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

roč. 20, 2012, č. 1



Die „soziale Frage“ in der Habsburgermonarchie im zeitgenössischen gesellschaftwissenschaftlichen Diskurs
[The “social question” as reflected  in the contemporary scientific debate in the Habsburg Monarchy]
s. 1–12

Ideální představy o ústavě, parlamentarismu a zástupcích lidu v revolučním roce 1848/1849
[Ideal notions of constitution, parliament-based political system and people’s representatives in the Revolution of 1848/1849]
s. 13–34

Aleš SKŘIVAN ml.
„Čínské obchody“ Škodových závodů před první světovou válkou
[“The Chinese business” of Škoda Works before World War I]
s. 35–59

Pokusy císařského Německa o separátní mír s carským Ruskem na počátku „Velké války“ (1914–1915)
[Imperial Germany’s attempts to sign a separate peace treaty with the Tsarist Russia during the “Great War” (1914–1915)]
s. 61–95

Petr ŽÁK
T. G. Masaryk a politický katolicismus v období první ČSR (1918–1935)
[T. G. Masaryk and political Catholicism during the First Czechoslovak Republic (1918–1935)]
s. 97–130

Návrhy volebních reforem v období první ČSR 1918–1938 v právním pojetí Otakara Krouského, Josefa Klimenta a Františka Weyra
[Election reforms proposed during the existence of the First Czechoslovak Republic (1918–1938) as viewed by Otakar Krouský, Josef Kliment and František Weyr]
s. 131–155

Andrej TÓTH
Maďarské menšinové politické strany v Československu a volba Masarykova nástupce do úřadu prezidenta republiky v prosinci 1935. I. díl
[Hungarian political parties in Czechoslovakia and the election of a successor to President Masaryk in December 1935. Part I]
s. 157–201

Miroslav ŠEPTÁK
Otázka personálního obsazení československého vyslanectví ve Vídni v letech 1932–1938
[The question of personal appoint for the Czechoslovak Legation in Vienna in the years 1932–1938]
s. 203–219


Edice „třebíčských“ dopisů Jaroslava Bakeše z let 1902 až 1909
[Edition of Jaroslav Bakeš‘s „Třebíč Letters“ from 1902 to 1909]
s. 221–256


Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Marek, CSc. (27. listopadu 1926 – 18. prosince 2011)
[Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Marek, CSc. (27 November 1926 – 18 December 2011)]
(Milan Řepa)
s. 257–258

Prof. PhDr. Koloman Gajan, DrSc. (7. listopadu 1918 – 27. prosince 2011)
[Prof. PhDr. Koloman Gajan, DrSc. (7 November 1918 – 27 December 2011)]
(Petr Prokš)
s. 259

PhDr. Xénia Šuchová, CSc. (13. marec 1952 – 3. február 2012)
[PhDr. Xénia Šuchová, CSc. (15 March 1952 – 3 February 2012)]
s. 260–263

Bilance sociálního státu ve 20. století
Mezinárodní vědecká konference „Teorie a praxe sociálního státu v Evropě ve 20. století. Cesty k sociálnímu státu“, 14.–16. listopadu 2011, Praha
[Social state and its results in the 20th century International conference “Theory and practice of the social state in Europe in the 20th century. Ways to the social state”, Prague, 14–16 November 2011]
(Emil Voráček)
s. 263–268

Konference a výstava První dámy – osud, poslání, úděl?
[Conference and exhibition “First ladies – a destiny, mission, deal?”]
(Jan Bílek)
s. 268–270


František ČAPKA – Lubomír SLEZÁK, Cukrovarnictví do roku 1938 a agrární strana (se zřetelem na Moravu a Slezsko), Brno, Masarykova univerzita 2011, 273 s., 32 obr. příl. ISBN 978-80-210-5717-3.
(Josef Harna)
s. 271–273

Zapomínaná válka a osudy velmocí
Petr PROKŠ, Habsburkové a velká válka 1914–1918. První světová válka
a rozpad Rakousko-Uherska 1914–1918, Praha 2011; Petr PROKŠ, Konec říše
Hohenzollernů. Politika císařského Německa vůči carskému a sovětskému Rusku
(1914–1917/1918), Praha 2010
(Bohuslav Litera)
s. 273–276

Aleš VYSKOČIL, Slovník představitelů politické správy na Moravě v letech 1850–1918, Praha, Historický ústav AV ČR 2011, 376 s. ISBN 978-80-7286-183-5.
(Josef Harna)
s. 276–277


The “social question” as reflected  in the contemporary scientific debate in the Habsburg Monarchy

