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(chĕk'ōslōväk`ēə), Czech Československo (chĕs`kōslōvĕn'skō), former federal republic, 49,370 sq mi (127,869 sq km), in central Europe. On Jan. 1, 1993, the Czech RepublicCzech Republic,
Czech Česká Republika, or Czechia
, Czech Česko, republic (2005 est. pop. 10,241,000), 29,677 sq mi (78,864 sq km), central Europe.
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 and the Slovak Republic (see SlovakiaSlovakia
or the Slovak Republic,
Slovak Slovensko , republic (2005 est. pop. 5,431,000), 18,917 sq mi (48,995 sq km), central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic in the west, by Austria in the southwest, by Hungary in the south, by Ukraine in the east,
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) became independent states and Czechoslovakia ceased to exist. (For history prior to 1918 as well as geographic and economic information, see BohemiaBohemia,
Czech Čechy, historic region (20,368 sq mi/52,753 sq km) and former kingdom, in W and central Czech Republic. Bohemia is bounded by Austria in the southeast, by Germany in the west and northwest, by Poland in the north and northeast, and by Moravia in the
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; Czech RepublicCzech Republic,
Czech Česká Republika, or Czechia
, Czech Česko, republic (2005 est. pop. 10,241,000), 29,677 sq mi (78,864 sq km), central Europe.
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; MoraviaMoravia
, Czech Morava, Ger. Mähren, region in the E Czech Republic. The region is bordered on the W by Bohemia, on the E by the Little and White Carpathian Mts., which divide it from Slovakia, and on the N by the Sudetes Mts.
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; SlovakiaSlovakia
or the Slovak Republic,
Slovak Slovensko , republic (2005 est. pop. 5,431,000), 18,917 sq mi (48,995 sq km), central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic in the west, by Austria in the southwest, by Hungary in the south, by Ukraine in the east,
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The Emergence of Czechoslovakia

The creation of Czechoslovakia was the culmination of the long struggle of the Czechs against their Austrian rulers. It was largely accomplished by the nation's first and second presidents, T. G. MasarykMasaryk, Thomas Garrigue
, 1850–1937, Czechoslovak political leader and philosopher, first president and chief founder of Czechoslovakia. He is revered by most Czechs and was internationally recognized as a great democratic leader.
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 and Eduard BenešBeneš, Eduard
, 1884–1948, Czechoslovakian president (1935–38, 1946–48). As a student at Prague Univ. he adopted the political and social philosophy of T. G. Masaryk.
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. The union of the Czech lands and Slovakia was officially proclaimed in Prague on Nov. 14, 1918; the Treaty of St. Germain (Sept., 1919) formally recognized the new republic. Ruthenia was added by the Treaty of Trianon (June, 1920).

Because Czechoslovakia inherited the greater part of the industries of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, it was economically the most favored of the Hapsburg successor states. Benefiting from a liberal, democratic constitution (1920) and led by able statesmen, the new republic appeared to have a bright future. Redistribution of some of the estates of the former nobility and the church generally improved the living conditions of the peasantry. In foreign policy Czechoslovakia relied on its friendship with France and on its Little EntenteLittle Entente
, loose alliance formed in 1920–21 by Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Its specific purposes were the containment of Hungarian revisionism (of the terms of the World War I peace treaty) and the prevention of a restoration of the Hapsburgs.
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 with Yugoslavia and Romania.

Yet the new state was far from being a stable unit. With its antagonistic and nationalistic ethnic elements, it reflected the inherent weakness of the Hapsburg empire. The Czechs and Slovaks had separate histories and greatly differing religious, cultural, and social traditions. The constitution of 1920, which set up a highly centralized unitary state, failed to take into account the important problem of national minorities. The Germans and Magyars of Czechoslovakia openly agitated against the territorial settlements. Although the constitution provided for autonomy for Ruthenia, in practice autonomy was constantly postponed. The Slovak People's party accused the Czech government of having denied Slovakia promised autonomous rights. Hitler's rise in Germany, the German annexation of Austria, the resulting revival of revisionism in Hungary and of agitation for autonomy in Slovakia, and the appeasement policy of the Western powers left Czechoslovakia without allies, exposed to hostile Germany and Hungary on three sides and to unsympathetic Poland on the fourth.

The nationality problem led to a European crisis when the German nationalist minority, led by Konrad Henlein and vehemently backed by Hitler, demanded the union of the predominantly German districts with Germany. Threatening war, Hitler extorted through the Munich PactMunich Pact,
1938. In the summer of 1938, Chancellor Hitler of Germany began openly to support the demands of Germans living in the Sudetenland (see Sudetes) of Czechoslovakia for an improved status. In September, Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudetenland.
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 (Sept., 1938) the cession of the Bohemian borderlands (Sudetenland). Poland and Hungary obtained territorial cessions shortly thereafter. Beneš resigned the presidency in October and was succeeded by Emil Hacha. In Nov., 1938, the truncated state, renamed Czecho-Slovakia, was reconstituted in three autonomous units—Bohemia and Moravia, Slovakia, and Ruthenia.

The War Years

In Mar., 1939, Hitler forced Hacha to surrender Czecho-Slovakia to German control and made Bohemia and Moravia into a German "protectorate." Slovakia gained nominal independence as a satellite state. Ruthenia was awarded to Hungary. After the outbreak of World War II, Beneš set up a provisional government in London, and Czech units fought with the Allied forces. Except for the brutalities of the German occupation, Czechoslovakia suffered relatively little from the war. In Apr., 1944, Soviet forces, accompanied by a Czech coalition government headed by Beneš, and American troops entered Czechoslovakia; the fall (May 12, 1945) of Prague marked the end of military operations in Europe. Soviet and American troops were withdrawn later in the year.

At the Potsdam Conference of 1945 the expulsion of about 3,000,000 Germans from Czechoslovakia and an exchange of minorities between Czechoslovakia and Hungary were approved. The country's pre-1938 territory was restored, except for Ruthenia, which was ceded to the USSR. In the elections of 1946 the Communists emerged as the strongest party (obtaining one third of the votes) and became the dominant party in the coalition headed by the Communist Klement Gottwald. Beneš was elected president. Soviet pressure prevented Czechoslovakia from accepting Marshall Plan aid (June, 1947).

The Communist Era

During the summer of 1947, the Communists began a campaign of political agitation and intrigue that gave them complete control of the government in Feb., 1948. In March, Jan MasarykMasaryk, Jan
, 1886–1948, Czechoslovak diplomat, son of Thomas G. Masaryk. He was (1925–38) Czechoslovak minister to Great Britain, and in London he became (1940) foreign minister in the Czechoslovak government in exile headed by Eduard Beneš after the German
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, the non-Communist foreign minister, died in suspicious circumstances. After the adoption of a new constitution (Beneš resigned rather than sign it), a new legislature was elected and enacted a program for nationalizing the economy. Czechoslovakia became a Soviet-style state.

Political and cultural liberty was curtailed, and purge trials were conducted from 1950 to 1952. Riots occurred in 1953, reflecting economic discontent. A very modest liberalization trend was begun in response but was reversed in Nov., 1957, when Antonin NovotnýNovotný, Antonín
, 1904–75, Czechoslovakian Communist leader. A founding member (1921) of the Communist party, he participated (1948) in the Communist seizure of power and became first secretary of the party in 1953.
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 became president. In 1960 a new constitution was enacted. Another cautious movement toward liberalization was initiated in 1963. Restrictions on the press, education, and cultural activities were eased, and local authorities received increased economic autonomy. Profit considerations were introduced into the economy. Czechoslovakia became celebrated internationally for its experimental theater work and its many fine films. But political power remained the exclusive possession of a small circle in the Communist party.

That factor, the sluggishness of the economy (despite the reforms), and Slovak resentment over Novotný's Czech-dominated administration, produced the startling developments of 1968. Alexander DubčekDubček, Alexander
, 1921–92, Czechoslovakian political leader. A member of the Slovakian national minority, he was active in the Communist underground in World War II and rose in the party hierarchy after the war, becoming head of the Slovakian Communist party and a
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, a Slovak, replaced Novotný as party leader in January; Ludvik Svoboda became president in March. Under Dubček, in what is known as Prague Spring, democratization went further than in any other Communist state. Press censorship was reduced, and the restoration of a genuinely democratic political life seemed possible. Slovakia was granted political autonomy.

Seriously alarmed at what it construed to be a threat to Soviet security and to the supremacy within the USSR of the Soviet Communist party, the USSR with some of its Warsaw Pact allies invaded Czechoslovakia in Aug., 1968. Dubček and other leaders were taken to Moscow. Despite opposition by the populace, the USSR forced the repeal of most of the reforms. A revised constitution was promulgated. (Slovakian autonomy was retained.) In Apr., 1969, Dubček was replaced as party leader, and in June, 1970, he was expelled from the party.

In the early 1970s there were many efforts to stamp out dissent, including mass arrests, union purges, and religious persecution. The repressive policies and rigid Soviet-style economic policies continued throughout the 1970s despite inflation and a sluggish economy. In 1977, the appearance of a declaration of human rights called Charter 77, which was signed by 700 intellectuals and former party leaders, instigated further repressive measures.

The "Velvet Revolution"

In late 1989, massive antigovernment demonstrations in Prague were at first suppressed by the police, but as democratization swept through Eastern Europe, the Communist party leadership resigned in November. In December, a new, non-Communist cabinet took over, and the playwright and former dissident Václav HavelHavel, Václav
, 1936–2011, Czech dramatist and essayist, president of Czechoslovakia (1989–92) and the Czech Republic (1993–2003). The most original Czech dramatist to emerge in the 1960s, Havel soon antagonized the political power structure by focusing
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 was elected president. Under Communist rule, Czechoslovakia had a Soviet-style planned economy in which its highly developed industry as well as trade, banking, and agriculture were under state control. In 1990, the nation began the transition to a market economy with a broad program designed to encourage private enterprise and outside investment. The "Velvet Revolution" was successfully completed with the departure of the last Soviet troops in May, 1991, and a free parliamentary election in June, 1992.

The new government was faced with several difficulties, including a distressed and inefficient economic system in need of drastic reform, high unemployment, widespread social discontent, and environmental pollution. Under the 1968 constitution, Czechoslovakia was a federal republic. The two component parts were the Czech Republic, with its capital in Prague, and the Slovak Republic, with its capital at Bratislava. There was a bicameral federal legislature elected every five years. The federal president, who was elected by the legislature, appointed the premier and ministers. Each republic had a council and assembly. The federal government dealt with defense, foreign affairs, and certain economic matters. A strong secessionist movement in Slovakia, however, led to the formal declaration on Aug. 26, 1992, that the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic would separate into independent states on Jan. 1, 1993, thus dissolving the 74-year-old federation. In response to the imminent breakup, the federal government was dismantled and drafts of new Czech and Slovak constitutions were begun.


See historical studies by R. J. Kerner (1940) and S. H. Thomson (2d ed. 1953, repr. 1965); M. Rechcigl, Jr., ed., Czechoslovak Contribution to World Culture (1964) and Czechoslovakia Past and Present (2 vol., 1968); Z. A. B. Zeman, Prague Spring (1969); W. Shawcross, Dubcek (1970); G. Golan, The Czechoslovak Reform Movement (1971); I. Sviták, The Czechoslovak Experiment, 1968–1969 (1971); J. Kalvoda, The Genesis of Czechoslovakia (1986); N. Stone and E. Strouh ed., Czechoslovakia: Crossroads and Crises, 1918–1988 (1989); J. Batt, Economic Reform and Political Change in Eastern Europe (1988).



(Československo), Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (CSSR; Československá Socialistická Republika).

The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic is a socialist state in Central Europe. Situated on the watershed of the Danube, Labe (Elbe), and Oder, the republic is bounded on the north by Poland, on the northwest by the German Democratic Republic, on the west by the Federal Republic of Germany, on the south by Austria and Hungary, and on the east by the USSR. Area, 127,900 sq km. Population, 15 million (1977). The capital is Prague. The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (CSSR) includes the Czech Socialist Republic (CSR; capital, Prague) and the Slovak Socialist Republic (SSR; capital, Bratislava). Administratively, the country is divided into ten regions (kraje), with Prague and Bratislava having the status of regions (see Table 1). The regions are divided into districts (okresy), which in turn are subdivided into communes (obce).

Czechoslovakia is a socialist state and a federal republic composed of two equal sovereign socialist republics, the Czech and Slovak socialist republics. The present constitution was adopted in 1960 and amended by the 1968 Constitutional Law on the Czechoslovak Federation. All power in the country belongs to the working people.

The supreme state authority and sole legislative body of the CSSR is the bicameral Federal Assembly, composed of the House of the People, whose 200 deputies are elected by the entire country, and the House of Nations, whose 150 deputies are elected on a parity basis by the CSR and the SSR. The Federal Assembly is empowered to amend the constitution of the CSSR and enact laws. It ratifies the medium-range state plans for the development of the national economy and the state budget of the federation, resolves fundamental questions of foreign and domestic policy, elects the president of the CSSR (five-year term) and the members of the Supreme Court of the CSSR, and establishes federal agencies. Between sessions of the Federal Assembly its functions (except emergency powers) are exercised by the 40-member Presidium of the Federal Assembly, which is elected by both houses from among their members.

The head of state is the president, who is accountable to the Federal Assembly. He represents the CSSR in international relations, concludes and ratifies international treaties, appoints and recalls the members of the federal government (cabinet), and serves as the supreme commander in chief of the armed forces.

The federal government of the CSSR—the supreme executive body of state power—consists of a prime minister, deputy prime ministers, and ministers. A member of the Presidium of the Federal Assembly or of the Constitutional Court may not hold a cabinet post.

The 200-member Czech National Council and the 150-member Slovak National Council are the supreme representative institutions and sole legislative bodies of the constituent republics. Each National Council enacts the constitutional and other laws of the republic, ratifies the medium-range state plans for the development of the republic’s economy, and adopts the republic’s budget. The National Council elects from among its members the Presidium, which exercises the council’s functions (except emergency powers) in the interval between sessions of the council. The Presidium of the National Council appoints and recalls the members of the government (cabinet), the highest executive body of state power in each republic.

The local governing bodies in the regions, districts, cities, and communes—called national committees—direct economic, cultural, and social development in their respective areas. The national committees elect general executive bodies—councils—and establish commissions to initiate and expedite the work of the committees. All representative bodies of state power are elected for five-year terms by universal and equal suffrage and direct and secret ballot. All citizens who have attained the age of 18 years may vote. Deputies to any representative body are required to take an oath.

The judiciary includes the Supreme Court of the CSSR, the Supreme Courts of the CSR and SSR, and regional, district, and military courts. Supervision of the observance of laws rests with the Procurator’s Office, headed by the procurator general of the CSSR. Each of the constituent republics also has a procurator general.

Czechoslovakia stretches for more than 750 km from west to

Table 1. Administrative divisions of Czechoslovaki (1976)
Regions and cities with regional statusArea (sq km)PopulationAdministrative center
Czech Socialist Republic ...............78,86310,158,000Prague
Prague (Praha) ...............4971,176,000
Central Bohemia (Středočeský kraj) ...............11,0021,139,000Prague
South Bohemia (Jihočeský kraj) ...............11,347676,000Českĕ-Budějovice
West Bohemia (Západočeský kraj) ...............10,87288, 0000Plzeň
North Bohemia (Severočeský kraj) ...............7,8101,14, 9000Ŭsti nad Labern
East Bohemia (Vychodočeský kraj) ...............11,2401,234,000Hradec Králově
South Moravia (Jihomoravský kraj) ...............15,0292,005,000Brno
North Moravia (Severomoravský kraj) ...............11,0661,899,000Ostrava
Slovak Socialist Republic ...............49,0144,815,000Bratislava
Bratislava ...............368350,000
West Slovakia (Západoslovenský kraj) ...............14,4911,648,000Bratislava
Central Slovakia (Středoslovenský kraj) ...............17,9761,477,000Banská-Bystrica
East Slovakia (Východoslovenský krai) ...............16,1791,341,000Košice

east and 150–200 km from north to south. It is a country of uplands and low mountains, its natural landscape dominated by forests and forest-steppes.

Topography. The western part of the country is occupied by the Bohemian Massif, whose interior is a vast basin lying at an elevation of 200–400 m. The interior basin is divided into a series of smaller basins separated by uplands and crystalline and volcanic massifs ranging from 700 m to 900 m in elevation. Along the edges of the basin rise medium-elevation, predominantly flat-crested ranges: the Bohemian Forest and the Šumava in the southwest, the Ore Mountains (Krušné Hory) in the northwest, and the Krkonosě in the northeast. The prevailing elevation of these encircling mountains varies from 800 m to 1,200 m; the highest peak is Mount Sněžka (1,602 m) in the Krkonoše. In the southeastern part of the Bohemian Massif lie the Bohemian-Moravian Uplands. The section of the uplands known as the Moravian Kras has numerous karst landforms, among them the spectacular Macocha Gorge.

The eastern part of the country is dominated by mountains of the Carpathian system. The highest peak in Czechoslovakia and in the Carpathians, Gerlachovský Štít (2,655 m), is in the Tatra Mountains, which have well-defined glacial landforms. After the Tatras, the greatest heights occur in the Vel’ká and Malá Fatra, the Low Tatra, and the Slovak Ore Mountains, all of them deeply dissected, predominantly middle-elevation mountains. The Slovak Kras is noted for its karst formations, such as the famous Domica Cave. In the southern Carpathians rise the volcanic massifs of the Kremnica and Štiavnica mountains. The Central Danu-bian Plain enters Czechoslovakia from the south in two prongs, forming the Danubian Lowland in the south and southwest and the Tisza Lowland in the southeast. The elevation of the lowlands rises from 100–200 m in the south to 200–400 m near the Carpathians.

Geological structure and minerals. The western part of Czechoslovakia, the Bohemian Massif, is the core of the ancient basement of Variscan folding in Central Europe. The eastern part of the country, coinciding with the Western Carpathians, belongs to the Alpide geosynclinal region. The basement of the Bohemian Massif is composed of Precambrian gneisses, migmatites, schists, and granulites and of Paleozoic slates, quartzites, and sandstones. The sedimentary cover is made up of Cretaceous and Cenozoic, mainly clastic, rocks. The basement of the Carpathians consists of Precambrian and Paleozoic metamorphic rocks intruded by Variscan granitoids. (Such intrusions also occur in the Bohemian Massif.) The folded Mesozoic and early Cenozoic complex of the Carpathians (limestone, sandstone, flysch) serves as the foundation of late Cenozoic moiasse basins filled mainly with sand-clay sediments and extrusive rocks.

The country’s principal mineral resource is coal—the hard coal of the Ostrava-Karviná Basin and the brown coal of the North Bohemian Basin. Petroleum and gas deposits occur in the northern part of the Viennese and Pannonian basins and in the Ciscarpathian Foredeep. In the Spišská-Hemerska Ore Region of Slovakia iron-ore deposits are worked at Rudňaný and Nižna-Slana and manganese ore deposits at Kišovce-Svabovce. There are numerous hydrothermal lead and zinc deposits in Bohemia (Příbram, Kutná Hora, Stříbro), North Moravia (Zlaté Hory, Horní Benešov, Horní Město), and the Spišská-Hemerska Ore Region (Banská Štiavnica). Hydrothermal copper deposits are found in Moravia (Staré Ransko) and Slovakia (Slovinky, Rudňaný, Rožňava). In the Ore Mountains deposits of tin and tungsten ore (Cinovec, Krupka) are associated with Variscan granitoids. The uranium deposits at Příbram and Mimoň and in the Bohemian-Moravian Uplands are associated with hydrothermal veins. The schists and granitoids of the Carpathians contain veins of antimony ore, mined at Pezinok Pernek, Magurka, Medzibrod, Čučma, and Zlata Idka. The Cenozoic volcanic rocks of the Slovak Ore Mountains contain mercury deposits. Other deposits include fluorite, graphite, baryte, pyrite, kaolin, magnesite, and construction materials.

Czechoslovakia is rich in therapeutic mineral springs, including thermal springs, many of them associated with the Precambrian and Paleozoic rocks of the Bohemian Massif and with tectonic dislocations in the Carpathians. The most famous are the alkaline springs of Karlovy Vary and Mariánské Lázně, the hydrocarbon springs of Teplice, the sodium sulfate springs of Františkovy Lázně, the hydrogen sulfide springs of Trenčianske Teplice, and the radioactive springs of Jáchymov and Teplice.

