Historický ústav akademie věd České republiky, v. v. i.

č. 16/2008



Americký „sen“ J. V. Sládka (1868–1876). Příspěvek k českému obrazu Ameriky v 19. století [J. V. Sládek’s „American dream“ (1868–1876). A contribution to the 19th century image of America among Czech population]
s. 5

Svaz českých měst a bytová politika na začátku 20. století
[Czech town league and housing policy on the beginning of 20th century]
s. 63

Polští socialisté na československém Těšínsku v letech 1921–1925
[Polish socialists in the Czechoslovak part of Silesia in the years 1921–1925]
s. 81

Bohuslav LITERA
Pětiletky „druhé revoluce“: Rudá armáda a zbrojní průmysl 1928–1937
[The “Second Revolution” five-year plans: Red Army and armament industry 1928–1937]
s. 135

Proměny maďarské zahraniční politiky (1943–1949)
[Changes in Hungary’s foreign policy (1943–1949)]
s. 173

Československo-francouzské vztahy na počátku studené války: Francouzské diplomatické zastoupení v Československu v letech 1948–1956
[Czechoslovak-French relations at the start of Cold War: French diplomatic representation in Czechoslovakia 1948–1956]


Jindřich DEJMEK
Dva nové dokumenty o návštěvě prezidenta Edvarda Beneše ve Spojených státech amerických a Kanadě v květnu–červnu 1943
[Two new documents on President Edvard Beneš’s visit to the United States of America and to Canada in May and June 1943]
s. 291

Jan BÍLEK ve spolupráci s Ivanem ŠŤOVÍČKEM
Korespondence v archivní pozůstalosti Edvarda Beneše
[Correspondence in Edvard Beneš’s archives]
s. 321


Die Habsburgermonarchie 1848–1918. Band VIII. Politische Öffentlichkeit und Zivilgesellschaft. 1. Teilband: Vereine, Parteien und Interessenverbände als Träger der politischen Partizipation. 2. Teilband: Die Presse als Faktor der politischen Mobilisierung. Hrsg. von Helmut RUMPLER und Peter URBANITSCH. Wien, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 2006, XXI, 1492, 1493–2893 s., ISBN 978-3-7001-3540-1; ISBN 978-3-7001-3568-5
(Pavel Cibulka)
s. 341

Zdeněk BEZECNÝ, Příliš uzavřená společnost. Orličtí Schwarzenbergové a šlechtická společnost v Čechách v druhé polovině 19. století a na počátku 20. století, České Budějovice 2005, 155 s. ISBN 80-7040-698-4
(Milan Hlavačka)
s. 352


J. V. Sládek’s „American dream“ (1868–1876). A contribution to the 19th century image of America among Czech population

Examples of J. V. Sládek’s poetry and journalist work show the intensity of American inspiration shaping the Czech ideas and ideals of democracy. The image of America also contributed in a specific way to the evolution and stabilization of modern Czech civil society and nation and its political consciousness. It is actually impossible to objectively explain the social and political evolution of the Czech national movement without considering the role of the American „model“. However, the Czech public and the Czech politicians often adopted the American „model“ thoughtlessly, unequally, irrationally, illusively a idealistically. Even Sládek, who was generally well informed, could not escape this approach. This was, of course, a logical consequence of the little developed social consciousness and political ideas of Czech society. In spite of the idealization, the American political and social reality and the American way of political thinking showed a positive influence on the Czech politics and society in terms of human rights, political freedom, and freedom of thought, democratic ideas and people’s sovereignty. Thus, the „American model“ considerably contributed to the emancipation of the Czech nation in the dynamic modernization process of European society.

Czech town league and housing policy on the beginning of 20th century

In the second half of the 19th century, the Czech municipal government system was already well developed and was experiencing the „golden age“ of municipal autonomy. At the same time, however, Czech towns had to face the problem of „urbanization“, especially in Prague and Brno. Czech towns had to cope with urgent urban problems, such as housing, sanitation, or redevelopment. The Czech Town League, which was established in 1907 in Prague, was an organization of more than 100 municipalities for the promotion of Czech municipal autonomy. It also played an important role in the solution of these problems and strongly influenced social policy in general as an integral part of its activity. In the League, many social reformers were discussing the housing problem, especially at the 4th Congress held in Prague in October, 1911. At that congress, social reformers of town bureaucracy and self-help cooperatives required intervention of municipalities in the social and housing problems. But Czech municipalities, in general, couldn’t deal with such problems yet, except for some cases. The discussion showed the achievements and shortcomings of Czech municipal autonomy in the era of Habsburg Empire. In order to assess the tasks of the League properly, it is necessary to compare Czech and German municipalities in the Czech Lands, because the Czech Town League was intended for the „Czech nation“ in the country. Those attempts of the League constituted the first stage of social politics in the Czech Lands, and the League also contributed to the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic.