The social question was a substantial aspect of the transformation of the feudal agrarian country into a modern industrial society and of the related dissolution of the patriarchal system of rule and care. Therefore, it cannot be reduced, as is often the case, to mere pauperism and the workers’ question. The social question meant something more and embraced a wide range of facets. From the Great Depression of 1873 at the latest it was apparent that the social conditions constituted a problem concerning the whole society. That means  that not only the problems of industry workers, but also those of trade and small business, as well as of agriculture and of the new middle class of white-collar workers were viewed much more than before as parts of the social question. Associated with this was also the discussion on the form of social system. Although the Austrian Empire in July 1914 was still far from being a social state, major steps were taken in that direction by the legislation and government trying to carry through social theoretical postulates. In spite of the fact that their effectiveness was declining under the conditions of permanent political crisis after 1900, the legislation showed that the Austrian Empire, irrespective of the escalating nationalist disputes, was reformable. Eventually, however, all hopes placed by the governments and the forces endeavoring to preserve the state proved false. The vision of national state appeared to be much more attractive to the political protagonists as well as to the political public than the utopia of modern social state.
Key words: History, 19th and 20th centuries, Austria-Hungary, social and economic history

Ideal notions of constitution, parliament-based political system and people’s representatives in the Revolution of 1848/1849

The Czech Lands were economically the most developed parts of the Austrian Monarchy as early as the mid-19th century. In spite of that, however, the country still remained more or less agrarian and was just entering the industrialization period. Most population lived in the country and even the towns and cities, except Prague, exhibited pure provincial features. The population of the Czech Lands, i. e., Bohemia and Moravia, was an ethnic mixture of Czechs and Bohemian Germans without any major ethnic problems. The Revolution of 1848/49 constituted a culmination of the ongoing Czech emancipation process. The Czechs were able, following their previous achievements in the cultural area, to present a political program of their own. They were headed by a new political elite coming mainly from among the lower Czech intelligentsia and leaning on Czech peasants whose supports they could gain by requiring an abolition of serfdom and a transfer of manorial land to peasants. The exemption of peasants from servitude was a driving force of the revolutionary movement in the Bohemian Lands that agitated the whole country like never before and never after. This produced contemporary notions of the importance and role of people’s “representatives” in the system of constitutional monarchy. In the absolutist Habsburg Monarchy there was not only a lack of controversial topics, but also of competent forums to discuss them. The changes needed could be introduced by replacing the absolutist monarchy with a system of consti-tutional monarchy. However, the revolution year 1848/49 was rather a “spring of nations” than a year introducing the civil rights and freedoms. Thus, the revolutionary movement in the Bohemian Lands was a bright mixture of topics, notions and requirements, from political liberalization, through abolition of serfdom and transfer of manorial land to peasants, to national and political emancipation of different ethnic entities. While in the pre-March period the absolutist state tolerated to some extent the restrained emancipation of its nationalities, after the Revolution it was unable to efficiently intervene and only passively watched the beginning national disintegration of the Habsburg Empire.
Key words: History, 19th century, Revolution of 1848–1849, Bohemian Lands, constitutional monarchy

Aleš SKŘIVAN, ml.
“The Chinese business” of Škoda Works before World War I

From the beginning of the 20th century to the outbreak of the First World War Škoda Works was trying hard to intensify its export activities. One of the countries where the company endeavored to market its products at that time was China under the Qing Dynasty. The “Chinese business” of Škoda Works in the last years before the war, however, has been paid very little attention to by researchers. Some experts believe that Škoda, based in Pilsen, played an important role in the economic contacts between Austria-Hungary and China, the “Empire of the Center”, and proved quite successful in that market, particularly in the arms trade. The primary aim of the present study is to either confirm or refute this hypothesis. The author also tries to throw more light on the nature of Škoda’s “Chinese business” and, primarily, to disclose by examining unpublished sources some circumstances that have been unknown until now. The author’s research confirmed the initial hypothesis saying that in Škoda’s exports to China before World War I arms trade absolutely prevailed or, more precisely, that the author could not identify any major export of non-military nature. Škoda Works ranked undoubtedly among the Austro-Hungarian companies that showed much interest in the Chinese market, and also among the businesses that were ultimately strongly affected by the difficulties in claiming debts in China. Investigating Škoda’s “Chinese business” prior to World War I is quite difficult. At the first glance, several factors can be identified that make Škoda’s alleged success in the form of major contracts signed during the last prewar years of great political instability in China rather questionable. Most of the deliveries contracted in those documents were not eventually carried out. Nevertheless, the above facts should not lead us to any unilateral misleading conclusions. Škoda’s “Chinese business” cannot be certainly considered an apparent failure. In spite of the non-implementation of some contracts and of some additional controversial events Škoda Works became established under quite difficult conditions in the Chinese market. The main obstacle that made it impossible to realize most of the deliveries was the First World War, i. e., an objective fact that Škoda was unable to influence. In view of the coming events, the main “Chinese contracts” were signed too late, so that Škoda had missed the right time.
Key words: History, 20th century, China, Austria-Hungary, foreign trade, Škoda Works