Climate. The country’s temperate climate becomes more continental from west to east and in the intramontane basins. The mean January temperature ranges from –1° to –4°C in the plains, dropping to –7°C in the mountains of the Bohemian Massif and to –10°C in the Carpathians. In winter there are frequent temperature inversions in the intramontane basins. The mean July temperature, 19°–21°C in the plains, can fall to as low as 8°C in the mountains of the Bohemian Massif, and 4°C in the Carpathians. The annual precipitation varies from 450 mm to 700 mm in the plains; in the mountains it increases rapidly with elevation, reaching 1,600 mm in the Bohemian Massif and 2,100 mm in the Carpathians at a height of about 2,000 m. The maximum precipitation falls in the summer, although droughts may occur in the plains at this time of the year owing to the strong evaporation. In the plains the snow cover, often unstable and broken by thaws, lasts 1½ to two months. Its duration increases to 2½ or three months in the mountains and to six months on the crests of the Carpathians.

Rivers and lakes. The country has a dense network of relatively short rivers. Among its largest rivers are the Danube, whose middle course flows through the country, the Váh and the Morava, both tributaries of the Danube, the upper reaches of the Oder and Labe (Elbe), and the Vltava, a tributary of the Elbe. The Tisza River, another tributary of the Danube, flows along the eastern border of Czechoslovakia for a short distance and receives the waters of the Hornád and Ondava. Most of the rivers have spring high water, resulting from the melting of snow in the mountains and foothills; heavy summer rains may cause flooding. The rivers are frozen for one or two months in the winter. The Danube and the Labe and the lower reaches of the Vltava are navigable, and hydroelectric power plants have been built on the Váh and Vltava. The country’s lakes, mainly of glacial or tectonic origin, are small. Its numerous ponds, covering a total area of 50,000 ha, chiefly in South Bohemia, are used for fish raising and water supply.

Soils. The most common soils are the brown and mountain-brown forest soils typical of deciduous and mixed forests. Mountain podzolic soils are found in the upper part of the mountain forest belt, and mountain meadow soils occur under alpine meadows. In unforested areas, soddy brown-earth soils have developed under secondary meadows, and soddy calcareous soils (rendzinas) have formed on calcareous rocks. The plains of Central Bohemia and South Moravia are covered with chernozemlike soils, generally leached and podzolized but sometimes calcareous, and the valleys of the Danube, Labe, Morava, and other major rivers have alluvial soils. The soils of the plains and gentle mountain slopes are for the most part plowed up.

Flora. Cultivated steppes with small planted groves of oak and pine predominate to an elevation of 300 m. Forest-steppes, which in earlier times made up most of the vegetative cover of the plains, have survived only on unproductive lands and in preserves. At elevations of up to 600–700 m plowlands alternate with forests of oak or oak and beech. Between 600–700 m and 1,100–1,200 m the landscape is dominated by beech and fir-and-beech forests, above which spruce and fir forests grow to elevations of up to 1,400–1,500 m. About one-third of the country is forested, with conifers covering 71 percent of the area. The most common coniferous species is spruce, accounting for 48 percent of the forested area. Most of the forests are in the Carpathians and in the mountains of the Bohemian Massif. Between 1,400–1,500 m and 1,600–1,700 m the forests give way to Krummholz and then to scrub and subalpine and alpine meadows.

Fauna. Among the more common mammals are the brown bear, wolf, lynx, fox, marten, ermine, deer, wild boar, roe deer, hare, squirrel, and hedgehog. Birds include capercaillies, partridges, storks, goatsuckers (Caprimulgus europaeus), hoopoes (Upupa epops), kingfishers, and eagles. The rivers and ponds abound in trout, carp, salmon, grayling, pickerel, perch, burbot, and lamprey.

Preserves. Some 170,000 hectares (1976), mostly forests, have been set aside as protected areas. In addition to the famous Tatra People’s Park and the Krkonoše and Pěniny national parks, there is a network of sanctuaries and natural landmarks, notably the Karlstein and Bohemian Paradise.

Natural regions. There are four distinct natural regions: the Bohemian Massif, the Western Carpathians, and the Danubian and Tisza lowlands. On the Bohemian Massif rolling plowed-up plains alternate with low and middle-elevation mountains covered with beech, oak, and mixed forests. The Western Carpathians consist of middle-elevation and high mountain ranges whose landscapes change with elevation: mixed and coniferous forests are succeeded by Krummholz, which gives way to subalpine and alpine meadows. The Danubian Lowland is an undulating plain, mostly plowed up, with tracts of oak forests. The Tisza Lowland encompasses a rolling plowed-up plain and low mountains clothed with oak and beech forests.


Maergoiz, I. M. Chekhoslovatskaia Sotsialisticheskaia Respublika. Moscow, 1964.
Atlas Československé Socialistické Republiky. Prague, 1966.
Československá vlastivěda, vol. 1, part 1. Prague, 1968.
Slovensko: Příroda. Bratislava, 1972.
Kunský, J. Československo fyzicky zeměpisně. Prague, 1974.
N. N. RYBIN (physical geography) and E. G. MARTYNOV (geological structure and minerals)

The basic population of Czechoslovakia consists of two nations, the Czechs and the Slovaks, each having its own republic. In 1977 the population was estimated to include 9,612,000 Czechs, 4,526,000 Slovaks, 598,000 Hungarians, most of them living in southern Slovakia, 76,000 Germans, 78,000 Poles, and 60,000 Ukrainians and Russians. About two-thirds of the believers are Roman Catholics, and the remainder are Protestants (Bohemian Brethren, Evangelicals, or Calvinists), Uniates, or Greek Orthodox. The official calendar is the Gregorian.

The population has been steadily growing; the censuses of 1960 and 1970 showed that the population had increased from 13,698,000 to 14,350,000. The rate of natural increase, per 1,000 population, was 6.7 in 1960, 6.4 in 1965, 4.3 in 1970, and 8.0 in 1975. In view of the diminishing rate of natural increase in the 1960’s, the government adopted a vigorous demographic policy aimed at ensuring a higher birthrate. As for social composition, statistics from the end of 1976 indicate that workers made up 61 percent of the total population; office employees, 28 percent; peasants and artisans belonging to cooperatives, 10 percent; and independent peasants and artisans and members of the liberal professions, about 1 percent. In 1976 the labor force totaled 7,476,000 persons, of whom 80.6 percent (83.3 percent in 1960) were engaged in material production and 19.4 percent in the non-production sphere. A breakdown of the production sphere showed that industry accounted for 38.6 percent of the work force, construction for 9.6 percent, agriculture and forestry for 15.3 percent, transportation and communications for 6.7 percent, and other sectors for 10.4 percent. The nonproduction sphere included those employed in public health and social insurance (4.4 percent) and in the field of education, culture, or sports (6.3 percent).

The population density averages about 117 persons per sq km for the country as a whole and about 129 persons per sq km in the CSR. The most densely populated regions are the Ostrava-Kar-viná and Prague-Central Bohemia industrial conurbations, with about 650 and 500 persons per sq km, respectively.

A land with a very old urban culture, Czechoslovakia has many nationally distinctive cities that date from the early Middle Ages. Today, urban dwellers, classified as those living in cities or urban-type communities, account for 66.3 percent of the country’s population. Apart from the three major historical urban centers—Prague in Bohemia, Brno in Moravia, and Bratislava in Slovakia—only Ostrava, Plzeň, and Košice have more than 100,000 inhabitants. Most Czechoslovak cities have a population of less than 50,000.

The territory of Czechoslovakia has been inhabited since the Paleolithic. Archaeological excavations have uncovered the remains of Upper Paleolithic permanent dwellings built by mammoth hunters at Dolní Věstonice, Pavlov, and other sites. In the Neolithic farming spread among the tribes of the Linear Pottery culture. During the Bronze Age, best represented by the Únětice culture, the area was a focal point of Central European metalworking. The Iron Age Hallstatt culture flourished here in the first half of the first millennium B.C. Around the fourth century B.C. the area was settled by Celts, who founded numerous urban artisan and trade centers, oppida, of which the best known are Hrazani, Stradonice, Závist, and Staré Hradisko. At the beginning of the Common Era, the power of the Celts was broken by the Germanic Marcomanni and Quadi tribes, who advanced as far as the Váh River. In the first and second centuries A.D. the Germanic tribes fought against the Romans, who occupied part of Slovakia. The arrival of Slavic tribes in the middle of the first millennium coincided with the decline of the primitive communal system among the tribes.

Early feudal period (sixth to mid-11th century). In the second half of the first millennium plow farming developed among the Slavs, mainly in connection with expanding land settlement, an irregular three-field system was adopted (tenth century), and handicrafts were gradually becoming separated from agriculture. The most famous of the fortified settlements, or hrady, founded by the Slavs was Pražský Hrad, built at the turn of the ninth century. The development of the city as a handicraft and commercial center surrounded by trade and artisan settlements (Staré Město on the Morava River)—accompanied by the social stratification of Slavic society and the rise of an elite—signaled the transition to an early feudal class state. The earliest rudimentary states were tribal principalities encompassing a network of hrady. The territory of modern Czechoslovakia formed part of Samo’s state in the seventh century and was included in the Great Moravian State in the ninth and early tenth centuries.

The development of early feudalism in Great Moravia was facilitated by the spread of Christianity in the ninth century, introduced by the Slavic educators Cyril and Methodius, who devised the Slavic writing system. Feudal fragmentation (late ninth century) and the loss of its Bohemian (895) and Lusatian (897) lands weakened the Great Moravian State in its struggle against the expansion of the German feudal lords and enabled the nomadic Magyars to conquer some of its territory in the early tenth century. The Magyar conquest interrupted the amalgamation of the Bohemian-Moravian and Slovak tribes into one nationality, a process that had begun in the eighth century.

In Bohemia, the unification of tribal principalities ended in the early tenth century with the formation of a Bohemian state under the Přemyslid princes. Moravia was incorporated into Bohemia in 1029 (1019 according to some sources). In the first quarter of the 11th century Slovakia was absorbed into the Kingdom of Hungary, remaining under Hungarian rule until the formation of a unified Czechoslovak state in 1918. Over the centuries two nationalities would emerge on the territory of modern Czechoslovakia: the Czech people, who included the Moravians, although the latter preserved their ethnic distinctiveness, and the Slovaks.

Mature feudalism (mid-11th to the 15th century). Feudal fragmentation, affecting the Czech lands by the mid-llth century and Slovakia by the 13th century, was an important factor in the consolidation of the feudal seigniory and the establishment of fully developed conditional land tenure. The growth of productive forces from the 11th to the 14th century was accompanied in some regions, from the early 13th century, by the influx of large numbers of Germans into the cities and the countryside, first in the Czech lands and then in Slovakia as well. This period saw the evolution of the basic groups making up the feudal class: ecclesiastical feudal lords, secular feudal lords (pán), and lesser nobles (vladyka). Foreign trade linked the Czech lands and Slovakia with all of Central Europe and parts of Western and Eastern Europe. In the countryside the expansion of commodity production led to the introduction of monetary feudal rent. In Slovakia, which as part of the Kingdom of Hungary was subjected to the tyranny of Hungarian magnates and magyarization, the rate of economic development was slower than in the Czech lands. In the early 1240’s southwestern and southeastern Slovakia and Moravia were invaded by the Mongol Tatars.

Bohemia became a powerful feudal estate monarchy under Emperor Charles IV of the Luxembourg dynasty (Charles I of Bohemia), who ruled from 1346 to 1378. Nevertheless, the political consolidation of the Czech lands was not destined to be completed in the 14th and early 15th centuries, partly owing to German feudal expansion, albeit in such a covert form as the settlement of German colonists, disrupting the ethnic homogeneity of the country. In Slovakia the strengthening of royal authority took place in the 14th century under the Anjou dynasty.

Intensified feudal exploitation of the Bohemian and Moravian peasantry by the ecclesiastical and secular feudal lords, corruption within the Catholic Church, and growing German domination in both the countryside and the cities, where the patriciate was predominantly German, gave rise to an opposition movement in the Czech lands in the late 14th and early 15th centuries. The movement took the form of popular heresies and the teachings of such preachers as Jan Milíč of Kroměříž and Matthew of Janov. The religious reforms advocated by these preachers, and especially the ideas of Jan Hus and his followers, notably Jerome of Prague, paved the way for the development of the Hussite revolutionary movement, a powerful and broadly based social-revolutionary, national liberation, and anti-Catholic movement. From the very outset the Hussites were divided into the moderate Calixtines and the radical Taborites.

The German Emperor Sigismund I and Pope Martin V failed in their attempts to suppress the Hussites by launching crusades against them (1420, twice in 1422, 1427, and 1431). Led by such gifted generals as J. Žižka and Prokop the Great, the Hussites repulsed the invasions of the crusaders. The treachery of the Calixtines and the dissension among the Taborites weakened the revolutionary forces, however, and in 1434 the Taborites were routed at the battle of Lipany. Despite its defeat, the Hussite revolutionary movement, as the wellspring of the revolutionary and national traditions of the Czech people, was a crucial period in the history of the Czech lands. In Slovakia, the dissemination of Hussite ideas fanned the Slovak burghers’ struggle against the domination of the German patriciate, a struggle that had begun in the previous century. Taborite troops marched through Slovakia during their campaign against Hungary from 1428 to 1433. The large numbers of Taborites who escaped to Slovakia after the suppression of the Hussite movement formed the backbone of the anti-feudal Brethren movement, which lasted from 1445 to 1471. The Hussite revolutionary movement strengthened the linguistic and cultural ties between the Czechs and the Slovaks.

Late feudalism (16th to 18th centuries). A gradual shift to “second serfdom” took place in the Czech lands and Slovakia from the late 15th century. Seeking to expand their deliveries of agricultural products to markets, the feudal lords increased the peasants’ obligations and began to rely more heavily on labor services, especially after 1550. The growing feudal exploitation exacerbated the class struggle and precipitated peasant uprisings. After the suppression of the Dózsa Rebellion in 1514, in which the Slovak peasantry took part, the Hungarian feudal lords legalized the enserfment of the Hungarian and Slovak peasantry. A decade later there were reverberations of the German Peasant War of 1524–26 among the peasants and miners of Bohemia.

Another sign of feudal reaction was the political domination of the magnates, whose influence increased as royal power declined under the Jagiellonian kings Vladislav II and Louis II, who ruled Bohemia from 1471 to 1516 and from 1516 to 1526, respectively. Inasmuch as the king of Bohemia also occupied the Hungarian throne from 1490 to 1526, the Czech lands and Slovakia were temporarily unified under one monarch. The decline of royal authority weakened the Czech lands and Slovakia in their struggle against Ottoman aggression. King Louis perished at the battle of Mohács (1526), in which the Turks inflicted a crushing defeat on the small Hungarian-Czech Army.

In 1526 the Czech feudal lords elected a Hapsburg to the throne; the Austrian archduke Ferdinand, who ruled from 1526 to 1564. The Czech lands were to remain an integral part of the Hapsburg monarchy until 1918. As a result of the Austro-Turkish wars of 1532–33 and 1540–47, most of Slovakia also came under Hapsburg rule in 1547 as part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The Slovaks in the Hapsburg monarchy were thus subjected to double national oppression, by both Hungarian and German-Austrian feudal lords. Southern Slovakia fell under the control of Ottoman feudal lords. In the Czech lands and the part of Slovakia that was under the Hapsburgs, German-Austrian ascendancy in the bureaucracy, urban life, and commerce and increasingly heavy taxation provoked the opposition of some of the nobility and burghers and stimulated the spread of the Reformation. The first open revolt against the Hapsburgs in the Czech lands, the Czech uprising of 1547, was suppressed. The next major anti-Hapsburg insurrection, the Czech uprising of 1618–20, precipitated the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48).

After the defeat of the Czech troops by the Hapsburg forces and their allies in the battle of the White Mountain (Bílá Hora, 1620), the Czech lands lost their political autonomy and became hereditary possessions of the Hapsburgs. The privileges of the estate Diets were reduced to a minimum. In the ensuing period of feudal Catholic reaction and religious persecution, the land belonging to the Czech nobility and the cities was confiscated and turned over to foreigners, mainly Germans. Large numbers of Czechs emigrated. Meanwhile, the population of Slovakia, which was fully incorporated into the Hapsburg Empire under a peace treaty concluded at the Karlowitz Congress of 1698–99, also suffered great hardships. In Slovakia, the almost ceaseless warfare between Turkish and Hapsburg troops and the anti-Hapsburg revolts of the Hungarian nobility hindered the development of the area’s productive forces and accelerated the decline of urban life, handicrafts, and agriculture.

The second half of the 17th century saw the culmination of “second serfdom” in the Czech lands and Slovakia, a situation made all the more intolerable by the Counter-Reformation. The growing feudal exploitation provoked numerous antifeudal peasant uprisings in the 17th and 18th centuries, of which the largest were the kurucok uprisings in Slovakia in 1672 and 1697 and the Czech uprisings of 1680 and 1775. The Austrian government was obliged to regulate the peasants’ obligatory services through legislation, promulgating corvée patents in 1680, 1717, 1738, and 1775. Centralized manufacture arose in the Czech lands in the middle of the 18th century and somewhat later in Slovakia. Capitalist elements developed in the economy under conditions of absolutist Hapsburg rule and the germanization of the Czechs and the magyarization of the Slovaks.

Decline of feudal serfdom and development of a capitalist economy; the national revival (late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries). A rapid growth of productive forces, beginning in the Czech lands in the late 18th century and in Slovakia in the early 19th century, hastened the decline of the feudal system and created conditions more favorable to capitalist enterprise. Another contributing factor was the abolition of the personal dependence of the peasants, which took place in the Czech lands in 1781 and in Slovakia in 1785. The industrial revolution, reaching the Czech lands in the early 19th century and Slovakia in the 1840’s, gave impetus to the formation of new classes: an industrial bourgeoisie, predominantly German in the Czech lands and German and Hungarian in Slovakia, and a factory and agricultural proletariat.

The shift from feudalism to capitalism was accompanied by the emergence of the Czech and Slovak nations against the background of national oppression, an upsurge in the national movement, resistance to forcible germanization and magyarization, and efforts to develop the native language, literature, science, and art. In Czechoslovak historiography the period of the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries is known as the National Renaissance, and the Czech and Slovak intellectuals who played a decisive role in fostering national consciousness and creating a national culture are called the awakeners. The idea of Slavic brotherhood expounded by J. Kollár played an important role in the Czech and Slovak national movement.

In the 1830’s and 1840’s the national movement began assuming a political character and attracting the popular masses. Learned and educational societies were founded, among them the Matice Česká (1831). The Czech national movement split into the radical democrats, whose spokesman was K. Sabina, and the national liberals, headed by F. L. Rieger and F. Palacký, whose national political program rested on the concept of Austro-Slavism. The ideology of the nascent Slovak bourgeoisie was essentially formulated by L. Štúr and J. Král, who headed the national movement in the 1830’s and 1840’s. Radical democratic and revolutionary sentiments became stronger in the Slovak national movement in the 1840’s.

Premonopoly capitalism (until the end of the 19th century). The intensity and complexity of the class and national antagonisms in the Czech lands and Slovakia made them an arena of revolutionary events in 1848–49, which were an integral part of the Revolution of 1848–49 in the Austrian Empire. The revolutionary democratic movement in the Czech lands culminated in the Prague uprising of 1848. The leaders of the Czech liberal bourgeoisie, which was frightened by the sweep of the democratic movement, leaned increasingly toward cooperation with the Hapsburgs. Concurrently, the radicals’ attempt to incite an anti-Hapsburg uprising in May 1849 failed. In Slovakia, the revolutionary movement was closely tied to the Revolution of 1848–49 in Hungary. On May 10, 1848, the programmatic Demands of the Slovak People were adopted in Liptovský Mikuláš. Rejecting these demands, the noble-dominated government of revolutionary Hungary gave the Hapsburgs an opportunity to use the Slovaks in the struggle against the revolutionary forces in Hungary.