Polish socialists in the Czechoslovak part of Silesia in the years 1921–1925

This study deals with the activities of the Polish Socialist Worker’s Party in the years 1921–1925, from the departure of a large number of its followers to the communists in 1921 to the Czechoslovak parliamentary election in November, 1925. The Polish socialists were in a very difficult situation, because they had to fight at the same time for the social interests of Polish workers, for the national interests of Polish minority, and against the communists. They cooperated with other parties of Polish minority in the fight for national rights, but they could not ignore the existing ideological differences. Polish socialists tried to cooperate with the Czechoslovak Social Democracy, too, but because there were great ethnical disputes between Czechs and Poles in the Teschen region of Silesia these efforts failed. At the parliamentary election in November 1925, Polish socialists approached, after a serious internal controversy, a coalition of other Polish parties.

Bohuslav LITERA
The “Second Revolution” five-year plans: Red Army and armament industry 1928–1937

During the twenties, due to power struggles and to devastated and later only stabilized economy, Moscow could afford only a moderate increase of military expenditures. Their rapid growth started in the late 1920s, and mainly in 1931 and 1932 in response to the Far East tension and, in particular, in connection with the start of qualitative modernization of the Red Army. Its weapons and equipment, dating mostly from the prewar time and only exceptionally improved, were replaced with new types, and a new type of armed forces also appeared: armored and mechanized units. Another stage of modernization started in 1936, apparently in response to the international situation. The military budgets were rapidly growing, the arms and equipment introduced in the RKKA in the early 1930s were now, in accordance with the international trend, replaced with a new generation. However, further development was delayed, and in some cases even stopped by the political repressions. As a result, the USSR was unable to immediately follow the new international trends that appeared in the mid-1930s, and the next stage of rearmament started only just before the outbreak of the war.

Changes in Hungary’s foreign policy (1943–1949)

In the years 1943–1949, Hungary’s foreign policy showed remarkable peripetia. No matter how different the particular concepts were, there was one common feature – they all failed. Unsuccessful proved Hungary’s attempts of withdrawing from the war and calling a truce in the autumn of 1944. And quite unrealistic was the hope of support from the Western Allies. Hungary failed to persuade the Powers to support its peace plans and soften the 1946 Peace Treaty provisions, and had to pay for its defeat with all consequences. The foreign political concept of a „bridge“ between West and East  proved quite illusory and starting from summer 1947 Hungary, as well as other Central and East European countries, was forced to adapt its foreign policy fully to the interests of the Soviet Union. From 1949 on, Hungary’s own foreign policy ceased to exist.

Czechoslovak-French relations at the start of Cold War: French diplomatic representation in Czechoslovakia 1948–1956

The diplomatic relations between Czechoslovakia and France saw a dramatic decline after February 1948. The involvement of several French diplomats in the preparation of escape of J. Šrámek and F. Hála impaired the mutual relations of both countries already in spring 1948. The people’s democratic Czechoslovakia, whose foreign policy was now controlled from Moscow, systematically reduced the diplomatic representation of capitalist states in its territory. In 1951, after a secret police intervention, the French consulate in Bratislava was closed, and in a couple of weeks only the embassy in either country’s capital remained, dealing with the most urgent matters only. The main focus of mutual relations moved over to the unofficial level of contacts between the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and the Communist Party of France.
Starting from 1954, Czechoslovakia restored the official contacts with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the rapprochement efforts culminated with a 1956 agreement on exchange of parliament delegations. Further development of mutual relations, however, was interrupted by the events taking place in Hungary and Egypt in autumn 1956. As a result, the relations just restored declined and reached the freezing point  again.

Jindřich DEJMEK
Two new documents on President Edvard Beneš’s visit to the United States of America and to Canada in May and June 1943

Two new documents are published here providing important information about the visit of President Edvard Beneš to the USA and Canada in May-June 1943. The author of the first, quite detailed report describing the President’s visit to the United States and the first comments was  one of Beneš’s closest collaborators during the first phase of resistance movement Ján Papánek, a long-time Czechoslovak consul in Pittsburg and later a leading worker of the Czechoslovak Information Service in New York. The document describes also the course of the visit, records the President’s important speeches and thus completes the materials published before, which mostly concerned his talks with American statesmen. The other report included here was written by the first Czechoslovak Ambassador to Canada František Pavlásek, and describes the course of and responses to Beneš’s visit to the Maple Leaf Country. Both documents extend our current knowledge of the responses to Beneš’s visits to a number of Czech and Slovak communities as well as to other refugee and exile groups, such as Polish, Ruthenian and Hungarian.

Jan BÍLEK, together with Ivan ŠŤOVÍČEK
Correspondence in Edvard Beneš’s archives

The political career and life of the second Czechoslovak president Edvard Beneš (1884–1948) showed many ups and downs. And so did also his personal and official files and archives. His written documents saw different stages of treatment according to the existing political and social upheavals and changes. Today, most of the documents relating to his person are available in the Masaryk Institute as well as in the Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the National Museum, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the President’s Office. The study deals with E. Beneš’s correspondence and explains the complex situation of the source base that researchers and editors have to face. The authors follow the history and the method of professional treatment of the correspondence available in the main part of the Beneš Archive Files, and draw attention to additional correspondence available in other parts of the Files and in other archives as well. The previous editing work with Beneš’s correspondence is also