Imperial Germany’s attempts to sign a separate peace treaty with the Tsarist Russia during the “Great War” (1914–1915)

From the very beginning of the First World War, the military operations failed to meet the initial expectations of the German Army Supreme Command which had believed in an easy and – in particular - quick victory. Very soon, the war acquired the form of dragging position and trench battle. Therefore, some German politicians were considering the possibility of separate peace with one of the enemy powers, primarily with the Tsarist Russia, which was a conservative monarchy and it was hoped that in order to preserve its traditional system it would oppose the liberal-democratic and republican West. Berlin tried to establish a number of contacts by means of behind-the-scene diplomacy, trial talks in neutral states, use of relations between German and Russian aristocrats, activation of prewar contacts of financial and business circles, and by sending various emissaries. In these efforts, the Germans relied on strong Germanophile circles in Russia and on the Imperial Court camarilla that strongly influenced the Tsar’s decisions in important personal and political matters. Inside Germany, however, these attempts were opposed mainly by the Army Command representatives who were convinced that Germany’s future was closely linked with a victory in the war. Unlike that, similar efforts in Russia were opposed by the pro-Entente, nationalist and liberal groups. As a result, the separate peace question was also of great importance for the internal events in both hostile countries. The most important factor, however, was the development of military operations, where Russia was initially quite successful and was therefore little willing to negotiate peace. Contrary to that, it was Germany that achieved much success on the eastern front as of the summer of 1915 and wanted to make use of it and force Russia to sign a separate peace treaty. Thus, Berlin hoped to have a “free hand” to concentrate on the preparation of a large offensive in the West in 1916.
Key words: History, 20th century, First World War, Germany, Russia, secret diplomacy, separate peace

Petr ŽÁK
T. G. Masaryk and political Catholicism during the First Czechoslovak Republic (1918–1935)

Masaryk’s attitude to political Catholicism was slowly developing from 1918 to 1935. The Catholic political groups were mostly Czech (Czechoslovak People’s Party, CSL), Slovak (Hlinka’s Slovak People’s Party, HSLS), and German (German Christian Social People’s Party, DCV). Prior to 1918, Masaryk’s views of the Catholic political parties were rather negative, as he considered political Catholicism an inadmissible interference of the ecclesiastic world in the political arena. After the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 and during the 1920s, Masaryk’s negative attitude to those parties remained unchanged. In the 1930s, however, he modified a little his attitude to the Catholic Church and to political Catholicism. A great success was the Catholic Congress held in 1935 and openly supported by Masaryk. His attitude in the period of time under consideration was far from being homogeneous; it depended on the particular party or person, and showed also alterations in time. Apparent discontinuity can be seen in the views before and after 1918. Masaryk’s relation to particular representatives of the Catholic political camp can be also used to demonstrate his ability to balance the radical streams within the particular groups. However, Masaryk was personally far from considering the question of Catholic belief to be closed or finally resolved.
Key words: History, 20th century, T. G. Masaryk, Msgre Jan Šrámek, Political Catholicism, Roman Catholic Church, Czechoslovak People’s Party, Hlinka’s Slovak People‘s Party

Election reforms proposed during the existence of the First Czechoslovak Republic (1918-1938) as viewed by Otakar Krouský, Josef Kliment and František Weyr

Compared to the neighboring countries, the political system in Czechoslo-vakia between the two world wars appeared to be an island of democracy in Central Europe, particularly after the seizure of power in Germany by the Nazis and the annexation of Austria by the German Reich. Still, however, various aspects of the democratic system in Czechoslovakia were criticized by some theoreticians and politicians, also from democratic points of view. This applies also to the electoral system. The heaviest criticism of the electoral system during the First Czecho¬slovak Republic focused on two electoral techniques: The use of Hare’s method in the first scrutiny to calculate the mandate number, and the practice of using strictly conditioned candidate lists. With the application of this method there were more surplus votes for the second scrutiny than when using another technique, such as the Hagebach-Bischoff method. Thus, the whole system based on political parties became one of the crucial problems of Czechoslovak democracy in the period under consideration. The position of party bosses was extremely strong, the conditions inside the party were highly centralized. Party members were controlled through conditioned candidacy. A widely applied practice was the ideological viewing of potential party renegades. The parties acquired too much power in influencing the state administration. In spite of the questionable features of the party role in the country’s political system there were some advocates of it. Therefore, neither the electoral system nor the structure of political parties changed until 1938.
Key words: History, 20th century, Czechoslovakia, political system, suffrage