After quelling the revolutionary movement in 1849, the Hapsburgs nullified most of the gains won during the revolution in the Czech lands and Slovakia. They did not, however, rescind the Patent of Sept. 7, 1848, liberating the Czech peasants from feudal dependence and abolishing the corvée in return for redemption payments, and by the Patent of Mar. 2, 1853, they confirmed the abolition of personal dependence and the corvée (for part of the peasantry) in Slovakia. These measures opened the way for a freer development of capitalist relations. By the end of the 1860’s the industrial revolution had transformed most of the industries in the Czech lands, now the most highly industrialized part of the Hapsburg monarchy. Small-scale production continued to prevail in Slovakia, which owing to historical circumstances lagged far behind the Czech lands economically.

The development of capitalist industry in the Czech lands and Slovakia was at this time almost exclusively financed by German-Austrian and Hungarian capital. Czech and Slovak capital investments were confined to industries processing agricultural raw materials and, in the Czech lands, also to enterprises manufacturing food-processing or farm machinery. The Czech Živnostenská Bank, founded in 1869, played a major role in the consolidation of Czech national capital. The trend toward concentration of production and the centralization of capital intensified in the Czech lands shortly after the economic crisis of 1873; in Slovakia this process did not begin until the 1890’s. The formation of the basic classes of capitalist society—a national bourgeoisie and a proletariat—was completed in the latter half of the 19th century.

The Czech bourgeois National Party, founded around 1860, called for the reorganization of the Hapsburg monarchy along federal lines and broad autonomy for the Czech lands. The Slovak national movement also gained momentum in the early 1860’s. The Martin Declaration, drawn up at a national congress convened in Turčianský Sv. Martin in 1861, demanded autonomy for Slovakia, and the Matica Slovenská, a cultural and educational society, was founded in 1863.

When the Hapsburg Empire was transformed into the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary by the Austro-Hungarian agreement of 1867, the Czech lands became part of Cisleithania, ruled by Austria, and Slovakia was included in Transleithania, governed by Hungary. The establishment of the dual monarchy wrecked the political plans of the Czech bourgeoisie, which had hoped to see the Austrian Empire transformed into a federal state. Dual rule meant that the dominant position of the Hungarian and German-Austrian nationalities would be strengthened at the expense of the Slavic peoples.

In the late 1860’s and early 1870’s the Czech national movement, headed by the Czech bourgeoisie, began attracting the masses and assumed a general democratic character. People’s rallies (tábory) were held demanding political independence, national equality, and universal franchise. In 1874 the Czech National Party split into the conservative Old Czechs and the left-wing Young Czechs. A division into conservatives and liberals also took place in the national movement of Slovakia, where magyarization was stepped up after 1868.

Socialist ideas spread through the Czech lands from the late 1860’s, largely through the efforts of J. B. Pecka, L. Zápotocký, and J. Hybeš. The development of class consciousness among the Czech and Slovak workers was influenced by the strike movement, notably the Svárov Strike of 1870 and the strikes of the early 1870’s in Banská Štiavnica. The Czechoslovak Social Democratic Labor Party was founded in 1878 as a member of the Social Democratic Party of Austria, becoming a separate party in 1893. The workers of the Czech lands and Slovakia participated in the May Day celebrations of 1890, and in 1893 they joined the working class of the other peoples of Austria-Hungary in agitating for universal franchise. Trade union organizations were founded in the Czech lands and Slovakia in the 1890’s.

Several Czech political parties emerged in the late 19th century to promote the interests of various groups of the national bourgeoisie; the most influential of them was the Czech Progressive Party, whose founder and ideologist was T. G. Masaryk. In the early 20th century the Slovak national movement also separated into several currents: conservative, liberal (V. Šrobár), clerical (A. Hlinka), and agrarian (M. Hodža). From the late 1880’s the leaders of the Czech and Slovak national movements showed an increasing desire to join forces in the struggle for the democratization of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy and for the solution of the national problem. In advocating the national liberation of their people, Slovak liberals urged close Czech-Slovak cooperation.

Monopoly capitalism (until 1918). The economic crisis of 1900–03 intensified the concentration and centralization of industrial production and capital in the Czech lands and Slovakia, a trend that had begun in the late 19th century: by 1913 the Czech lands accounted for 60 percent of the industrial output of the empire. The importance of Czech national investment capital increased: from 1900 to 1913 the proportion of the empire’s capital that was controlled by Czech banks rose from 7.9 percent to 13.3 percent. Czech capital was exported to the Balkans and to Russia. In both the Czech lands and Slovakia there were large farms organized on a capitalist basis. The exploitation of the working people, national oppression, and the denial of political rights caused a powerful upsurge in the labor and general democratic movement. Under the impact of the Revolution of 1905–07 in Russia a mass campaign for universal suffrage unfolded in the Czech lands and Slovakia. The government was obliged to carry out an electoral reform, instituted in the Czech lands in 1907 and in Slovakia in 1912. The Czech and Slovak labor movement was adversely affected by Austro-Marxism and lacked unity.

During World War I intensified exploitation and national oppression, political terror, and a rapidly deteriorating economic situation caused a spontaneous upwelling of indignation among the working people in the Czech lands and Slovakia. Antigovern-ment demonstrations assumed a mass character, and Czech and Slovak soldiers and officers deserted or surrendered in droves. (In late 1916 there were more than 250,000 Czech and Slovak prisoners in Russia alone.) The Austrian government had the support of most of the Czech political parties, which in the fall of 1916 united to form the Czech Federation, a coalition of Reichsrat deputies from nine Czech parties, including the Czechoslovak Social Democratic Labor Party. At the same time, the pro-Austrian National Committee was formed in Prague by representatives of seven political parties. The policy of the Hungarian government received the wholehearted support of the Slovak bourgeois parties, especially the clericalists.

Nevertheless, pro-Entente sentiments became stronger among Czech and Slovak political circles during the war, with some pro-Entente groups, notably the Young Czechs and National Socialists, leaning toward tsarist Russia and others, mainly the political groupings of the Czech liberal bourgeoisie and intelligentsia, gravitating toward Great Britain and France; Some political activists among the Slovak bourgeoisie, notably Šrobár and Hodža, also shared the views of the pro-Entente politicians. Meanwhile, the émigré leaders of the Czech (Masaryk, E. Beneš) and Slovak (M. Štefánik) bourgeoisie founded a political center in Paris called the Czechoslovak National Council, opened negotiations with the Entente powers aimed at winning recognition for an independent Czechoslovak state after the war, and began organizing Czechoslovak military units in Russia, France, and Italy to fight on the side of the Entente. The revolutionary, antiwar, and national liberation movement in the Czech lands and Slovakia escalated under the impact of the February Bourgeois Democratic Revolution of 1917 in Russia. The liberation movement in the Czech lands and Slovakia assumed mass proportions in the summer and fall of 1917.

Formation of the bourgeois Czechoslovak republic (1918). The Great October Socialist Revolution gave a powerful stimulus to the liberation struggle of the Czech and Slovak peoples. In late 1917 and early 1918 all of Austria-Hungary was engulfed by a wave of rallies, demonstrations, and strikes expressing solidarity with the proletarian revolution in Russia. In January 1918 a general strike broke out in the Hapsburg Empire, including the Czech lands and Slovakia. The working people called for peace on the basis of the Soviet proposals, national self-determination, the democratization of public life, and improved food supplies. In February sailors stationed on the Gulf of Kotor rebelled. Mass desertions at the front and numerous spontaneous soldiers’ revolts in the rear throughout the spring and summer of 1918 attested to the rapid disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian army.

In the face of a mounting revolutionary crisis, the National Committee in Prague was reorganized in July 1918. Headed by K. Kramář, the leader of the National Democrats, the committee now included representatives of all the Czech political parties, who announced their intention of working for the establishment of a sovereign Czechoslovak state. The escalation of the liberation movement in the country and the failure of the Entente powers to negotiate a separate peace with the Hapsburgs impelled these powers and the USA to recognize the Czechoslovak National Council in Paris as the basis of a future government. The diplomatic position of the bourgeois émigrés was strengthened by the outbreak, on May 25, 1918, of an anti-Soviet mutiny in the Czechoslovak army corps that had been formed in Russia during the war.

In September 1918 the Socialist Council was set up in Prague to coordinate the actions of the Czechoslovak Social Democratic Labor Party and the Czech Socialist Party. On the council’s initiative a general strike was held on October 14; in a number of cities demonstrators called for the creation of an independent Czechoslovak republic. Confronted with the military defeat and imminent collapse of Austria-Hungary, the National Committee proclaimed the establishment of an independent Czechoslovak state on Oct. 28, 1918. Two days later the Slovak National Council, meeting in Turčiansky Sv. Martin, adopted a declaration demanding the creation of a unified state of Czechs and Slovaks.

From November 1918 to March 1939. On Nov. 14, 1918, the Provisional National Assembly confirmed the Hapsburg dynasty’s loss of all rights to the Czech lands and proclaimed Czechoslovakia a republic. Masaryk was elected president, and Kramáf headed the first coalition government. The borders of Czechoslovakia were established by the Versailles (1919), St. Germain (1919), and Trianon (1920) treaties between the victorious powers and Germany, Austria, and Hungary. The Transcarpathian Ukraine was included in Czechoslovakia despite the resolution on unification with the Soviet Ukraine that was adopted by the People’s Congress in Khust in January 1919. The Těšín district, claimed by both Czechoslovakia and Poland, was divided between them by a decision of the Conference of Ambassadors of the great powers in the summer of 1920.

Czechoslovakia emerged as a multinational state, with Germans, Hungarians, Ukrainians, Poles, and other nationalities constituting about one-third of its population. It encompassed 22 percent of the territory, 26 percent of the population, and more than 70 percent of the industry of former Austria-Hungary. Its heavy reliance on foreign markets and raw materials was to make its economy unstable.

The first postwar years saw the rapid growth and strengthening of Czech finance capital. The large Czech banks that profited from the war—the Živnostenská, Prague Credit, and Agrarian banks—became the nuclei of powerful concerns that controlled dozens of joint-stock companies in industry, agriculture, trade, and money circulation. Relying on their representatives in the state apparatus and on the support of the Entente powers, the Czech monopolies gradually squeezed out Austrian, German, and Hungarian capital and strengthened their position in the economy of Slovakia and the Transcarpathian Ukraine, turning them into an agricultural raw-material appendage of the industrially developed Czech lands and a source of cheap labor. At the same time, large amounts of foreign capital, mainly French, British, and American, began flowing into the Czechoslovak economy. By the late 1920’s foreign capital accounted for 20 percent of all the capital invested in the Czechoslovak national economy.

As many as 50 different parties and associations functioned in Czechoslovakia in the interwar years. The interests of big Czech industrial and banking capital were most openly championed by the Czechoslovak National Democratic Party. The largest bourgeois party in the country was the Agrarian Party, founded in 1899 and renamed the Republican Party of the Farming and Small Peasant Population in 1922. Initially representing the Czech rural bourgeoisie, which was able to influence a considerable part of the peasantry, the Agrarian Party became the chief party of Czechoslovak finance capital. The Czechoslovak Socialist Party, founded in 1897 as the Czech National Socialist Party, drew its support from the urban petite bourgeoisie, part of the intelligentsia, and some nationalistic workers. After merging with most of the Slovak Social Democrats in December 1918, the Czechoslovak Social Democratic Labor Party became the country’s most broadly based political party.

The constitution adopted by the Provisional National Assembly in February 1920 gave legal form to the country’s bourgeois-democratic republican system. Behind the rapid succession of coalition governments (20 cabinets were formed prior to March 1939), the affairs of state were directed by a group of leaders of the bourgeois and reformist parties, called the “five” until 1925 and the “eight” thereafter. From 1922 most of the Czechoslovak governments were headed by Agrarians.

In the first years of the bourgeois republic the ruling circles were obliged to carry out several social and political reforms. The nobility lost its political privileges, legislation was enacted providing for an eight-hour workday, state unemployment compensation was introduced, and medical insurance was made available to more people. In April 1919 a law was passed establishing the principles of agrarian reform, and in the first half of 1920 laws were enacted that determined the procedure for the expropriation, with compensation, and redistribution of landed property, belonging for the most part to German and Hungarian nobles. These limited reforms could not satisfy the working people. From early 1919 the country was gripped by a spreading mass movement protesting against high prices and speculation and demanding the nationalization of industry and a thorough democratic agrarian reform.

In April 1919 Czechoslovak troops took part in the Entente-organized armed intervention against the Hungarian Soviet Republic, established earlier that year. The Hungarian Red Army stopped the interventionists, passed to the offensive, and, supported by local working people, entered eastern Slovakia. On June 16, 1919, the Slovak Soviet Republic was proclaimed in Presov. The republic lasted only until early July, when troops of the Czechoslovak bourgeois government occupied Slovakia.

The municipal elections of June 1919 and the parliamentary elections of April 1920 clearly demonstrated the radicalization of the working people and the general discontent with the policy of the ruling circles. The Social Democrats and Socialists received almost half of all the votes cast, and the right-wing Social Democrat V. Tusar was chosen to head the new coalition government. A left opposition crystallized within the Czechoslovak Social Democratic Labor Party (CSDLP) in the second half of 1919; it insisted that the party eschew coalitions with the bourgeoisie and pursue an independent policy serving the working class. In December 1919 the revolutionary wing of the CSDLP organized itself as the Marxist Left, headed by B. Šmeral, J. Hybeš, and A. Zápotocký. Elections of delegates to the next regular party congress, held in the summer of 1920, gave an absolute majority to the Marxist Left. The Thirteenth Party Congress, duly convened in September, endorsed the formation of the CSDLP (Left). The party’s right-wing leaders refused to accept the decisions of the congress. On December 9 the police seized the building occupied by the Executive Committee of the Marxist Left and sealed off the printing plant of the newspaper Rudé právo, thereby sparking a political strike (seeDECEMBER POLITICAL STRIKE OF 1920). The December events hastened the formation of a Communist Party. A congress of the CSDLP (Left) held in Prague on May 14–16, 1921, voted to assume the name “Communist” and to join the Comintern. The Unification Congress (Oct. 30-Nov. 4, 1921) completed the formation of the united Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.

In their foreign policy in the 1920’s the Czechoslovak ruling circles aimed at consolidating the country’s position within the Versailles system and looked to France as the chief guarantor of this system. The Little Entente, a military and political alliance between Czechoslovakia, Rumania, and Yugoslavia, was formed under the aegis of France in 1920–21. A Franco-Czechoslovak military and political treaty was concluded in 1924. After the collapse of the anti-Soviet armed intervention in 1918–20 and the failure of the capitalist countries to impose their will on Soviet Russia at the Genoa Conference of 1922, Czechoslovakia signed the Provisional Treaty with the RSFSR (Prague, June 5, 1922) and another treaty with the Ukrainian SSR (June 6). These treaties provided for mutual de facto recognition and for the establishment of trade and economic relations. Continuing, however, to support the anti-Soviet policy of the Western powers, Czechoslovakia participated in the Locarno Conference in 1925 and signed the Locarno Treaties, which greatly complicated its foreign policy without guaranteeing the security of its borders.

With the exception of a few brief recessions, such as the industrial slowdown of 1926, industrial and agricultural production increased steadily between 1924 and 1929, when the general indexes exceeded prewar levels. With the partial stabilization of capitalism, opportunist elements became more aggressive in the labor movement. In February 1929 the Fifth Congress of the Communist Party removed from the leadership the right-opportunist group that had formed around V. Bolen and B. Jilek and elected a new Central Committee headed by K. Gottwald.

The first symptoms of a world economic crisis were felt in Czechoslovakia as early as 1929. By the time the crisis reached its height in the spring of 1933, industrial output had dropped by more than one-third from the 1929 level. According to official statistics, unemployment reached 920,000 in late February 1933. The Communist Party headed the working people’s struggle against the attempts of the bourgeoisie to resolve the crisis at their expense. The Communists led strikes and mass protests of the unemployed. The 1932 Most Strike in the North Bohemian Coal Basin, a political event of European significance, forced the employers and the government to satisfy some of the miners’ demands. The economic depression intensified the conflicts among and within the various groups of Czechoslovak finance capital and between the bourgeoisie of the country’s different nationalities.

The fascist victory in Germany complicated Czechoslovakia’s international and domestic political situation. Czech fascist organizations that had arisen in the mid-1920’s stepped up their activity. Fascist separatist elements gained the upper hand in the Slovak People’s Party, which had been founded in 1918. The Sudeten German Party, founded in October 1933 by K. Henlein, became Hitler’s tool. The threat of aggression by fascist Germany, the growing international prestige of the USSR, and the pressure of the popular masses obliged the Czechoslovak government to extend de jure recognition to the USSR in June 1934, and after the signing of the Franco-Soviet mutual assistance treaty, to conclude a similar treaty with the USSR in May 1935. Guided by the decisions of the Seventh Congress of the Comintern, the Communist Party proposed the formation of a united popular front to combat the mounting reaction and threat to national independence. The profascist forces were defeated in the parliamentary elections of May 1935, although Henlein’s followers managed to poll two-thirds of the German votes. Neither did the extreme reactionaries succeed in electing their candidate in the presidential elections of December 1935, won by E. Beneš.

Nevertheless, the sabotage of the reformists and Agrarians prevented the formation of a united antifascist front. The ruling circles of Czechoslovakia followed the French and British policy of appeasing the aggressor. At a congress held in Karlovy Vary in April 1938, Henlein’s supporters demanded autonomy for the Sudetenland. The next month German and Polish troops began massing along Czechoslovakia’s borders. The Czechoslovak government announced a partial mobilization, but under the pressure from Lord Runciman’s “unofficial” British mission, which arrived in Prague in July, it yielded to almost all the Karlovy Vary demands. Despite the concessions, Henlein’s followers, acting on direct orders from Berlin, demanded the immediate unification of the Sudetenland with Germany. On September 12 they staged an armed putsch.

On September 21 the government of the Agrarian Hodză accepted, with the consent of President Beneš, the Anglo-French ultimatum to cede the border regions of Czechoslovakia to Germany. The next day the Communist Party initiated a general political strike. When the Hodža government resigned in favor of a new cabinet formed by General J. Syrový, Beneš assured Great Britain and France that the change of government did not mean a refusal to accept their demands. The ruling circles of Czechoslovakia rejected the military assistance that the Soviet government was ready to give under the Soviet-Czechoslovak treaty of 1935 even if France should refuse to aid Czechoslovakia. On September 29 the governments of Great Britain and France concluded the Munich Pact with Germany and Italy on the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia (seeMUNICH PACT OF 1938). In early October 1938 fascist Germany occupied the Sudentenland. On October 2 bourgeois-landlord Poland seized the Téáín district, and on November 2, in accordance with the Vienna Arbitration, Horthy’s Hungary appropriated the southern regions of Slovakia and of the Transcarpathian Ukraine. As a result, Czechoslovakia lost one-third of its territory and population, more than 40 percent of its industry, and a considerable part of its raw-material resources.

Czechoslovakia found itself completely dependent on fascist Germany, both politically and economically. The Communist Party was outlawed, first in Slovakia, where an autonomous government was formed by J. Tiso, the leader of the separatists, and later in the Czech lands. On March 14, 1939, the Slovak separatists, acting in concert with Berlin, proclaimed the formation of an “independent Slovak state.” The next day German troops occupied the Czech lands, which on Hitler’s orders were transformed into the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. The Transcarpathian Ukraine was seized by Horthy’s Hungary. The Soviet government alone refused to recognize the destruction of Czechoslovakia, branding Germany’s actions as a lawless act of aggression.

Fascist German rule; the struggle of the peoples of Czechoslovakia against Nazi oppression (from March 1939 to May 1945). A brutal occupation regime was established in the Protectorate. The economy was subordinated to German monopolies and placed at the service of the Nazis’ militarist plans. After signing treaties with Germany in 1939–40 establishing a military and political alliance and pledging economic cooperation, the Slovak puppet government drew Slovakia into the war on the side of the fascist axis. The reactionary circles among the Czech bourgeoisie embarked on open collaboration with the occupation forces. Some of the bourgeois political leaders, headed by Beneš, emigrated to the West. In 1939 they formed in Paris the Czechoslovak National Committee, which became the basis of a provisional government formed in London the following year. The Communist Party headed the resistance to the aggressors and their confederates. The activity of the underground Communist organizations (the Communist Party of Slovakia was constituted as a separate entity in the spring of 1939) was directed by the Moscow-based united party center, headed by Gottwald. At first the resistance to the occupation forces generally took the form of strikes, demonstrations, and acts of sabotage.

