described the sweep of the revolution, but too soon “the gates had slammed shut,” The euphoria of March 1848, the excitement generated by the dismissal of Metternich, the invigoration of pressing demands upon...

  16. 12 The Czechs and the Imperial Parliament in 1848–1849
    (pp. 202-214)

    FROM THE DOWNFALL of Metternich in March 1848, the Czechs looked with anticipation to the Bohemian Diet, which was supposed to meet as soon as the necessary preparations were made and an election was held. The Diet was to be the embodiment of the idea of Czech self-rule and a consummation of the political hopes of an entire generation of national awakeners. It was expected that it would become the principal instrument through which Czech leaders would press for ever increasing concessions for their nation.

    These fond hopes were not to be realized. The shock of the “March Days” began...

  17. 13 America and the Beginnings of Modern Czech Political Thought
    (pp. 215-223)

    THE AIMS OF THIS ESSAY are very modest. Its origins go back to a reading of the article by Merle Curtí and Kendall Birr entitled “The Immigrant and the American Image in Europe 1860–1914,” which stresses the fact that the name “an American Century” would be most appropriate for the nineteenth because it was in that century that the common people of Europe saw in America the land of their dreams.¹ My essay is really only a report on the studies pursued in Czechoslovakia during the past twenty years concerning the history of the Czechs and Slovaks who left...

  18. 14 The Hussite Movement in the Historiography of the Czech Awakening
    (pp. 224-238)

    DURING THE LONG PERIOD in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries which in the Czech historical consciousness exists as the “Temno,” the time of darkness, the Habsburg authorities and especially their strong instrument of counter-reformation, the Jesuit order, tried to suppress as far as possible the dangerous remembrance of the great revolutionary movement called Hussitism. One of the most decisive effects of the Thirty Years’ War had been the complete defeat of those forces that, in defence of Bohemian Evangelism, had stood behind the rebellion of the Bohemian Estates against the emperors Matthias and Ferdinand II, and clearly the conquerors could...

  19. 15 Masaryk’s National Background
    (pp. 239-253)

    IN 1918 Czechoslovakia emerged from the war-torn fabric of Austria-Hungary as one of the new nation states of east central Europe. Although it cannot be denied that the founder and first president of that state, Tomáš G. Masaryk, was a true national representative of the Czechs in 1918, it is also true that Masaryk’s national background was not purely and simply Czech.

    At least two factors are responsible for the considerable amount of confusion existing about Masaryk’s national origins. The circinnstances surrounding his birth -the period and place in which it occurred and the ethnic origins of his parents–admit...

  20. 16 The Politics of the Czech Eighties
    (pp. 254-281)

    THE RETURN OF CZECH REPRESENTATIVES to the Imperial Parliament (the Reichsrat) in 1879 marked a turning-point in Czech political life and began a new and significant phase in their political experience within the Habsburg Monarchy. In the decades since 1848, the Czechs had pursued a series of differing policies: a brief and abortive effort at revolution in that year; a few months of active participation, equally unsuccessful, in Austrian political life in 1848–9, and again in the early sixties; forced abstention from any political activity during the intervening absolutist period of the fifties; and, then, the long period of...

  21. 17 Kramář, Kaizl, and the Hegemony of the Young Czech Party, 1891–1901
    (pp. 282-314)

    IN NUMEROUS GENERAL HISTORIES of the Habsburg Monarchy and modern Czechoslovakia the Young Czech party has fared poorly. This is understandable because history is rarely written from the standpoint of the loser, and the Young Czechs in the long run were losers. Their impressive electoral majorities in the 1890s dwindled by 1907 to less than a quarter of the Czech deputies victorious in Austria's first parliamentary election under universal, equal manhood suffrage. Even at its peak, from 1895 to 1897, the party only partly achieved its economic and cultural goals, and it failed completely in its maximal objective of autonomy...

  22. Selected Bibliography of the Publications of Otakar Odložilík
    (pp. 315-326)
  23. INDEX
    (pp. 327-345)