Andrej TÓTH
Hungarian political parties in Czechoslovakia and the election of a successor to President Masaryk in December 1935. Part I

On 18th December, 1935 Foreign Minister Edvard Beneš was elected by an overwhelming majority of MPs and senators to become the second President of the Czechoslovak Republic. Beneš’s candidacy for President was supported by the legislators, members of all Czechoslovak parties, i.e., the Agrarian Party, Social Democratic Party, National Socialist Party, People’s Party, Hlinka’s Slovakian People’s Party, as well as by the political tradesmen and Communists. Beneš’s candidacy for President was also supported by the MPs and senators of the German “activist” parties, namely the German Social Democratic Party, the German Christian Social Party and the German Agrarian Party. For the first time ever in the Presidential election in the Czechoslovak Republic also legislators-members of the Hungarian minority political parties took an “activist” position, although during the previous Presidential elections they had expressed their negativist attitude to the state’s constitutional system by abstaining from voting, i. e., by returning blank ballots. Their position during the Presidential election was supposed to be uniform, as proved by a public declaration of their representatives. A negativist position during the election was only shown by the MPs and senators representing Henlein’s Sudetengerman Party and Kramář’s National Unification Party. The constructive position of the Hungarian minority political parties at the Presidential election was appreciated also by the new President after the election, who through his secretary thanked the Hungarian parties for their “knightly behavior, sincerity and straightforward position before and during the Presidential election”.
Keywords: History, 20th century, politics, Czechoslovakia, Hungarians, presidential election, Edvard Beneš

Miroslav ŠEPTÁK
The question of personal appoint for the Czechoslovak Legation in Vienna in the years 1932–1938

Czechoslovak top foreign policy makers assigned great importance to the staffing of the country’s representation in Vienna. This, however, was not an easy task as there was a lack of suitable candidates. Initially, Tomáš G. Masaryk and Edvard Beneš selected for diplomatic positions in Czechoslovakia’s southern neighboring country prospective diplomats with a promising career in the future. In the 1930, contrary to that, Czechoslovakia was supposed to be represented in its southern neighboring country by experienced diplomats able to stay in their position for a couple of years and thus facilitate the continuity of staffing. These efforts, however, ultimately failed due to a number of unfavorable circumstances. In 1932, Zdeněk Fierlinger was appointed Czechoslovak Envoy to Vienna. However, due to his leftist orientation and extensive contacts with the Austrian Social Democrats, and later also due to his support of the leftist opponents of the conservative-authoritarian regime it was impossible to improve the mutual relations. After the Civil War in Austria the Ballhausplatz Office insisted on ending Fierlinger’s mission in Vienna, but Beneš resisted the pressure. Austria’s Foreign Office showed more or less interest in the major staff changes taking place in the Czechoslovak Legation in Austria. Owing to their well-informed Envoy Ferdinand Mark they were receiving many original reports, of which some were just based on unverified lobby talks. To summarize it can be said that except for Fierlinger, the Czechoslovak diplomats in the Austrian metropolis, owing to their professional qualities, could at least help create good neighborliness with Austria. Naturally, it was impossible for them to prevent the transfer of the Alpine country into the German sphere of influence during the period of strong activity of the “dynamic” authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.
Keywords: History, 20the century, Czechoslovak Legation in Vienna, diplomacy, staffing problems

Edition of Jaroslav Bakeš‘s „Třebíč Letters“ from 1902 to 1909

The edition includes the available letters of Jaroslav Bakeš (1871–1930) sent by the Austro-Hungarian post in the period of time 1902–1909 while he worked as head physician in Třebíč for eight years. His personal views, more than a hundred years old, constitute an interesting complementing source of information making it possible to better know the author’s life and his era. His private and family conditions, his professional medical activities and the level of the contemporary practical medicine are depicted. Bakeš’s talent for surgery was developed by his teacher Eduard Albert in Vienna’s General Hospital, and Bakeš brought the tradition of that school to Moravia. He became an outstanding surgeon in the hospitals of Třebíč (1902–1909) and Brno (1909–1930), taught at the local Czech Technical College (1906–1922), held lectures at surgery congresses both inside the country and abroad, improved several operating procedures, designed medical tools and instruments, and wrote innovative papers for renowned Czech and German professional magazines. In his free time, he also liked hunting and collecting minerals. Later, he became renowned for having co-founded a unique cancer-treating institute, known as the Masaryk Consolation House, which was built on the Yellow Hill in Brno and opened in January, 1935 (its tradition continues today in the Masaryk Institute of Oncology). The edition of his letters is an interesting contribution to the information about the author’s life and family, and also about practical medicine as well as the social, political and ethnic situation in southern Moravia in the early 20th century.
Keywords: History of 20th century, Jaroslav Bakeš, history of medicine, southern Moravia