After the USSR entered the war with fascist Germany, it was the first power in the anti-Hitler coalition to recognize the Czechoslovak government in London. On July 18, 1941, the USSR and the provisional government signed an agreement on military cooperation that provided for the restoration of Czechoslovakia within the pre-Munich borders. Meanwhile, in the USSR a Czechoslovak military unit was being formed under the command of L. Svoboda that would subsequently grow into the First Czechoslovak Army Corps. The first partisan detachments were organized in Czechoslovakia in the summer of 1942. A Soviet-Czechoslovak treaty on friendship, mutual assistance, and postwar cooperation was signed in Moscow on Dec. 12, 1943.

The Moscow treaty and the Soviet Army’s advance toward the borders of Czechoslovakia gave impetus to the national liberation movement. A national uprising broke out in Slovakia on Aug. 29, 1944 (seeSLOVAK NATIONAL UPRISING OF 1944). In the liberated areas power passed to the Slovak National Council, which had been founded in 1943 on the initiative of the Communists and which included three members of the Central Committee of the Slovak Communist Party—K. Schmidke, G. Husák, and L. Novomeský. To aid the rebels, the Soviet command changed its original plans and launched an offensive near the passes across the Carpathians, capturing Dukla Pass on October 6 after heavy fighting. Nevertheless, the center of the uprising, the town of Banská Bystrica, fell on October 27 under the onslaught of superior Nazi forces. The rebels retreated into the mountains, where they continued the struggle.

The Slovak uprising marked the beginning of the national democratic revolution in Czechoslovakia. Meeting in Moscow in March 1945, representatives of the London exiles, the Slovak National Council, and the leadership of the Czechoslovak Communist Party agreed to form the National Front of Czechs and Slovaks and worked out its program. In early April a National Front government was formed in Košice and its program was announced to the country (seeKOŠICE PROGRAM). Supported by partisans, armed insurrections against the occupation forces broke out in several Czech cities in May. Prague rebelled on May 5 (seePEOPLE’S UPRISING OF 1945). Soviet troops came to the aid of the insurgents, and, entering Prague on May 9, completed the liberation of Czechoslovakia.

Establishment of a people’s democratic system; the national democratic revolution develops into a socialist revolution (from May 1945 to February 1948). After the liberation of Czechoslovakia from the fascist German aggressors, the independent state of Czechs and Slovaks was resurrected on a new, democratic basis. The national democratic revolution that unfolded in the country led to the establishment of a people’s democratic system, based on the National Front, which derived its strength from the alliance of workers and peasants. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and the Communist Party of Slovakia held leading positions in the National Front. Although all the parties that joined the National Front pledged to fulfill the joint government program and to build a people’s democratic republic, the National Socialists, the Czechoslovak People’s Party, and the Slovak Democratic Party tried from the very beginning to slow down the revolutionary process and gradually to restore the regime that had existed in the pre-Munich bourgeois republic. The Communists alone consistently struggled for revolutionary changes in political and economic life.

Relying on the working class and the working peasantry and overcoming the resistance of the bourgeoisie, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia launched a campaign to turn the national democratic revolution into a socialist revolution. The national committees (local governing bodies), working jointly with factory councils, began taking over the management of enterprises belonging to the occupation forces or to persons who had cooperated with them and set about purging the state machinery of traitors and collaborators. The presidential decree of June 21, 1945, opened the first phase in the implementation of the agrarian reform. The land and other property belonging to German and some Hungarian landlords or to traitors was confiscated.

On Oct. 24, 1945, decrees were issued nationalizing key industries and all banks and private insurance companies. By the end of 1946 the state had taken over about 3,000 major industrial enterprises, including all mines, almost all the metallurgical works and power plants, and three-fourths of the chemical and metal-working enterprises. The nationalization of key industries and the banks heralded the formation of a socialist sector in the national economy. The Eighth Congress of the CPC (March 1946) summed up the social changes and set forth the tasks of further strengthening the people’s democratic system. The congress demonstrated that the Communist Party had become the strongest political party in the country.

In the May 1946 elections to the Constituent National Assembly and to the national committees, the Communist Party polled more votes than any other political party. For the first time in Czechoslovak history the government was headed by a Communist, the party chairman K. Gottwald. The program adopted by the new government provided for further democratic changes, the drafting of a new constitution, and the drawing up of a plan for the restoration and development of the national economy in 1947–48. In accordance with the program, the government initiated the second phase of the agrarian reform: arable land in excess of 150 hectares (ha) or total landed property exceeding 250 ha was expropriated. By the middle of 1947, some 2,946,000 ha of agricultural land and forests had been confiscated, most of it in the border regions. A large part of the agricultural land was given to farmhands, small peasants, and peasants with large families.

At the end of 1947 economic difficulties, aggravated by a drought, and the bourgeoisie’s resistance to revolutionary changes exacerbated the class struggle in the country. The bourgeois parties opposed the measures proposed by the Communist Party for improving the food situation in the country, measures that included raising the wholesale prices of farm products and levying an emergency tax on millionaires.

In February 1948 the reactionary bourgeoisie, which was losing one position after another, tried, with the support of Western imperialist circles, to stage a counterrevolutionary coup and to restore the capitalist system in the country. The ministers representing the bourgeois parties resigned in the hope of provoking a government crisis and forming a new government without Communists. The Communist Party appealed to the popular masses to defend the people’s democratic system and its revolutionary gains (seeFEBRUARY EVENTS OF 1948). On Feb. 24, 1948, a one-hour general strike was held to protest the machinations of the reactionary forces. By this time power in the country was in fact already wielded by the working class. The antipopular plot of the Czechoslovak bourgeoisie and international imperialism was foiled. The next day, President E. Beneš was obliged to accept the resignation of the reactionary ministers and to replace them with people proposed by Gottwald. The crisis was resolved by peaceful means. The February victory of the working class concentrated all power in the hands of the working class. The national democratic revolution had indeed developed into a socialist revolution. With the victory of the socialist revolution, the people’s democratic system assumed the functions of a dictatorship of the proletariat.

Building socialism. The establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat and the activity of the new Gottwald government made it possible to continue implementing revolutionary reforms and to begin building socialism. In March 1948 the National Assembly enacted a new land reform law that limited private land-holdings to 50 ha of farmland. More than 4 million ha of farmland and forests had been redistributed since 1945; of this area more than 2 million ha of farmland were transferred to small peasants, and about 800,000 ha of land went to state farms, laying the basis for a socialist sector in agriculture.

The second stage of the nationalization of industry was completed in April 1948, when the state took over all enterprises employing more than 50 workers and, in some industries, all the enterprises. Large commercial firms and stores were also nationalized, and a state monopoly on foreign trade was established. These reforms produced radical changes in the socioeconomic structure of society and eliminated the main exploiting classes—the big industrial, banking, trade, and rural bourgeoisie. The alliance of the working class and the peasantry was strengthened.

The new constitution adopted on May 9, 1948, proclaimed Czechoslovakia a people’s democratic republic of Czechs and Slovaks and made socialism the goal of the country’s development. In the May 30, 1948, elections to the National Assembly the National Front candidates polled 89.3 percent of the votes.

After the resignation of Beneš in June 1948, Gottwald was elected president of the republic, and A. Zápotocký was chosen to head the new government (cabinet). The non-Communist National Front parties—the Czechoslovak Socialist Party, the Czechoslovak People’s Party, the Slovak Reconstruction Party, and the Slovak Freedom Party—purged their ranks of reactionary elements and accepted the Communist Party’s policy of building socialism. The guiding role of the Communist Party was considerably bolstered. In June 1948 the Social Democratic Party merged with the Communist Party on a Marxist-Leninist basis. At the party’s Ninth Congress, held in May 1949, the building of socialism was adopted as the party’s general line. The primary objective of the first five-year plan (1949–53) was to lay the foundation for a socialist economy. The plan emphasized the development of heavy industry, especially machine building, called for the gradual formation of agricultural cooperatives, and aimed at raising the living standard of the working people. Special attention was given to overcoming the economic backwardness of Slovakia through industrialization. The country’s cities and villages embarked on a massive program of building socialism.

After Gottwald’s death in March 1953, Zápotocký was elected president. A. Novotný, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party from September 1953, succeeded to the presidency after Zápotocký’s death in November 1957. The office was held by L. Svoboda from March 1968 to May 1975.

The Tenth Congress of the Communist Party (1954) affirmed that the first five-year plan had laid a firm foundation for a socialist society. The socialist sector, which included the unified agricultural cooperatives, now dominated the country’s economy, accounting for 92 percent of the national product. The gross industrial output increased by 93 percent during the five-year plan, reaching a level more than double the 1937 output. Machine building became the leading industry, its output increasing by a factor of 3.3 over the five years. Industrial growth was especially rapid in Slovakia. At the same time, there were disproportions in the development of individual branches of the national economy, and agriculture lagged behind the growing demands of industry and the population.

The second five-year economic development plan (1956–60), adopted in 1956, aimed to complete the building of the material production base of socialism, promote a more even development of the national economy, revive the lagging fuel, energy, and mining industries, and ensure the preponderance of the socialist sector in agriculture. The party’s Eleventh Congress (June 1958), noting the successes in building the foundation of socialism, set the concrete tasks of the second five-year plan: the more rapid development of production, the improvement of socialist democracy, and the strengthening of the moral and political unity of the people on the basis of Marxist-Leninist principles.

During the second five-year plan the industrial output increased by 66 percent, rising to four times the prewar level (1937). The national income increased by a factor of 2.5 between 1948 and 1960. The socialist sector now owned 87.4 percent of the farmland, and the organization of farmers into cooperatives was virtually completed. Nevertheless, in terms of the growth of production, agriculture lagged behind industry. The successes of socialist construction quickly raised the living standard of the people. A national conference of the Communist Party, held on July 5–7, 1960, confirmed the victory of socialist production relations in the country. Several days later, on July 11, the National Assembly adopted a new constitution under which the country was renamed the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (CSSR). The constitution proclaimed the CSSR a socialist state based on a firm alliance, headed by the working class, of the peasantry, the working class, and the intelligentsia.

Economic development slowed during the third five-year plan (1961–65), chiefly owing to an exhaustion of the means of production expansion, but also because of shortcomings in the management of the national economy and a weakening of centralized control. The Twelfth Congress of the Communist Party (December 1962) stated that the objectives of further economic development were to improve planning, correct the imbalance between the development levels of industry and agriculture, and establish an equilibrium between output and consumption.

In the years of socialist construction the working people of Czechoslovakia, led by the Communist Party, achieved notable successes in economic, scientific, and cultural development and in raising the living standard of the population. Nevertheless, the road to socialism was strewn with obstacles and difficulties, and some mistakes were made. The level of development of society and the degree of its moral and political unity were overestimated; Marxist-Leninist principles were inconsistently applied in the life of the party and society; and a subjectivist approach was taken to the solution of several important problems. Not enough attention was given to the ideological work of the party. The struggle against bourgeois ideology and petit bourgeois views was relaxed, permitting the spread of revisionist trends in the party. At the same time, the pressure of bourgeois propaganda intensified, and foreign imperialist forces stepped up their subversive activity. The party’s Thirteenth Congress (May–June 1966) proposed ways to overcome the difficulties. However, neither party nor government leaders took the necessary steps to implement the decisions of the congress and to eliminate shortcomings and errors, a lapse that led to a crisis in the party and in society.

The January 1968 Plenum of the party’s Central Committee set three basic tasks: eliminating from the activity of the party or its leadership anything that hindered the further development of the socialist society, strengthening the alliance between Czechs and Slovaks through a consistent implementation of the Marxist-Leninist nationality policy, and solving pressing economic problems. But right-wing opportunists gained the upper hand in the party leadership elected at the plenum; A. Dubček was elected first secretary of the Central Committee. The new leadership was incapable of carrying out the tasks set by the Thirteenth Congress and the January Plenum, and its actions contributed to a large-scale offensive by right-opportunist and antisocialist forces against the party’s policy and the socialist system. Under cover of demagogic slogans calling for the “democratization” of society and the creation of a “new model” of socialism, the right-opportunist and antisocialist forces launched virulent attacks on socialism, seeking to abolish the leading role of the working class and its vanguard, the Communist Party, to dismantle the agencies of socialist power, and to break Czechoslovakia’s alliance with the USSR and the other socialist countries. Supported by Western imperialist circles, the newly formed political coalition of right-opportunist and antisocialist forces began making extensive preparations for a counterrevolutionary coup aimed at restoring the bourgeois system.

By August 1968 a critical counterrevolutionary situation had developed in Czechoslovakia, and the country was on the brink of civil war. Under these circumstances, thousands of Communists and nonparty citizens, many members of the Central Committees of the Czechoslovak and Slovak Communist Parties, members of the cabinet, and deputies to the National Assembly, realizing that the imminent counterrevolution could no longer be averted with internal forces, asked the governments of the socialist countries and the leading bodies of the fraternal parties to extend international aid to the Czechoslovak people in the defense of socialism. Such assistance was rendered in August 1968 by the allied socialist countries: the USSR, the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, the Hungarian People’s Republic, the German Democratic Republic, and the Polish People’s Republic. With international support, the Marxist-Leninist forces within the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia assailed the antisocialist elements, opportunists, and revisionists and mobilized the working class and all the working people for the defense of the socialist achievements.

A turnaround in both the party and the country occurred after the April 1969 Plenum of the party’s Central Committee, which elected a new party leadership headed by G. Husák. The May 1969 Plenum of the Central Committee adopted a program of consolidation designed to deal with the consequences of the crisis. Work began on rallying the party around the principles of Marxism-Leninism and on purging it of opportunists and careerists through an exchange of party membership cards, completed in 1970. Measures were taken to strengthen government and administrative bodies, to reinforce state planning and economic management, to stabilize the economy, and to regain the trust of and reestablish fraternal ties with the CPSU and the communist parties of the other socialist countries. It was thus possible to normalize the situation in the country and strengthen the party’s authority, enabling the working people of Czechoslovakia to continue their constructive labor.

On May 6, 1970, the CSSR and the Soviet Union signed a new treaty of friendship, cooperation, and mutual aid that still further expanded and deepened the fraternal relations between the two countries. The December 1970 Plenum of the party’s Central Committee adopted the document Lessons Drawn From the Crisis Development in the Party and Society After the Thirteenth Congress of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, giving an in-depth Marxist-Leninist analysis of the recent events and showing how the threat of a counterrevolutionary coup had arisen and how it had been eliminated. In particular, the document noted that the international aid of the fraternal socialist countries had been timely, necessary, and the only correct solution.

In assessing this complex period in the history of the party and the country, the Fourteenth Congress (May 1971) affirmed that the task of restoring the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia as a Marxist-Leninist party had been carried out and that the party was now able to resume its historical role as the leading force in society. The congress also stated that the socialist principles of economic, scientific, and cultural development had been reestablished. The Fourteenth Congress has been called the congress of victory over the enemies of socialism in Czechoslovakia and the congress of the triumph of socialism and proletarian internationalism. But the congress also pointed out that opportunism and revisionism continued to present the main danger and called for an uncomprising struggle against them. The congress ratified the directives for the fifth five-year economic plan (1971–75), which gave priority to raising the efficiency of the national economy through a maximum utilization of intensive growth factors and to meeting the growing needs of the people. The decisions of the congress opened the way for the further comprehensive building of a socialist society in Czechoslovakia.

In the national and local elections held in November 1971 the voter turnout was 99.45 percent. National Front candidates to the House of the People polled 99.81 percent, and those to the House of Nations received 99.77 percent of the votes cast. Hu-sák, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and chairman of the Central Committee of the National Front, was elected president of the CSSR in May 1975. The Fifteenth Congress of the Communist Party (April 1976) was an important event in the life of Czechoslovakia. Summing up the results of socialist construction, the congress noted that from the standpoint of economic and social development the preceding five years had been one of the most successful periods in the history of socialist construction in Czechoslovakia. The congress set a task of programmatic significance—the building of a fully developed socialist society in Czechoslovakia—and established the main economic and social objectives for the next five years. It emphasized the need to develop the state and improve the political system, to invigorate party work, and to strengthen the leading role of the party. The congress demonstrated the fidelity of the Czechoslovak Communists and working people to the ideas of proletarian internationalism.

Czechoslovakia has concluded treaties of friendship and mutual assistance with most of the socialist countries, including Poland (1947, 1967), Bulgaria (1948, 1968), Rumania (1948, 1968), Hungary (1949, 1968), the Mongolian People’s Republic (1957, 1973), the People’s Republic of China (1957), and the German Democratic Republic (1967, 1977). It has been a member of the Warsaw Treaty Organization since 1955. A founding member of COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance), Czechoslovakia is carrying out the organization’s joint program of socialist economic integration. The Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia’s principal trading partner, is also rendering technical assistance in the construction of several industrial enterprises, nuclear power plants, and the Prague subway. Czechoslovakia in turn is helping to build many industrial enterprises in the USSR. The coordination of national economic plans is an important factor in the economic cooperation between the two countries, which are also rapidly expanding their scientific and technical cooperation and cultural ties.

Czechoslovakia’s strength as a socialist state has enhanced its prestige in the international arena. A founding member of the UN, Czechoslovakia has cosponsored many proposals of the socialist countries aimed at relaxing international tension and strengthening peace. Having contributed to the preparation and successful conclusion of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1975), Czechoslovakia is working with the other socialist countries to implement the conference’s decisions.

Czechoslovakia’s relations with the capitalist countries rest on the principles of peaceful coexistence and mutually advantageous cooperation. In 1973 it concluded a treaty establishing diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany. The treaty reaffirmed the inviolability of the border between the two countries, which pledged to respect each other’s territorial integrity and to refrain from making territorial claims on each other. The parties declared the Munich Pact of 1938 to be null and void. The signing of the treaty contributed to an improvement of the political climate in Europe.

The CSSR maintains political, trade, and cultural relations with many Asian, African, and Latin American countries and renders them economic, scientific, and technical aid. A number of enterprises in India, Syria, Iraq, and other countries have been completed or are being built with its technical assistance. As of December 1979, Czechoslovakia maintained diplomatic relations with 124 countries and traded with almost as many nations. It is a member of more than 54 major international organizations.


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Dokumenty k protifeudálnym bojom slovenského ludu (1113–1848). Bratislava, 1955.
Prameny dějin českých. vols. 1–8. Prague, 1873–1932.
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KSČ a Sovětský Svaz, 1921–1971. Prague, 1971.
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KSČ proti nacismu. Prague, 1971.
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Dokumenty i materialy kanuna Vtoroi mirovoi voiny, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1948.
Novye dokumenty iz istorii Miunkhena. Moscow, 1958.
Mnichov v dokumentech, vols. 1–2. Prague, 1958.
Dokumenty z historie československé politiky, 1939–1943, vols. 1–2. Prague, 1966.
Sovetsko-chekhoslovatskie otnosheniia vo vremia Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny 1941–1945 gg. Moscow, 1960.
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Gottwald, K. Izbr. stat’i i rechi. Moscow, 1970. (Translated from Czech.)
Husák, G. Izbr. stat’i i rechi. Moscow, 1973. (Russian translation.)
Husák, G. Svidetel’stvo o slovatskom natsional’nom vosstanii. Moscow, 1972. (Translated from Slovak.)
Svoboda, L. Ot Buzuluka do Pragi. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from Czech.)
Šverma, J. Vybrané spisy. Prague, 1955.
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Works of the founders of Marxism-Leninism
Marx, K. “Pobeda kontrrevoliutsii v Vene.” In K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 5.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. “Vneshniaia politika Germana i poslednie sobytiia v Prage.” Ibid.
Engels, F. “Nachalo kontsa Avstrii.” Ibid., vol. 4.
Engels, F. “Prazhskoe vosstanie.” Ibid., vol. 5.
Engels, F. “Demokraticheskii kharakter vosstaniia.” Ibid.
Engels, F. “Germaniia i panslavizm.” Ibid., vol. 11.
Engels, F. “Bol’noi chelovek Avstrii.” Ibid., vol. 15.
Engels, F. “Cheshskim tovarishcham k Pervomu maia: Vospominanie iz vremen 1848 goda.” Ibid., vol. 22.
Lenin, V. I. “O prave natsii na samoopredelnie.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 25.
Lenin, V. I. “Odin iz korennykh voprosov revoliutsii.” Ibid., vol. 34.
General works
Istoriia Chekhoslovakii, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1956–60.
Chekhoslovatskaia Sotsialisticheskaia Respublika. Moscow, 1975.
Shmeral’, Ia. B. Obrazovanie Chekhoslovatskoi respubliki v 1918 g. Moscow, 1967.
Klevanskii, A. Kh. Chekhoslovatskie internatsionalisty i prodannyi korpus. Moscow, 1965.
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Nedorezov, A. I. Agrarnye preobrazovaniia v narodno-demokraticheskoi Chekhoslovakii. Moscow, 1954.
Sovetsko-chekhoslovatskie otnosheniia mezhdu dvumia voinami, 1918–1939. Moscow, 1968.
Peters, I. A. Chekhoslovatsko-sovetskie otnosheniia (1918–1934). Kiev, 1965.
Peters, I. A. SSSR, Chekhoslovakiia i evropeiskaia politika nakanune Miunkhena. Kiev, 1971.
Za osvobozhdenie Chekhoslovakii. Moscow, 1965.
Mar’ina, V. V., and G. P. Murashko. Put’ chekhoslovatskogo krest’ianstva ksotsializmu (1948–1960). Moscow, 1972.
Husa, V. Istoriia Chekhoslovakii. Prague, 1963. (Translated from Czech.)
Řiha, O. Vliianie Oktiabr’skoi revoliutsii na Chekhoslovakiiu. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from Czech.)
Vneshniaia politika Chekhoslovakii 1918–1939: Sb. statei. Moscow, 1959.
Král, V. Prestuplenie protiv Evropy. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from Czech.)
Veselý, J. Khronikafevral’skikh dnei 1948 g. v Chekhoslovakii. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from Czech.)
Palacký, F. Dějiny národu českého, vols. 1–5. Prague, 1968.
Prěhled československých dějin, vols. 1–3. Prague, 1958–60.
Dějiny Československa, 2nd ed., vols. 1–4. Prague, 1967–71.
Krofta, K. Dějiny československé. Prague, 1946.
Nejedlý, Z. O smyslu českych dějin. Prague, 1953.
Tobolka, Z. Politické dějiny československého národa od r. 1848 až do dnešní doby, vols. 1–4. Prague, 1932–37.
Řiha, O. Hospodářský a sociálně-politický vývoj Československa, 1790–1945. Prague, 1946.
Hospodářský a společenský vývoj Československa, 1918–1968. Prague, 1968.
Šmeral, B. Historické prace, 1908–1940. Prague, 1961.
Přehled dějin KSČ. Prague, 1976.
Medvecký, K. Slovenský preval, vols. 1–4. Bratislava, 1930–31.
Král, V. Otázky hospodářského a sociálního vývoje v českých zemích v letech 1938–1945, vols. 1–3. Prague, 1957–59.
Král, V. Osvobození Československa. Prague, 1975.
Cambel, S. Slovenská agrárna otázka, 1944–1948. Bratislava, 1972.
Plevza, V. KSČ a revolučné hnutie na Slovensku 1929–1938. Bratislava, 1965.
Plevza, V. Československá štátnost a slovenská otázka v politike KSČ. Bratislava, 1971.
Bibliographical and reference publications
Bibliografiia cheshskikh i slovatskikh bibliografii o Chekhoslovakii: Literatura, opublikovannaia v 1945–1960 gg. Moscow, 1962.
Sovetskoe slavianovedenie: Literatura o zarubezhnykh slavianskikh stranakh na russkom iazyke 1963–1968, no. 6: Chekhoslovatskaia Sotsialisticheskaia Respublika. Moscow, 1973.
Bibliografie československé historie za rok 1955–1964. Prague, 1957–68.
25 ans d’historiographie Tchécoslovaque, 1936–1960. Prague, 1960.
Novodobé dějiny československé historiografii, 1967–1970. Prague, 1969–72.
V. D. KOROLIUK and G. E. SANCHUK (until the end of the 17th century), K. P. GOGINA (from the 18th century to 1918), A. KH. KLEVANSKII (1918–45), and S. I. KOLESNIKOV (since 1945)

Political parties. The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPC; Komunistická Strana Československa), founded in 1921, had 1,525,000 members and candidate members as of Jan. 1, 1980. The Communist Party of Slovakia (CPS; Komunistická Strana Slovenská) is the regional organization of the CPC in Slovakia. The Czechoslovak Socialist Party (CSP; Československá Strana Socialistická) was founded in 1948 by some members of the Czech National Socialist Party, which had existed since 1897 and which had been called the Czechoslovak Socialist Party from 1918 to 1926. The CSP draws its main support from several strata of the population that formerly belonged to the urban middle and petite bourgeoisie and the intelligentsia, but it also attracts a small segment of the workers and peasants. It operates only in the Czech lands. The Czechoslovak People’s Party (CPP: Československá Strana Lidová) was founded in February 1948 after the reorganization of a bourgeois party of the same name that had existed since 1918. It brings together part’of the peasantry, several former petit bourgeois strata, some artisans and members of the intelligentsia, and a negligible number of workers. Most of the members of the CPP, which operates only in the Czech lands, are practicing Christians.

The Slovak Reconstruction Party (Strana Slovenskej Obrody) was founded in February 1948 by the more progressive elements in the Democratic Party, which broke up during the February events of 1948. It unites a small part of the urban and rural working people of Slovakia. The Slovak Freedom Party (Slovenská Strana Slobody), founded in 1946 by secessionists from the Democratic Party, is supported by an insignificant part of the former Slovak petite bourgeoisie and by a small number of office employees and members of the intelligentsia, chiefly Roman Catholics.

All the non-Communist parties recognize the CPC’s leading role in society and support the program of building socialism.

National Front. Founded in 1945 on the initiative of the CPC, the National Front (Národní Fronta) is the political expression of the CPC-led class alliance of the urban and rural working people. It embraces all the country’s political parties and the main social organizations.

Trade unions and other social organizations. The country’s occupational and social organizations function in accordance with the country’s federal structure, that is, Czech and Slovak organizations are administered on a federal basis. The Revolutionary Trade Union Movement, founded in April 1946, had about 7 million members in 1980. It is a member of the World Federation of Trade Unions.

The Socialist Union of Youth, founded in 1970 and with 2.3 million members in 1980, carries on the revolutionary traditions of the Czechoslovak Komsomol, founded in 1921, and the Czechoslovak Union of Youth, established in 1949. The Czechoslovak-Soviet Friendship Alliance, founded in 1948, had about 2.5 million members in 1980. The Czechoslovak Women’s Union, formed in 1974 from women’s organizations founded in 1967, had a membership of 800,000 in 1980.


General characteristics. The CSSR is an advanced industrial country with an intensive agriculture and a high living standard and culture. It accounts for more than 1.5 percent of the world’s industrial output and for about 5 percent of the industrial output of the COMECON countries. In terms of volume of industrial output the CSSR holds 11th or 12th place in the world. In 1976 industry provided 68 percent of the national income, construction 12.9 percent, agriculture and forestry 7.2 percent, transportation and communications 2.7 percent, and commerce, food services, and other sectors 9.2 percent. About one-third of the national income is derived from foreign trade. In 1976 the socialist sector accounted for 99.6 percent of the national income, for 99 percent of the production fixed assets, for 100 percent of the gross industrial output, and for 96.8 percent of the gross agricultural output.

The Czechoslovak economy has passed through several stages of socialist construction and radical social and economic change (see above: Historical survey). These stages are reflected in a series of economic development plans, the two-year plan of 1947–48 and the five-year plans of 1949–53, 1956–60, 1961–65, 1966–70, and 1971–75. In accordance with the decisions of the Communist Party congresses, economic policy was aimed at modernizing industry and creating a large-scale socialist agriculture. Precedence was given to the development of heavy industry. The industrial output of Czechoslovakia, a highly industrialized country even before the war, grew almost tenfold between 1949 and 1976, with the output of machinery increasing 23 times and of chemical products 27 times. These quantitative changes were accompanied by qualitative changes in the structure of industry. By 1976 capital goods accounted for two-thirds and consumer goods for one-third of the total value of the industrial output. The number of workers employed in machine building and metalworking doubled between 1937 and 1975. Meanwhile, agriculture shifted from small-scale production to large-scale modern production carried out by cooperatives. Productivity increased by more than 50 percent per unit of farmland, and farm labor productivity rose by a factor of 4.4. The economy as a whole developed rapidly: between 1949 and 1976 the gross social product increased sixfold and the national income more than fivefold.

In the years of people’s rule the regional inequalities in living standard inherited from capitalism have been eliminated, and full employment has been achieved. The differences between working conditions in industry and agriculture are being erased gradually. Economically backward regions no longer exist; the formerly agricultural regions have been industrialized; and the historical disparity between the western and eastern parts of the country has been essentially eliminated. Formerly an agricultural area, Slovakia has become an industrial and agricultural land, its share in the country’s industrial output rising to 26 percent, compared to 7 percent in 1937. The five-year national economic plan for 1971–75 prescribed measures aimed at integrating the development of the country as a whole with the proportional development of the economies of the republics.

Czechoslovakia’s economy has entered the period of building a fully developed socialist society. The sixth five-year plan (1976–80) calls for raising production efficiency and accelerating scientific and technological progress as the basis for the dynamic development of the whole national economy. An important factor in the overall rise in economic efficiency is Czechoslovakia’s participation in the international socialist division of labor. In line with the Comprehensive Economic Integration Program of the COMECON countries, specialization and cooperation in both production and scientific and technical research are developing rapidly. Within COMECON the CSSR specializes in various branches of machine building, including the manufacture of machine tools, equipment for nuclear power plants, and textile machinery.

Industry. Postwar industrial development has been marked by a rapid growth rate (averaging 6.7 percent a year between 1966 and 1976) and changes in the branch and regional structure of industry (see Table 2). The tempo of growth has been greatest in the chemical and machine-building industries. Other expanding industries have included electronics, electrical and vacuum engineering, precision mechanics, and computer technology. Radical changes have taken place in light industry and in the food industry, which in the past were dispersed and fragmented, with only 3 percent of the enterprises employing more than 20 people. Like the newer branches of industry, they are now highly concentrated and specialized. About 50 percent of the country’s industrial labor force is employed in enterprises with more than 1,000 workers, compared to 18 percent before World War II. Large economic associations, called economic production units, were established in the 1970’s; there are about 100 of them in industry and construction. (See Table 3 for the output of the principal industrial goods.)

Industrial production, notably machine building, is now relatively evenly distributed throughout the country, largely owing to the construction of large industrial facilities in eastern Czechoslovakia, as well as in some parts of Bohemia and Moravia. Of the roughly 2,000 industrial enterprises and separate installations that were built in the CSSR between 1945 and 1970, 181 employ more than 1,000 workers. The CSSR holds a leading place among the COMECON countries and a prominent place in the world in the per capita output of such important industrial products as pig iron (635 kg; figures for 1976 unless otherwise indicated), steel (985 kg), rolled metal (697 kg), metalcutting machine tools (21.3 units per 10,000 population), passenger cars and trucks (145.1 units per 10,000 population), paper (all types, 55.7 kg), cotton fabrics (35.2 m), wool fabrics (5.7 m), footwear (7.9 pairs), and sugar (56.9 kg in 1975).

MINING AND POWER ENGINEERING. The CSSR has limited fuel, energy, and mineral resources. Its substantial coal reserves account for more than 90 percent of its fuel and energy resources and are the main source of electric power. Imported oil and natural gas play a major role in the production of energy; in 1976 imports, chiefly from the USSR, amounted to 17.1 million tons of crude oil, 4.5 billion cu m of gas, and 4.6 billion kilowatt-hours of electric power. In 1975 the structure of the fuel and energy balance was as follows: solid fuel, 66 percent; oil, 24.7 percent; fuel gas, 5.5 percent; nuclear energy, 8.0 percent; and water and other types of energy, 3.8 percent.

More than 85 percent of the hard coal is mined in the Ostrava-Karviná Basin and about 8 percent in the Kladno region near Prague. Most of the hard coal is used for coking; of the 11 million tons of coke produced in 1976, 2.1 million tons were exported. There has been a rapid growth in the output of brown coal, mined chiefly in the western part of the country—in the North Bohemian Brown Coal Basin (72 percent) and in the Sokolov Basin (23 percent). Almost 90 percent of the coal is mined by open-cut methods. Of high quality, brown coal is used mainly to fuel thermal electric power plants and to produce gas (8 billion cu m in 1976). The production of oil and natural gas is insignificant: 131,000 tons and 982 million cu m in 1976.

Most of the country’s electric power is produced by thermal electric power plants using chiefly brown coal but also hard coal. The installed capacity of the electric power plants was 14.6 giga-watts in 1976, of which 1.8 gigawatts were generated by hydroelectric power plants. About 40 percent of the electricity is produced in the North Bohemian Brown Coal Basin and about 15 percent in the Ostrava-Karviná Hard Coal Basin. The largest power plants, whose capacity ranges from 800 to 1,300 megawatts, are located at Tušimice, Počerady, Prunéřov, Mělník, Detmarovice, and Vojany. The first unit, with a capacity of 500 megawatts, is being installed at the Mělník-3 Thermal Electric Power Plant. Hydroelectric power plants have been built on the Vltava and Váh rivers. The largest, the Orlík Hydroelectric Power Plant on the Vltava, has a capacity of 420 megawatts. The

Table 2. Branch structure of industry
 Percentage of industrial labor forcePercentage of gross industrial output
Fuel and energy ...............10.19.989.1
Economic geography217.47.510.9
Chemicals (including rubber and asbestos) ...............
Construction materials ...............
Woodworking ...............
Pulp and paper ...............
Glass and porcelain-faïence ...............
Textiles ...............22.610.69.45
Economic geographyEconomic geography8.94.51.7
Printing ...............
Food and condiments ...............
Others ...............
Table 3. Output of leading industrial products
Electricity (billion kW-hr) ...............4.17.524.545.262.7
Hard coal (net, million tons) ...............16.717.726.428.228.3
Brown coal (million tons) ...............1823.657.981.389.5
Pig iron (million tons) ...............
Steel (million tons) ...............
Rolled metal, excluding pipes (million tons) ...............
Trucks (thousand units) ...............27.216.324.536.7
Passenger cars (thousand units) ...............12.61856.2142.9179.1
Motorcycles andmotor scooters (thousand units) ...............14.168191108127.8
Tractors (thousand units) ...............
Refrigerators (thousand units) ...............7.6132.4300.4385.2
Television sets (thousand units) ...............262.9383.2455.8
Cement (million tons) ...............
Sulfuric acid, 100 percent (thousand tons) ...............1652155531,1101,240.4
Nitrogen fertilizers(thousand tons) ...............2529.4139.9324520.3
Phosphate fertilizers (thousand tons) ...............6154.3147322.4411.5
Chemical fibers (thousand tons) ...............422.562.3100.6147.3
Paper (thousand tons) ...............246260438600831.6
Cotton fabrics (million sq m) ...............377236.6453518525
Rayon and part rayon fabrics (million sq m) ...............31267195101
Wool fabrics (million sq m) ...............3340748185.5
Footwear of all types (million pairs) ...............5564.496.2117.4126.9
Refined sugar (thousand tons) ...............669517881875629
Beer (million hectoliters) ...............

water resources of the Danube are also being harnessed. The country’s first nuclear power plant, with a capacity of 150 megawatts, has been put into operation at Jaslovské Bohunice; a second nuclear power plant is being built nearby. The Dukovaní Nuclear Power Plant is under construction in Moravia (1978). The country’s unified power grid is connected with the Mir System.

The CSSR produces nuclear raw materials, magnesite, antimony, kaolin, iron ore (1.9 million tons in 1976), and small quantities of copper and lead and zinc ores.

MANUFACTURING. The well-developed ferrous metallurgy industry uses local coal and chiefly imported iron ore (85 percent), most of it supplied by the USSR. In the years of people’s rule old plants in Ostrava, Třinec, and Kladno have been modernized, and two large metallurgical works have been built, the K. Gottwald Combine in Ostrava and the Eastern Slovakia Combine in Kosice. Most of the ferrous metallurgy works are concentrated in the Ostrava-Karviná region, which produces more than 60 percent of the pig iron and about 60 percent of the steel. A large proportion of the high-grade steel comes from plants in Kladno and Plzeñ, as well as from Central Slovakia. Ferroalloys are produced in North Slovakia. Part of the ferrous metallurgy output is exported; in 1976 exports included 2.7 million tons of rolled metal and 500,000 tons of pipe.

The nonferrous metallurgy industry lacks sufficient local raw-material resources. In 1975 the CSSR produced 18,400 tons of copper, 22,000 tons of lead, and 43,300 tons of aluminum. The aluminum plant built at Žiar and Hronom in the early 1950’s uses mainly Hungarian bauxite. A cobalt and nickel plant has been built in Sered’. Much of the need for nonferrous metals is met by imports.

Machine building and metalworking, the leading branch of industry, are oriented toward small-lot and medium-lot production with a wide assortment of goods. The years of people’s rule have seen substantial changes in the branch structure of machine building. The output of equipment for the power, rolled-metal, chemical, and textile industries, of vehicles, and of metalcutting machine tools has increased considerably, and many modern branches have emerged, such as the manufacture of equipment for nuclear power plants and for the electronics industry. The manufacture of vehicles holds an important place in the structure of machine building, accounting for about one-third of the value of the industry’s output. Plants manufacturing diesel and electric locomotives, railroad cars, streetcars, motor vehicles, and motorcycles are concentrated at Prague, Plzeň, Martin, and Miadá Boleslav. A shipbuilding industry has been established in Komárno and a tractor industry in Brno. Machinery for the power industry accounts for about one-fifth of the output of machine building. Equipment for thermal electric and hydroelectric power plants and electrical goods are produced in Prague, Brno, Plzeň, Bratislava, and Pardubice. Machine-tool enterprises are found in Prague, Plzeň, Brno, Kuřim, and Gottwaldov; the CSSR is the second-largest producer of metalcutting machine tools among the COMECON countries, after the USSR.

About half of the machine-building output comes from the Prague, Brno, and Plzeň industrial conurbations. The country’s main center of machine building is Prague, noted for the production of transport, heavy, and electrical machinery. The city’s largest machine-building enterprise, the ČKD-Prague, produces heavy and transport machinery. The automotive industry is well established. The country’s three main plants—the Tatra Plant in Kopřivnice, the Škoda Plant in Miadá Boleslav, and the plant in Prague (now the Gottwald Plant)—began producing passenger cars and trucks as early as the turn of the century. Another major engineering center, Brno, is the site of several large plants specializing in the manufacture of heavy power engineering equipment, metalcutting machine tools, and tractors. One of the country’s largest machine-building enterprises, the V. I. Lenin Works (formerly Škoda) in Plzeň, has several production divisions turning out electrical, power engineering, metallurgical, and transport equipment.

The rapidly expanding chemical industry is becoming one of the country’s main branches of industry. Old plants producing sulfuric acid, soda ash, and other inorganic chemical products are being modernized, and industrial organic synthesis is developing rapidly on the basis of Soviet oil and natural gas. The organic-synthesis industry produces plastics and synthetic resins (581,000 tons in 1976), chemical fibers, and synthetic rubber. Large amounts of nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer are also produced. Chemical enterprises along the Middle and Lower Labe account for about half of the industry’s output. Záluží near Most is the site of one of the country’s largest chemical combines, the Czechoslovak-Soviet Friendship Combine, which uses oil as the starting material. The country’s largest oil refinery, Slovnaft in Bratislava, has an annual capacity of about 9 million tons and produces dozens of different chemical products. Cooperation with the German Democratic Republic (GDR) is developing under the “olefin program”; an ethylene pipeline links Zálužï with Bohlen in the GDR.

The output of construction materials is increasing. To supplement the output of the old cement enterprises in Central Bohemia and North Moravia, new plants have been built in Central and South Moravia, East Bohemia, and Central and East Slovakia. Part of the rapidly expanding output of magnesite refractory materials and ceramic products is earmarked for export.

Table 4. Sown area and yield of chief crops
 Sown area (hectares)Harvest (tons)
1Annual average
Wheat ...............882,000739,0001,278,0001,513,0001,779,0004,807,000
Rye ...............983,000429,000186,0001,577,000897,000561,000
Barley ...............653,000687,000857,0001,109,0001,556,0002,901,000
Oats ...............748,000418,000198,0001,212,000792,000379,000
Corn ...............105,000200,000204,000225,000474,000514,000
Sugarbeets ...............166,000235,000214,0004,664,0006,277,0005,248,000
Potatoes ...............715,000492,000240,0009,635,0005,635,0004,214,000

The glass industry, one of the oldest traditional branches, uses local raw materials. Bohemian glass, crystal, and glass jewelry continue to be highly esteemed, and the output of industrial glass is growing. Most of the glass factories are located in North and West Bohemia, where the main centers are Jablonec and Karlovy Vary. Another popular product is ceramic ware, notably porcelain, made from high-quality local kaolin. Most of the porcelain and other ceramic products are manufactured in West Bohemia, chiefly at Karlovy Vary and Horní Bříza, where kaolin is extracted and processed.

The wood-products industry uses mainly domestic raw materials. Enterprises of the lumber and pulp and paper industry are generally found in the forested mountain regions of North and South Bohemia and Central and East Slovakia. The furniture industry is highly developed, and paper, furniture, pencils, and other products are exported to many countries.

The highly diversified textile industry, the leading branch of light industry, has been completely modernized in the years of socialist construction, when large enterprises equipped with up-to-date machinery were built. Although the number of workers employed in the textile industry has declined considerably, the volume of output is steadily increasing. The cotton industry is dispersed throughout North Bohemia, and the woollen industry tends to be confined to large cities, such as Brno and Liberec. The output of rayon fabrics, made chiefly from domestic chemical fibers, is growing. The linen industry, situated in northeastern Bohemia and using both domestic and imported flax, is noted for the high quality of its products. The flourishing clothing industry exports part of its output. The leather and footwear industry also produces both for the national market and for export. Its shoes and leather accessories are well known abroad. Czechoslovakia ranks first in the world in the per capita output of footwear. More than half of the footwear is produced by the Svit Factory (formerly Bata) in Gottwaldov.

Table 5. Livestock and poultry1
1End of year
267 head of cattle, 98 hogs, and 11.4 sheep per 100 hectares of farmland
Cattle ...............4,387,0004,288,0004,654,000
cows ...............2,047,0001,881,0001,898,000
Hogs ...............5,962,0005,530,0006,820,000
Sheep ...............646,000981,000797,000
Horses ...............330,000131,00057,000
Poultry ...............28,200,00039,200,00044,100,000

The food and condiment industry uses mainly local raw materials and essentially satisfies the country’s needs. Sugar refining and brewing have long been important branches. Czechoslovakia is one of the world’s major producers of beet sugar, exporting from 25 to 30 percent of its output. Most of the sugar refineries are located in the farming areas along the Labe River, in the Moravian valleys, and on the Danubian Plain. The world famous Bohemian beer is brewed at Plzeň, Prague, and České Budějovice.

Agriculture. In 1975 the socialist sector controlled more than 94 percent of the farmland. In 1976 the country’s 213 state farms averaged 4,600 hectares (ha) of plowland, and its more than 2,000 agricultural production cooperatives of all types averaged 1,600 ha of plowland. State agricultural enterprises manage 2.1 million ha of farmland and agricultural production cooperatives, 4.3 million ha. Various types of agricultural-industrial complexes have been set up with a view to mechanizing agriculture. Although the agricultural labor force has declined considerably, socialist changes, capital investments (a tenfold increase in the supply of means of production), and a rise in labor productivity have resulted in a substantial growth in the gross agricultural output, which in 1976 exceeded the prewar level by 36 percent. Most of the growth has taken place in animal husbandry, whose output increased by 66 percent, while the crop farming output rose by 9 percent. In 1976 the gross agricultural output was 4.3 times greater per worker and 1.5 times greater per ha of farmland than the prewar output.

Czechoslovak agriculture is highly intensive. The country ranks fifth or sixth in Europe in the per capita value of agricultural output, and it holds seventh or eighth place in the value of output per ha of agricultural land. Czechoslovakia also ranks high in the number of tractors per unit of farmland (one tractor [converted to 15 horsepower] per 10 ha of cultivated land) and in the application of fertilizers (242 kg in net weight per ha of plow-land in 1976). The country produces almost enough bread grain and animal products to satisfy domestic consumption, and measures are being taken to make the country more self-sufficient in other types of foodstuffs. In general, the country’s agriculture satisfies about 85 percent of the domestic demand for foodstuffs. Czechoslovakia imports feed grain, vegetables, fruit, and some agricultural raw materials, chiefly cotton and wool, and it exports sugar, hops, malt, and beer.

The postwar years have seen structural changes in agriculture; the share of animal husbandry and crop farming in the gross agricultural output has shifted from 45.9 percent and 54.1 percent, respectively, in 1936 to 57.1 percent and 42.9 percent in 1976. Of the 7 million ha of farmland in 1976, plowlands occupied 4.9 million ha, perennial plantings 360,000 ha (including vineyards 43,000 ha), and natural meadows and pastures 1.7 million ha. Forests covered 35 percent of the country, or 4.5 million ha.

CROP FARMING. The structure of the sown area has changed in favor of expanded plantings of fodder and industrial crops. In 1976 grain and pulses covered 57.6 percent of the sown area (compared to 63.2 percent, the annual average for the 1934–38 period); industrial crops, 6.9 percent (4.2 percent); potatoes and vegetables, 6.1 percent (13.6 percent); and fodder crops, 29.1 percent (19 percent). A growth in grain yield (the current yield of almost 40 quintals per ha far exceeds the European average) has raised harvests considerably above the prewar level. Table 4 shows the sown area and harvest of the principal crops.

Wheat is grown mainly along the Labe, in the Danubian Plain, in the valleys of Moravia, and in the Tisza Lowland. Barley is also grown in these regions, especially industrial strains used for making malt. Corn is grown mainly in southern Slovakia. The most important industrial crop is sugar beets, grown for centuries along the Labe and in the valleys of Moravia and now raised in increasingly large quantities on the Danubian Plain. Large areas are planted to oil-bearing crops, chiefly rape, and to fiber crops, predominantly flax. Potatoes are grown in the hilly regions, principally in the Bohemian-Moravian Uplands. The grape harvest amounted to 209,000 tons in 1976. An important perennial crop is hops, for which the country is famous. Orchards are found throughout the country.

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY. Livestock breeding, primarily hog and poultry raising, is being mechanized. The main branches of animal husbandry—meat and dairy cattle raising, hog raising, and industrial poultry raising—are marked by a high density of livestock per unit of farmland (see Table 5) and by high productivity (see Table 6).

FORESTRY. Forests are one of the country’s major natural resources. The timber output averages 15 million cu m a year, with the western regions supplying mainly soft wood and the eastern regions hard wood. Other economic activities include hunting (wild boars, pheasants) and pond fish breeding.

Transportation. The operating length of the country’s railroads, the chief means of transportation, is 13,200 km, or 10.3 km per 100 sq km of territory. About one-fifth of the track is electrified. In 1976 railroads transported 276 million tons of freight and 462 million passengers. The electrified trunk line linking Prague, Česká Třebová, Olomouc, Žilina, Košice, and Cierna connects the CSSR with the USSR. As a member of COMECON Czechoslovakia participates in the international economic organization known as the Common Pool of Freight Cars. The country has 73,500 km of hard-surfaced roads, or 60 km per 100 sq km of territory. Road transport is important for passenger traffic; in 1961 motor vehicles transported 1,976,000,000 passengers and 317 million tons of freight. Bus routes connect virtually all the inhabited areas. The Prague-Brno-Bratislava Highway is under construction (1978).

Table 6. Output of principal livestock and poultry products (thousand tons)
1Averaging 2,892 kg per cow in 1976
Meat and fat (dressed weight) ...............8021,0981,322
beef ...............240362415
pork ...............483586728
poultry ...............45.8103141
Milk1 ...............4,0934,9785,485
Wool (unwashed) ...............
Eggs (million units) ...............2.2673.7334.492

River transport plays a significant role in foreign trade, with the Danube being used mainly for imports and the Labe for exports. In 1976 some 5.9 million tons of freight were hauled on the country’s 458 km of inland waterways. The main ports are Bratislava and Komárno on the Danube and Děčín on the Labe. The country’s small merchant marine, based at the Polish port of Szczecin, carried 1.4 million tons of cargo in 1976. There are about 1,500 km of trunk pipelines, including the Druzhba (Friendship) oil pipeline, which extends from the Soviet border to Bratislava and then goes on to Most, the Bratstvo (Brotherhood) gas pipeline, and an international transit gas pipeline from the Soviet frontier to the Prague area, where it branches out toward the German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany. Czechoslovak Airlines (CSA) provides air services to all the country’s major cities, carrying 1,799,000 passengers in 1976, and makes flights to many countries of Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. There are international airports in Prague (Ruzyné) and Bratislava.

Foreign trade. In per capita foreign trade turnover Czechoslovakia is surpassed only by the German Democratic Republic among the socialist countries. It exports about one-fifth of its industrial output, including about one-third of its machinery output, two-fifths of its output of glass and ceramic ware, one-third of the leather goods and footwear produced, and about one-fourth of its textile output. Table 7 shows the commodity structure of exports and imports.

The foreign trade turnover increased by a factor of 10.5 between 1948 and 1976. More than 80 percent of the imported raw materials and fuel come from the socialist countries, mainly the USSR. The share of the socialist countries in Czechoslovakia’s foreign trade turnover rose from 54 percent in 1950 to 72 percent in 1976. The COMECON countries accounted for 67.8 percent and the USSR alone for about one-third of the foreign trade turnover in 1976. The CSSR also maintains extensive trade relations with the advanced capitalist countries and with the developing countries.

The monetary unit is the koruna. By the exchange rate of the State Bank of the USSR, 100 korunas equaled 12 rubles 50 kopeks in January 1978.

Economic regions. When territorial planning was instituted in the mid-1950’s, the country was scientifically divided into economic regions. The administrative reorganization of the early 1960’s, by which the country was divided into ten administrative regions, was coordinated with economic regionalization. Under the present system of economic regionalization, the CSSR forms a single national economic complex that includes two republic economic complexes, those of the Czech and Slovak socialist republics, which are divided into ten administrative regions and two cities with the status of economic regions (see Table 8).

Standard of living. The comprehensive and rapid development of the national economy in the years of people’s rule has ensured a rise in the living standard through increased personal income and social consumption and through a broader satisfaction of cultural needs. The national income doubled between 1960 and 1975, when 70.7 percent of the national income was allocated for the consumption fund. As the general consumption fund increased, so did the share of personal consumption. From 1961 to 1976 wages and other earned income increased by a factor of 2.1, and the earned income of the urban and rural population—of working people in industry and agriculture—was equalized. The average monthly wage of workers and office employees in the state and cooperative sectors of the national economy was 2,304 korunas in 1975, compared to 1,365 korunas in 1960 and 1,937 korunas in 1970. Broken down by branch of the economy, the average monthly wage in industry was 2,340 korunas in 1975 (up from 1,442 in 1960 and 1,967 in 1970); in construction, 2,589 korunas (1,521 and, 2,195); in agriculture, 2,238 korunas (1,113 and 1,806); in transportation and communications, 2,632 korunas (1,461 and 2,239); and in science and scientific services, 2,604 korunas (1,545 and 2,246).

Payments to working people from the social consumption fund—that is, society’s expenditures on the social needs of citizens and on free services—increased by a factor of 2.9 from 1961 to 1976. In this period the share of such payments in the income of the population rose from 35 percent to 47.5 percent. State appropriations for public health, education, culture, old-age and health insurance, and family allowances are outstripping the growth in earned income. A program of assistance to large families and maternity support was instituted in the early 1970’s. A system of free medical care has been established. Large-scale

Table 7. Commodity structure of exports and imports (in percent)
Machinery, equipment, and means of transportation ...............45.750.45021.733.435.9
Fuel, mineral raw materials, and metals ...............19.118.618.627.923.528.9
Nonedible agricultural raw materials and processed goods, food raw materials, and food products ...............10.47.36837.124.117.7
Manufactured consumer goods ...............20.416.617.
Chemical products, fertilizers, rubber, construction materials, and other products ...............

housing projects have been built, and measures are being taken to improve the environment. The social security system, which covers the overwhelming majority of the working people (workers, office employees, and members of fishing and agricultural cooperatives), is financed by contributions from organizations and state subsidies. The social security system is administered by the trade unions, whose representatives work with the agencies that allocate pensions.

Table 8. Share of the republics and regions in the area, population, and production output of the CSSR (in percent)
 AreaPopulationIndustrial outputAgricultural output1
1In 1974
CSSR ...............100100100100
CSR ...............61.76874.269.2
Prague ...............
Central Bohemia ...............
South Bohemia ...............
West Bohemia ...............
North Bohemia ...............6.17.710.84.9
East Bohemia ...............
South Moravia ...............11.813.411.416.9
North Moravia ...............8.612.718.39.3
SSR ...............38.33225.830.8
Bratislava ...............
West Slovakia ...............11.3115.517.5
Central Slovakia ...............149.896.3
East Slovakia ...............12.78.967

The amount of sickness allowance depends on the length of employment and varies from 60 to 90 percent of the average wage. Women are granted paid leaves of 26 weeks during pregnancy and after childbirth; the leave is extended to 35 weeks for single mothers or in case of the birth of twins. Allowances for the birth of a child and family allowances for children are also paid out of social security funds.

Pension legislation divides all jobs and all workers into three categories, depending on the hazards and difficulty of the work. The social security system provides old-age and disability pensions, pensions for the loss of a breadwinner, meritorious service pensions, and special pensions. The retirement age is 60 years for men (55 years for workers in the first category and 58 for those in the second category), and from 53 to 57 years for women, depending on the number of children the woman has brought up. The size of the pension depends on earnings and term of service. Pensions for disability resulting from general illness are allocated to those who have worked a certain period of time.

A five-day 42.5-hour workweek is standard; for people engaged in hazardous work and for those under 16 years of age the workweek is reduced to 36 hours. Under the law, all workers receive an annual paid vacation. Persons engaged in subsurface, difficult, or hazardous work are granted an additional leave.


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Štěpánek, J. Chekhoslovakiia i ekonomicheskoe sotrudnichestvo so stranami-chlenami SEV. Moscow, 1974. (Translated from Czech.)
Chekhoslovatskaia Sotsialisticheskaia Respublika. Moscow, 1975.
Chekhoslovatskaia Sotsialisticheskaia Respublika: Spravochnik. Moscow, 1975.
Dan’shina, V. N. Ekonomicheskoe razvitie ChSSR. Moscow, 1977.
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Hromádka, J. Prt’ručka zeměpisu československej republiky. Bratislava, 1949.
Hospodářské poměry československa. Prague, 1958.
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Oblasti československa. Prague, 1963.
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Atlas Československé Socialistické Republiky. Prague, 1966.
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Geography of Czechoslovakia. Edited by J. Demek and M. Střida. Prague, 1971.
Mocko, Z., et al. Ekonomická geografía československa. Bratislava, 1973.
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The Czechoslovak People’s Army, consisting of ground, air, and air defense forces, is headed by the president, who is the commander in chief, and is directly administered by the Ministry of National Defense. It originated in the joint struggle of the peoples of the USSR and Czechoslovakia against a common enemy, German fascism. The first military unit of the People’s Army, the Independent Battalion, was formed by Lieutenant Colonel L. Svoboda at Buzuluk (RSFSR) in accordance with the Soviet-Czechoslovak treaty of July 18, 1941. The battalion, which in March 1943 fought at Sokolovo, near Kharkov, was subsequently expanded, first into a brigade and then into a corps. On Oct. 6, 1944, Soviet troops of the Thirty-eighth Army of the First Ukrainian Front, operating jointly with the Czechoslovak Army Corps, captured Dukla Pass and entered Czechoslovakia. The anniversary of this event is celebrated as People’s Army Day.

The victory of the socialist revolution in 1948 opened a new phase in the development of the armed forces. A new type of army—well trained, disciplined, organized along modern lines, and equipped with advanced weapons and combat materiel—was created under the leadership of the Communist Party. The armed forces acquire their personnel by conscription, and all men between the ages of 18 and 60 are subject to military service. Officers are trained at the A. Zápotocký and K. Gottwald military academies, at higher military schools run by the different branches of the armed forces, and at military schools in the USSR. The overwhelming majority of the generals and other officers are of worker or peasant background, and more than 80 percent of the officers are members of the Communist Party. Political party work in the army is directed by the Central Committee of the Communist Party through the Main Political Directorate of the People’s Army. Military districts and divisions have political agencies, and regiments, battalions, and companies are assigned deputy commanders for political affairs. Since the founding of the Warsaw Treaty Organization in 1955, the People’s Army has taken part in joint measures aimed at strengthening the Joint Armed Forces in order to ensure peace and security in Europe.

Medicine and public health. In 1976 the country had a birthrate of 19.2 and a mortality rate of 11.4 per 1,000 population; infant mortality was 20.8 per 1,000 live births. The corresponding figures for 1946 were 22.7, 14.1, and 108.8. The average life expectancy is 70.3 years: 66.9 years for men and 73.7 years for women. Cardiovascular diseases, malignant neoplasms, and diseases of the respiratory system are the leading cause of illness and death. Among the more common infectious diseases are scarlet fever, measles, and epidemic hepatitis. The incidence of tuberculosis has declined sharply, poliomyelitis has been completely eradicated, and the incidence of diphtheria has been reduced to isolated cases.

Under the existing state system of public health the entire population receives free medical care and free medicine. The general protection of health is regulated by the public health law of 1966. The Public Health Council sets the country’s public health policy, which is then administered by the Ministry of Health of each republic. In 1974 there were 229 general hospitals (almost all of them attached to polyclinics), 22 tuberculosis hospitals, three institutes of rehabilitation therapy, 36 Sanatoriums, 131 spa Sanatoriums, 21 research institutes, 14 first-aid stations, and 136 hygiene and epidemiological stations. Other medical facilities included 370 regional and 60 factory polyclinics, 2,700 district dispensaries, and 78 women’s and 2,500 children’s consultation clinics. In 1976 the various medical institutions had a total of 183,000 hospital beds, or 12.3 per 1,000 population, compared to 110,100 beds, or 9.9 per 1,000 population, in 1948.

In 1976 there were 42,300 doctors, or one per 354 inhabitants (9,000 doctors, or one per 1,300 inhabitants, in 1946), 1,100 dentists, and 6,100 pharmacists. Intermediate medical personnel numbered 105,600 persons in 1973. Training is given at ten medical and two pharmacy faculties, four institutes for the advanced training of doctors, pharmacists, and intermediate medical personnel, and 78 medical schools graduating intermediate medical personnel. Public health appropriations have increased from 4 billion korunas in 1950 to 20 billion korunas in 1976, or 7 percent of the state budget and of the budget of the national committees.

The country’s 60 spas had 32,500 beds in 1976, compared to 17,300 beds in 1948. The most famous spas are the balneological resorts of Karlovy Vary, Mariánské Lázně, Teplice, Poděbrady, Janské Lázně, Jachymov, and Luhačovice, the balneological and pelotherapy resorts of Františkovy Lázně and Piešt’any, and the climatic resorts of Štrbské Pleso, Tatranská Lomnica, and Tatranská Polianka.


Veterinary services. A number of animal diseases have been eradicated in the postwar period: sheep pox in 1950, glanders in 1954, dourine in 1953, equine infectious anemia in 1965, contagious agalactia in 1946, brucellosis in 1965, and bovine tuberculosis in 1968. In 1976 there were four outbreaks of Newcastle disease, 433 outbreaks of rabies, two outbreaks of hog cholera, and three outbreaks of anthrax. Other diseases recorded that year included swine erysipelas, fowl cholera, myxomatosis, swine influenza, Marek’s disease, fowl tuberculosis, infectious porcine encephalomyelitis, blackleg, bovine rhinotracheitis, coccidiosis, infectious atrophic rhinitis of swine, fowlpox, fowl leukemia, pullorosis, fascioliasis, echinococcosis, cysticercosis, and mastitis.

Since 1969 veterinary services have been directed by the veterinary administrations under the ministries of agriculture and food of the constituent republics. Based in Prague and Bratislava, the veterinary administrations are responsible for organizing the veterinary care of livestock. The office of chief veterinarian under the Federal Agriculture and Food Committee, which is advised by a federal veterinary council, coordinates antiepizootic measures, protects the country from the importation of infectious animal diseases, supervises the movement of animals within the country, and maintains contacts with foreign veterinary services and with international veterinary organizations. There were 2,500 veterinarians in Czechoslovakia in 1976. Antiepizootic services are provided without charge, and standard fees for veterinary treatment are set by the government.

Veterinarians are trained by the veterinary faculties of the agricultural universities in Brno and Koäice, which also enroll students from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. In addition, there are three institutes for the advanced training of veterinarians. Veterinary research is conducted at the Central State Veterinary Institute, based in Prague and Bratislava, the Scientific Research Institute in Brno (Medlanki), the Central State Diagnostic Institute in Prague, the State Institute for the Control of Biological and Veterinary Preparations in Brno, the State Veterinary Institute of Wild Animals in Jihlava, the Virology Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava, and regional research laboratories. Veterinary biologicals are produced at the Biovet enterprises in Terezin, Ivanovice na Hane, and Nitra.


Written sources attest to the existence of monastery schools in Bohemia and Moravia in the tenth century and in Slovakia in the early 12th century. The first urban schools were established in the 12th and 13th centuries. Charles University, founded in Prague in 1348, greatly influenced the development of Czech national culture and education. In the 15th and 16th centuries Latin was the language of instruction; only the brotherhood schools, founded in the 16th century by the Bohemian Brethren, gave precedence to the native tongue. The writings of J. A. Komenský (Comenius) were associated with the educational work of the Brethren in the 17th century.

Under Hapsburg rule, when the school system in the Czech lands was organized and developed as an integral part of the Austrian system, German was forcibly imposed on the populace. Compulsory education for children from six to 12 years of age was introduced under the school reform of 1774, which established several types of schools: “trivial” schools, offering one or two years of primary instruction; three-year “main” schools, which prepared the pupils for further studies; and two-to four-year “normal” schools, whose curriculum augmented the program of the main school. In the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries the school network expanded considerably throughout Austria-Hungary. The development of industry obliged the ruling classes to broaden the scope of education. A law enacted in 1869 provided for compulsory eight-year schooling for children six to 14 years of age. The church gradually lost its hold over education.

The establishment of the bourgeois Czechoslovak republic in 1918 brought few changes to the school system, which retained its class character. In the 1930–31 school year only 11 percent of the secondary-school students were of working-class background, although workers constituted at that time almost 60 percent of the population. During the fascist German occupation the number of secondary schools declined sharply, and all higher educational institutions were closed on Nov. 17, 1939. Progressive instructors and students were subjected to repression. After the liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945 and the beginning of socialist construction, a unified state school system was set up, and the goals and tasks of instruction changed fundamentally. A law enacted in 1948 nationalized all educational institutions and separated the school from the church.

The present education system provides for nurseries for children up to the age of three and kindergartens for children three to five years of age. In the 1976–77 school year the country’s 9,554 kindergartens were attended by 522,000 children. Instruction is compulsory for children between six and 16 years of age. The eight-year basic school, enrolling children from six to 14 years of age, consists of a primary level (grades 1 to 4) and an incomplete secondary level (grades 5 to 8). In the 1976–77 school year there were 8,550 basic schools with an enrollment of more than 1,882,000. Upon completing the basic school, the student may enroll in (1) a four-year complete secondary school, called a Gymnasium, (2) a two-to four-year vocational school training skilled workers for various branches of the national economy, or (3) a secondary vocational school offering three or four years of instruction. In the 1976–77 school year there were 339 Gymnasiums with 137,100 students, and about 400,000 students attended secondary vocational schools of all types.

The system of higher education includes universities, institutes, and higher schools with a course of instruction lasting four to six years. In the 1976–77 academic year there were 36 higher educational institutions with 168,300 students. The largest of these institutions are the universities of Prague (founded 1348), Bratislava (1919), Brno (1919), Olomouc (1576), and Koäice (1959); the technical universities in Prague (1707), Bratislava (1938), and Brno (1899); the higher schools of chemical technology in Prague (1952) and Pardubice (1950); the schools of economics in Prague (1953) and Bratislava (1940); the agricultural colleges in Prague (1906), Brno (1919), and Nitra (1946); the Academy of Arts and the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague; the Polytechnical Institute and the L. Janáéek Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in Brno; and the Higher School of Fine Arts in Bratislava.

Many of the country’s largest libraries are in Prague: the State Library of the Czech Socialist Republic (founded 1958; 4.6 million volumes in 1976), the Main Library of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (1952; more than 700,000 volumes), the National Museum Library (1818; 2.4 million volumes), the Public Library (1891; 2,048,000 volumes), the State Technical Library (1707; 724,000 volumes), and the State Pedagogical Library (1919; 363,000 volumes). Outside the capital, major libraries include the University Library in Bratislava (1919; 1,563,700 volumes), the Matice Slovenská in Martin (1863; 1,850,000 volumes), the University Library in Brno (1815; 1,689,000 volumes), the State Technical Library (1899; 1.1 million volumes) in Brno, and the State Scientific Library in Košice (1657; 846,500 volumes).

The most important Prague museums are the National Museum, the National Gallery, the Museum of the Capital City of Prague, the V. I. Lenin Museum, the Klement Gottwald Museum, the State Jewish Museum, the ethnographic, agricultural, and anthropological museums, the J. A. Komenský Pedagogical Museum, and the B. Smetana and A. Dvořák museums. Among other fine museums are the Slovak National Museum, the Slovak National Gallery, and the Municipal Museum in Bratislava, and the Moravian Museum, the Moravian Gallery, and the Municipal Museum in Brno. There are also several regional museums of local lore.


Natural and technical sciences, TO THE LATE 18TH CENTURY. In the Middle Ages urban handicrafts, chiefly cloth-making and metalworking, construction, metallurgy, and mining flourished in the area now known as Czechoslovakia. In the 13th and 14th centuries important mineral deposits were discovered, notably silver ore at Kutná Hora and Banská Štiavnica and copper ore at Banská Bystrica. From the 14th century the focal point of scientific development in the Czech lands was Charles University, whose instructors included the mathematician and medical man Křišt’an of Prachatice, and the astronomer and botanist Jan Šindel. The German astronomer and mathematician Regiomontanus worked for a time at the first Slovak university, which was founded in Bratislava in 1467 and existed until 1591. The first Czech printing press was founded in Plzeň around 1468, and another printing press was established in Prague in 1480. One of the first books to be printed in the Czech lands was the medical work Vetularius by Albík of Uničov. The Byelorussian printer F. Skorina worked in Prague from 1517 to 1519.

Several major works devoted to practical achievements appeared in the 16th and 17th centuries. G. Agrícola, who lived in Jachymov, wrote On Mining and Metallurgy, which for two centuries served as a textbook and reference work. The works of Matthesius and L. Ercker contained information on geology, mineralogy, and assay analysis. V. Křička, the builder of the “singing fountain” on Hradčany Hill in Prague, wrote a Czechlanguage handbook on foundry work (first published in 1947). The eminent physician J. Kamenický wrote on liver diseases, and Jordan of Klausenburk studied therapeutic mineral springs, including those at Karlovy Vary.

Renaissance ideas influenced the work of Tadeáš Hájek, a physician, botanist, and astronomer who expounded the heliocentric system; A. Zalužanský, the author of the first Czech work on botany (1592); and J. Jessenius, a naturalist and the physician of Rudolph II. A scientific center of European renown, attracting such famous scientists as Tycho Brahe and J. Kepler, emerged at Rudolph’s court in Prague in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The Czech Cosmography, published in 1554, contained geographical information about many countries. A university was founded in Olomouc in 1576.

The loss of political independence and the stifling of the national culture had a detrimental effect on the further development of science in the Czech lands. Charles University was reorganized and merged with a Jesuit college in 1654. The reopened educational institutions at Trnava (1635) and Košice (1657) regarded as their primary goal the restoration of Catholicism. The best known of the few scientists who worked alone were Marci von Kronland, whose studies in optics included an explanation of the rainbow, and J. Dobřenský, who initiated the clinical teaching of medicine in Bohemia. In the 1620’s and 1630’s blasting with gunpowder came into use in mining.

An engineering school was established by the estates in Prague in 1707, and in 1751 an astronomical and meteorological observatory was built in the city through the efforts of J. Stepling. The world’s first higher mining school was founded in Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia, in 1763–64 and reorganized as a mining academy in 1770. Its faculty included J. K. Hell, who had invented a hydraulic engine in the 1730’s and 1740’s. Other prominent 18th-century men of science were the physician and naturalist J. K. Boháč, who investigated the possibility of using electricity in therapy, the inventor P. Divisch, who built the first grounded lightning rod in Europe (1754), and J. Tesánek, the author of several works on number theory.

LATE 18TH AND FIRST HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURIES. The last decades of the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century, the period known as the National Renaissance, saw the founding of several new learned and higher educational institutions. The Bohemian Society of Sciences was founded in Prague in 1784; it was renamed the Royal Bohemian Society of Sciences in 1790. A royal-estate technical school was founded in Prague in 1806, later becoming a polytechnical institute, and a higher school of forestry was established in Zvolen in 1807. The Museum of the Kingdom of Bohemia (founded in 1818, now the National Museum) and the Matice Česká played an important role in strengthening Bohemia’s scientific forces and in organizing research. The Slovak Learned Society was founded in Trnava in 1793.

The late 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries were marked by a number of outstanding scientific achievements. F. A. Reuss embarked on one of the first mineralogical and balneological studies of the mountain regions of Bohemia. His work was continued by his son A. E. Reuss. J. Krejčí, who studied the Ore Mountains, is regarded as the founder of Czech geology. K. Šternberk made a major contribution to the classification of fossil plants, and F. M. Opiz laid the foundation for the study of the flora of Bohemia. A prominent place in the development of modern Czech science belongs to J. S. Presl, who with his brother K. B. Presl published the Flora of Bohemia (1819), the first such work, and a fundamental work on mineralogy (1837). Systematically developing Czech scientific terminology, Presl was one of the founders of Czech scientific writing. In 1821, Presl and J. Jungmann undertook the publication of the first Czech encyclopedia. G. Reuss produced the first botanical description of Šlovakia, and L. Smarda published the three-volume compendium Geographic Distribution of Animals (1853).

Several Czech physiologists and physicians came to prominence in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. G. Procháska was one of the founders of the reflex theory, which subsequently became the basis of neurophysiology. The internationally acclaimed work of J. E. Purkinje (Purkyně) had a great impact on the development of cytology, anatomy, and embryology and led to the formulation of the cell theory. B. Bolzano introduced several important concepts of mathematical analysis.

There were also advances in technology and in the technical sciences. In the late 18th century I. Born proposed a method of recovering gold and silver by amalgamation. F. J. Gerstner, who offered original solutions to several practical problems of mechanics, improved mine hoisting machines. J. Ressel designed and successfully tested (1826) a screw propeller for ships. In the 1820’s a horse-drawn railroad was built from České Budějovice to Linz. The first railroad, connecting Prague with Olomouc, went into opertion in 1845.

FROM THE MID-19TH CENTURY TO 1918. In the years between the Revolution of 1848 and the emergence of the Czechoslovak state the political climate was not conducive to scientific endeavor. Among the scientists who emigrated abroad were the biologists and physicians K. von Rokitansky, J. Škoda, F. von Hebra, and F. Chvostek and the mechanical engineer A. Stodola. The disparity between scientific development in the Czech lands and in Slovakia became increasingly apparent. Few educational or learned institutions were established in Slovakia: an agricultural school was opened in Liptovský Hrádok in 1871, an industrial school was organized in Krukotin in 1875, and a society of physicians and naturalists was founded in Bratislava in 1856. The Matice Slovenská, founded in 1863, was closed in 1875. Despite the difficulties, D. Štúr continued his research in zoology and paleontology, and A. Kmet’ and J. Holuby pursued their work in botany.

In the Czech lands learned societies were formed in several branches of science: medicine (1862), mathematics (1862), chemistry (1871), geology (1884), and geography (1894). A committee for the study of the natural resources of the Czech lands was established at the National Museum in 1864. When the Prague Polytechnical Institute was divided into a Czech and a German institute in 1863, the Czech institute became the first higher educational institution to use Czech as the language of instruction. In 1882 the University of Prague was likewise divided into two universities. The newly formed Czech educational institutions engendered several schools of 20th-century Czechoslovak scientific thought. By the turn of the 20th century Czech-language scientific works existed in virtually all fields. The Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts was founded in 1890.

Important work in geology was done by J. Barrande (corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences from 1877), who settled in Bohemia in 1831. Barrande’s 24-volume monograph is considered a classic of 19th-century paleontology. F. B. Pošepný did pioneering work on the theory of ore deposits. C. Purkyně and J. V. Daneš laid the foundation for Czech geomorphology, and K. Kořistka compiled geographical maps of most of Bohemia. Prominent biologists included the botanist L. Čelakovský, an exponent of Darwinism, and the zoologists A. Frič and F. Vejdovský, who wrote on animal anatomy. G. Mendel, the founder of genetics, conducted his experiments in a monastery in Brno, publishing in 1866 in the proceedings of the local natural science society the Experiments in Plant Hybridization, a classic work that won world recognition in the 20th century. Advances in chemistry included B. Brauner’s studies on rare-earth elements, V. Šafařík’s research in inorganic chemistry, and J. Stoklasa’s work on the biochemistry of plants and agricultural chemistry. Important work in medicine was done by the microbiologist J. Hlava, the surgeon K. Maydl, and the gynecologist and urologist K. Pavlik. J. Jansky won international acclaim for his description of blood groups in 1907.

The leading mathematicians of this period were Eduard Weyr, who wrote on the projective theory of curves, his brother Emil Weyr, and F. J. Studnička, who worked on the theory of determinants. M. Lerch was noted for his works on number theory and the theory of special functions.

The metallurgy industry benefited from F. Wald’s work in physical chemistry. Various problems of extracting minerals were solved by the engineers E. Hořovský and J. Hrabák, the latter recognized as the founder of Czechoslovak mining mechanics. F. Křižík built the first electric power plant in Bohemia in 1888 and an electrified railroad in 1903. A Czech school of construction engineering emerged under J. Šolin, and the well-known Czech school of sugar refining was established by K. Preis and K. Andrlík. Other technical achievements included J. Husnik’s development of phototype in 1868 and F. Hruska’s invention of a honey extractor in 1865.

FROM 1918 TO 1945. After independence, the Czechoslovak government established research institutes in Prague in geology (1919, under C. Purkyně), hydrology (1919), and meteorology (1920). Several research institutes and laboratories were set up at Charles University. The university that was founded in Brno in 1919 acquired a natural science faculty the following year. The Czechoslovak Scientific Research Council, founded in 1919, was essentially a representative body. In Slovakia, the J. A. Komenský University was founded in 1919 in Bratislava (a natural science faculty was added in 1938), and the Matice Slovenská was revived. The P. J. Šafařík Learned Society was founded in 1926 to promote scientific work. State appropriations for research, generally small, were reduced to a bare minimum during the economic crisis of 1929–33.

The interwar period saw major achievements in chemistry. J. Heyrovský (elected to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1966) developed the polarographic method in 1922. E. Votoček’s investigations in analytical chemistry and the chemistry of sugar and J. Dubský’s work on complex compounds were widely acclaimed. The mathematician E. Čech did pioneering work in projective differential geometry. F. J. Studnička, the mathematician, was a tireless popularizer of science. F. Záviška’s works dealt with problems of crystallography and hydrodynamics, and V. Dolejšek did research on X rays.

The contributions of Czechoslovak biologists were also significant. B. Němec was one of the founders of experimental cytology. In the tradition of the national school of physiology, E. Babák studied the adaptation of organisms under extreme conditions. V. Ružička won recognition for his work in genetics. The surgeon J. Diviš and the cardiologist V. Libenský did outstanding work in medicine. V. Dedina directed the publication of a multivolume regional geography of Czechoslovakia (1929–31). F. Ulrich and R. Nováček conducted research in mineralogy and geochemistry.

The occupation of the country by fascist troops severely undermined Czechoslovak science. Scientific institutions and universities were closed. The clerical-fascist regime in Slovakia established, for demagogic purposes, the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1943. Záviška, Dolejšek, Ulrich, Nováček, and many other scientists perished during the occupation.

SINCE 1945. After the liberation of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Army, and especially after the victory of the working people in 1948, science was confronted with fundamentally new tasks related to the development of the material and technical basis for socialism and the socialist transformation of society. The higher educational institutions that had been closed were reopened, and new ones were founded; a network of research institutions was established to serve various branches of the national economy. The founding of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in 1952 was followed by the creation of the Slovak Academy of Sciences the next year. The network of scientific institutions steadily expanded, and the coordination of scientific work became more precise. Research, planning, and design organizations were founded not only in Prague and Bratislava but also in many other cities, including the industrial centers of Brno, Ostrava, Gottwaldov, and Košice. The higher educational institutions increased their commitment to research.

Outstanding achievements in mathematics have included E. Čech’s and V. Jarník’s work on the theory of functions and V. Kořínek’s research on group theory. Czechoslovak mathematicians have turned to branches that hitherto received little attention: differential equations, functional analysis, probability theory and mathematical statistics, mathematical logic, and some fields of cybernetics. They are also working on problems of applied mathematics.

A conference of Czechoslovak physicists held in 1951 defined for the first time the basic directions of physics research in the country. The study of X rays continues. Significant work is being done on the physics of semiconductors and ferrites, the magnetic properties of metals, crystallography, low-temperature physics, and superconductivity. Research on the physics of elementary particles and the atomic nucleus has begun with the help of Soviet specialists. In 1957 the first Czechoslovak nuclear reactor was put into operation at Řež. Research on plasma physics, using a Tokamak unit, has been initiated in cooperation with the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Several kinds of electronic microscopes and other unique instruments have been developed, including instruments for the study of the structure and energy states of surfaces. Astronomical research, much of it conducted at the Ondfejov Astronomical Institute, has focused on interplanetary matter (V. Guth) and on the physics of the sun, stars, and stellar systems.

In chemistry, J. Heyrovský received the Nobel Prize in 1959 for his work on the theory and technology of polarography. Two of Heyrovský’s students have also won recognition: R. Brdička for his work on chemical kinetics and D. Ilkovič for his work on thermodynamics. R. Lukeš and his associates have made a major contribution to the chemistry of natural and heterocyclic compounds. Geologists are studying minerals and ores (F. Slavík). Problems of tectonics (V. Zoubek, elected to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1976) and engineering geology are being resolved in conjunction with large building projects. A geological map of the CSSR (1:200,000 scale) has been published, and geo-morphological maps have been compiled. A national atlas has been published. F. Vitásek has written one of the most comprehensive textbooks of physical geography (4th ed., 1956–65). Research is under way on landscape science (J. Demek) and on the protection of the environment.

Czechoslovak biologists have done significant work in plant physiology, geobotany, paleobotany, microbiology (D. Blaškovič, elected to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1966), virology, molecular biology (F. Herčík), and biophysics (J. Šterzl). In the medical sciences promising research is being done in histology (F. Studnička), medical biochemistry, endocrinology, human physiology and pathophysiology (V. Laufberger), and medical microbiology. Progress in neurology has been achieved by J. Hrbek (elected to the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR in 1969), and several branches of surgery have been advanced by K. Šiška (elected to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1971 and to the Academy of Medical Sciences of the USSR in 1969) and by F. Burian. Expanding research in pharmacology has led to the discovery of a number of cytostatic and psychopharmacological drugs. Other medical research fields include oncology (V. Thurzo) and pediatrics (J. Houštěk). In the agricultural sciences research has focused on the physiology and genetics of farm animals, general and special zootechny, agronomy, soil science, forestry, land reclamation, and the mechanization of agricultural production.

The technical sciences are flourishing, particularly fields that apply to machine building: applied mechanics (J. Kožešník, elected to the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1971), the theory of elasticity and plasticity and the theory of welding (J. Čabelka), and the theory of hydraulic machines (J. Hýbl). O. Maštovský’s research and designs have improved the parameters of power-engineering machinery. P. Ryš is doing important work in materials technology and S. Bechyně in construction mechanics. Problems of water management are being studied by T. Eždik. As a result of special engineering studies of rocks and the methods of breaking them, new mineral deposits are being worked and the output of minerals has increased. There has been notable progress in power engineering (J. Řeznicek), electronics and radio engineering (J. Stránský), the technology of strong currents (B. Heller), and the technology of semiconductor materials (Z. Trousil). A computer industry is being established. The products of several industries are noted for their high technical level, namely motor vehicles, including the heavy Tatra trucks, the electric locomotives of the ČKD Plant, river boats, means of communication, and equipment for the leather footwear and textile industries.

Czechoslovak scientists and engineers are working with specialists from the USSR and other socialist countries at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research and on projects of the Interkosmos Program. V. Remek, the first Czechoslovak astronaut, took part in the flight of the Soviet orbital research complex Salyut 6-Soyuz in March 1978. During the flight the international crew conducted several joint studies and experiments prepared by specialists in the USSR and the CSSR. The scientific and technical cooperation within COMECON encompasses several branches of machine building, metallurgy, power engineering, medicine, and public health. Czechoslovak scientists have taken part in many international programs, among them the international Years of the Quiet Sun, the International Hydrological Decade, the International Biological Program, and the International Project on the Upper Mantle of the Earth. Cooperation with many international scientific organizations is expanding.

Social sciences, PHILOSOPHY. Medieval Czech philosophy was dominated by Thomist scholasticism, whose influence began to wane in the early 15th century with the rise of the antifeudal revolutionary Hussite movement. The forerunners of Hussitism were Matthew of Janov, Vojtěch Raňkův, and Thomas of Stítný. Jan Hus, the ideologist of the Czech Reformation, preached a humane interpretation of “god’s law” as the norm of social relations and social justice. The revolutionary wing of the Hussite movement, the Taborites, who repudiated feudalism, held the authority of reason to be the highest principle. The Taborites’ views contained elements of pantheism. P. Chelčický, one of the ideologists of the Taborites, rejected the feudal division of society into estates and proposed a Utopian program of social reform, to be achieved by passive resistance.

The next phase in Czech philosophy was marked by a blending of Reformation ideas with humanism, which was beginning to speculate about the development of the natural world and society. The humanist tradition in Czech philosophy culminated in the work of J. A. Komenský (Comenius), who held that education and upbringing must be based on enlightened reason and be imbued with the spirit of universal harmony.

In Slovakia, 15th-century philosophy developed under the influence of Renaissance and Reformation doctrines. Founded in the latter half of the 17th century by J. Bayer and I. Caban, the Prešov school was influenced by F. Bacon’s ideas and P. Gas-sendi’s atomism. From the mid-18th century Slovak philosophical thought flourished at the University of Trnava and in learned societies. Such Slovak thinkers as J. Laurentzy, J. Feješ, and M. Steigel attacked religious prejudice, affirmed the independence of thought, and propagated deism, empiricism, and Kantianism.

With the development of capitalist relations in the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries, Czech Enlightenment learning, based on the rational-critical method, found ardent champions in J. Dobrovský and G. Prochaska. The ideologists of the Czech and Slovak National Renaissance—J. Jungmann, F. Palacký, and J. Kollár—espoused the dialectical concepts of J. G. Herder, F. Schelling, and G. Hegel. The Czech mathematician and philosopher B. Bolzano proposed a methodological analysis of the logical foundations of science. Under the influence of Hegelianism the bourgeois-democratic thinkers L. Štúr, J. M. Hurban, F. Klácel, and A. Smetana developed a philosophy of nationalism, history, and art and expounded ideas of freedom and social utopia. The radical democrats E. Arnold, K. Sabina, and J. V. Frič called for progressive social and political changes.

In the latter half of the 19th century the ideas of the German philosopher J. F. Herbart attracted many adherents to the Czech lands and Slovakia. Another major trend, positivism, had a considerable influence on T. G. Masaryk, an ideologist of bourgeois reformism and an opponent of Marxism.

Marxist ideas, filtering into the Czech labor movement in the 1870’s and spreading to Slovakia in the 1880’s, were disseminated by the “pioneers” of socialism J. B. Pecka and L. Zápotocký. The activity of B. Šmeral was of great importance for the growth of the labor movement and the spread of Marxist-Leninist ideology. In the period of the bourgeois republic Czech and Slovak Marxists, led by K. Gottwald, worked on problems of Marxist-Leninist philosophy. The foundation for a Marxist tradition in philosophy and sociology was laid by Z. Nejedlý and L. Štoll in the Czech lands and by L. Szántó and A. Sirácky in Slovakia.

Contemporary Marxist-Leninist philosophers and sociologists, notably I. Hrušovský, R. Richta, V. Ruml, L. Svoboda, V. Filkorn, and V. Cirbes, are studying the development of a socialist society, the scientific and technological revolution, and philosophical and logical problems of modern science. They are combating bourgeois ideology and revisionism, openly manifested in 1968–69 in the attacks of some philosophers and sociologists on the basic principles of the Marxist-Leninist world view.

Czechoslovak philosophers and sociologists are working closely with scholars in the USSR and other socialist countries, participating in joint conferences, research, and publications. Philosophical and sociological research is conducted by the philosophy departments of the Czechoslovak and Slovak academies of sciences, at the Higher School of Political Studies attached to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, at institutes of Marxism-Leninism, and by the philosophy faculties of the universities in Prague, Bratislava, and Brno. The leading philosophical and sociological journals are Filosofický časopis (since 1953), Sociologický časopis (since 1965), Nova mysl (since 1947), Slovenský filozofický časopis (founded 1946; since 1966, Filozofia), and Sociológice (since 1969), the last two journals being published in Slovakia.

HISTORY. In the Czech and Slovak lands early feudal historical literature originated in the late ninth and early tenth centuries, when hagiographies, in Old Church Slavonic and Latin, were written about the Slavic educators Cyril and Methodius, the Přemyslid rulers Ludmila and Václav (Wenceslas), and the Prague bishops Vojtěch (Adalbert) and Procopius. The finest example of Czech annal writing of the early Middle Ages is the Czech Chronicle, written in Latin in the early 12th century by Cosmas of Prague, dean of the St. Vitus Cathedral. The Bratislava Annals of the late 12th century are also written in Latin. The first historical work to be written in Czech was the rhymed Dalimil Chronicle of the early 14th century. The Chronicle of Abbot Petr Žitavský, written in Latin and covering events down to 1338, dates from the same period.

The highly polemical historical writing of the Hussite period (first half of the 15th century) incorporated such new professional techniques and forms as document citations, diary entries, and dialogues and reflected the more diverse social background of the authors. The chronicles of Vavřinec z Březově, Petr z Mladoňovic, and Mikuláš z Pelhřimova, as well as other historical works, mirrored the bitter social, political, and ideological conflict of that time. After the defeat of the Hussite movement, Reformation and humanist ideas were expounded by such 16th-century writers as Sixt z Ottersdorfa and Jan Blahoslav, whose principal adversary was Václav Hájek z Libočan, the spokesman of the Czech Catholic nobility. The most important 16th-century Slovak historian was M. Rakovský, who wrote mainly in verse. After the onset of Catholic reaction in the 1620’s, the traditions of progressive historiography were carried on by P. Stránský, P. Skála, and B. Balbín. The 18th century writers M. Bel and F. A. Kollár paved the way for the Slovak historiography of the National Renaissance.

The development of capitalist relations in the late 18th and first half of the 19th centuries promoted a rapid expansion of historical studies. The historians of the early period of the National Renaissance, notably G. Dobner, J. Dobrovský, and F. M. Pelel, initiated the scholarly critique of sources and produced the first historical works aimed at instilling national consciousness. J. Papánek and J. Fándly expressed Enlightenment views in their works on Slovak history. P. J. Šafařík’s Slavic Antiquities (1837) and Ethnography of the Slavs (1843) were the first scholarly investigations of the early history of the Slavic peoples. The greatest historian of the first half of the 19th century was F. Palacký. Representing the bourgeois national-liberal wing of the “romantic” trend in Czech historiography, Palacký and his numerous followers were especially interested in the Hussite movement, which they considered a heroic chapter of their national history. Their works, however, did not reveal the social preconditions of the Czech people’s struggle against national and religious oppression. Unlike them, K. Sabina, E. Arnold, and other radical democrats perceived the social roots of the Hussite movement and understood the revolutionary nature of the peasant war led by J. Žižka. The historical-philosophical and political writings of L. Štúr had a profound effect on 19th-century Slovak historiography.

The defeat of the Revolution of 1848–49 reinforced the conservative and pro-Hapsburg tendencies in Czech bourgeois historiography, whose leading exponent was V. Tomek. By the 1860’s, however, liberal positivism had become the dominant school in historiography. Led by A. Gindely, J. Koloušek, K. J. Erben, and J. Emler, the historians of this school wrote basic works on national history and collected and published a large number of official documents and legal records. In Slovakia, the foremost representative of romantic historiography, which held sway down to the end of the 19th century, was F. V. Sasinek.

The “pure positivist” school of Czech historiography, founded by J. Goll, expanded the subject matter of research to include international relations and social and economic history, broadened the chronological scope to encompass the pre- and post-Hussite periods, enriched the study of sources, and began applying the comparative historical method. The primary weakness of the positivist historians, notably V. Novotný, J. Šusta, G. Friedrich, Z. Winter, K. Krofta, B. Mendl, and V. Chaloupecký, was their tendency to concentrate on individual problems of history. The Goll school, which in the late 19th and early 20th centuries dominated first Czech and then Czechoslovak historiography, underwent considerable evolutionary changes. Some of Goll’s students increasingly confined themselves to simply describing historical events and ascertaining facts, reducing comparative history to the “theory of influences.” The tumultuous events of the first decades of the 20th century caused a deep ideological and political rift between Goll’s students and followers. While J. Pekař took an ultraconservative approach to the major periods of medieval and modern Czech history, Z. Nejedlý, another of Goll’s students, criticized the positivists for restricting the tasks of historical research, for refusing to make philosophical generalizations, and for attempting to make history a “pure science.”

Other major scholarly contributions at the turn of the century included the early works of the archaeologist and historian L. Niederle, the first works on the modern political history of the Czech lands (A. Srb), the first studies devoted to political, social, national, and cultural problems of Austro-Hungarian history (Z. Tobolka), and the first works on the history of the Czech labor movement (L. Zápotocký, C. Horáček, and B. Šmeral).

After the establishment of the bourgeois Czechoslovak republic, although Czech and Slovak medieval history continued to engross bourgeois scholars, they showed a much greater interest in modern and contemporary national history, particularly in the restoration of the national state. Important work in post-medieval history was done by Tobolka, K. Kazbunda, J. Opočenský, K. A. Medvecký, and J. Botto. There appeared numerous works on “legion” history, dealing with the Czechoslovak political organizations and military units in the Entente countries during World War I. The most influential scholars working on this subject—F. Šteidler, J. Papoušek, J. Kudela, and J. Werstadt—upheld the concept of “national liberation” expounded in the works of Masaryk and other political leaders of the governing bourgeois Hrada group. The social-reformist historians, notably F. Soukoup and I. Dérer, also did not transcend Masaryk’s concept, although they devoted much attention to the history of the labor movement. A right-wing, conservative alternative to the official concept of national liberation was propounded by K. Kramář and his followers F. Zuman and A. Kalina. The sole exponent of left-wing legion literature was J. Kratochvíl.

Nejedlý’s scholarly and publicistic work promoted the development of progressive views on national history and acquainted the Czechoslovak public with the scientific and cultural achievements of the Soviet Union. The Marxist trend in Czechoslovak historiography was represented mainly by the writings of Communist Party leaders, notably Šmeral, K. Kreibich, J. Šverma, and K. Konrad. In the second half of the 1930’s young historians sympathetic to Marxism, among them V. Husa, O. Řiha, and V. Čejchan, rallied around the journal History and Modern Times.

In the first years after the liberation of Czechoslovakia from the fascist occupation, although bourgeois historians remained influential in education and scholarship, they were already opposed by a group of Marxist historians who were advocating radical changes in the methodology, subject matter, and methods of historical research. Nejedtý formulated the basic principles of a Marxist view of Czechoslovak history.

The prerequisites for intensive Marxist research were created in Czechoslovakia after 1948, when historians began working on problems and periods of national history that had been either totally ignored or distorted in bourgeois historiography, and new sources were made available to scholars. Central problems relating to the ethnogenesis of the Slavs and to the history of the primitive communal system, in the Czech lands and Slovakia have been studied by Nejedlý, J. Bern, J. Filip, J. Eisner, J. Poulík, and B. Chropovský. The origins of feudalism and capitalism and the modern national liberation and labor movements have been investigated by Husa, Gosiorovský, Řiha, D. Rapant, F. Roubík, B. Varsik, Z. Fiala, J. Janáček, R. Urbánek, J. Purš, J. Křížek, J. Kočí, and P. Ratkoš. Many diverse problems pertaining to contemporary Czechoslovak and world history, to international relations, and to the history of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia have been studied by J. Veselý, Gosiorovský, L. Holotík, Z. Snitil, V. Plevza, J. Hrozienčík, V. Král, I. Krempa, M. Kropilák, and Č. Amort. Monographic research has permitted the publication of such collaborative syntheses as the Atlas of Czechoslovak History, the Survey of Czechoslovak History, and the History of Slovakia, as well as surveys of the history of the Communist Party and the foreign policy of Czechoslovakia and surveys of the history of Czech-Russian and Czechoslovak-Soviet relations.

Some of the historical works and “historical journalism” produced in 1968–69 betrayed right-opportunist and antisocialist tendencies that essentially represented attempts at a bourgeois-nationalist revision of the Marxist-Leninist theory of the objective laws of historical development and at a reevaluation of the key periods in the history of Czechoslovakia and the workers’ and communist movement. The overcoming of these harmful tendencies in the early 1970’s was the crucial prerequisite for the further development of Czechoslovak historiography.

Czechoslovak historians are working with international scholarly organizations and with historians in the USSR and other socialist states. Such cooperation includes the formation of bilateral historical commissions, the joint publication of multivolume collections of documents, and collaboration on basic historical research.

The main centers of historical research, which also train scholars and teachers, are the universities in Prague, Bratislava, Brno, Olomouc, and Košice-Prešov, the Institute of Czechoslovak and World History of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (CSAS) in Prague, the History Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) in Bratislava, the Czechoslovak-Soviet Institute of the CSAS in Prague, the Institute of European Socialist Countries of the SAS in Bratislava, and the Silesian Institute of the CSAS in Opava. Other major centers of historical research are the Institute of Ethnography and Folklore of the CSAS in Prague, the Ethnography Institute of the SAS in Bratislava, the Archaeology Institute of the CSAS in Prague, the Archaeology Institute of the CSAS in Brno, the Archaeology Institute of the SAS in Nitra, the Oriental Institute of the CSAS in Prague, the Institute of Military History in Prague, the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in Prague, and the Institute of Marxism-Leninism under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Slovakia in Bratislava.

The main history periodicals are Sbornik historicky (since 1953), Slovanské historické studie (since 1955), Slovanské stúdie (since 1957), Slovensky národopis (since 1953), Numismatickysbornik (since 1953), Histórica (since 1959), Archaeologické rozhledy (since 1949), Archiv orientalni (since 1929), Byzantinoslavica (since 1929), Ceskoslovensky casopis historicky (since 1953), Cesky’ lid (since 1892), Památky archaeologické (since 1909), Slezksy sbornik (since 1936), Slovansky pfehled (since 1899), Historické studie (since 1955), Casopis Národnéhomuzea (since 1827), Casopis Matice moravské (since 1869), Historicky casopis (since 1953), Historie a vojenstvi (since 1952), and Studia historia slovaca (since 1963).


ECONOMICS. In the Czech lands and Slovakia the study of economics developed later than in the West European countries. An urgent need for economic study arose only in the 19th century, when the disintegration of feudal relations and the development of capitalism, more rapid in the Czech lands than in Slovakia, were accompanied by a national revival. The foundations of Czech bourgeois economic theory were laid by F. L. Rieger, who in the mid-19th century wrote the first significant works on political economy in Czech, translated several works by French economists, and undertook to work out a Czech economics terminology. Bourgeois political economy developed rapidly in the Czech lands in the second half of the 19th century. Its main objectives were to justify theoretically the necessity of developing capitalism and eradicating feudal vestiges and to find ways of vanquishing both the German bourgeoisie, Czech capital’s main competitor on the domestic and foreign markets, and the growing labor movement. This social function was fulfilled by F. A. Brauner, J. Kaizl, A. Bráf, and J. Gruber. The German historical school and the Austrian school of vulgar political economy had a great influence on the development of bourgeois political economy in the Czech lands.

Marxist economic theory was somewhat slow to gain a following in the Czech lands and Slovakia. The first Marxist works in Czech and an incomplete Czech translation of Marx’ Das Kapital were published only shortly before World War I. It was not until 1937 that a popular exposition of Marxist political economy was published, A. Kamenicky’s Fundamentals of Marxist Economics. This circumstance facilitated the dissemination of reformist and opportunist ideas in the Czechoslovak labor movement. Revisionist interpretations of Marxism, such as that of F. Modráček, gained currency.

After 1918 bourgeois political economy was supported by the ruling circles, who required an economic theory that would defend the interests of the national bourgeoisie. Such a defense was provided by V. Mildschuh, A. Rašín, C. Čechrák, A. Basch, C. Horáček, and J. Loevenstein in the Czech lands and by I. Karvas and R. Briska in Slovakia. K. Englis, a prominent bourgeois political economist of the interwar period, proposed a teleological method of economic analysis based on the psychology of the economic “subject,” seeking thereby to prove the viability of the capitalist economic system. Most bourgeois Czechoslovak economists were indebted to this theory down to World War II. J. Macek, who was strongly influenced by Keynesianism, had a considerable impact on the formation of the reformist views of the right-wing Czechoslovak Social Democrats.

The events of 1948 opened up broad opportunities for basic and applied economic research. In the 1950’s Czechoslovak economists focused on the socialist nationalization of industry, the formation of agricultural cooperatives, the industrialization of backward areas, the achievement of a high growth rate of socialist reproduction, and the creation of a system of planning. Right-wing revisionist views proliferated in Czechoslovak economics in the 1960’s and were even put into practice by the end of the decade. The revisionists, whose leading exponent was O. Sik, tried to justify the need for “market socialism” in Czechoslovakia. In the early 1970’s this point of view was subjected to a comprehensive in-depth Marxist critique.

Czechoslovak economists are studying the political economy of capitalism, the political economy of socialism, the history of economic theories, and problems relating to national economic planning, the management of the socialist economy, and the efficiency of the national economy. Other research fields include the economics of agriculture, distribution, pricing policy, finance, the application of mathematical methods to economics, the international division of labor, the economics of foreign trade, and socialist economic integration. Significant work in these fields has been done by F. Oliva, V. Kvěš, L. Rendoš, J. Bouška, L. Ler, J. Nikl, J. Kabrhel, J. Rezníček, and J. Break. Cooperation in economic research is steadily expanding among the economists of the COMECON countries.

The main economics centers are the School of Economics in Prague, the School of Economics in Bratislava, the Institute of Economics of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Economics of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the Scientific Research Institute for the Planning and Management of the National Economy, the Czechoslovak Scientific Research Institute of Labor, and the Scientific Research Institute of the Standard of Living.

The principal economics journals are Politická ekonomie (since 1953), Ekonomicky casopis (since 1953), Plánované hospodáfství (since 1948), Statistika (since 1962), Finance a úver (since 1951), Modemi h’zeni (since 1966), and Zahranični obchod (since 1946). The weekly Hospodářské noviny has been published since 1958.


JURISPRUDENCE. Urban, ecclesiastical, and other types of law, as well as jurisprudence, were highly developed by the turn of the 14th century, especially in the Czech lands. This period saw the appearance of the first official and private codifications of customary law, the former exemplified by Vaclav IPs mining code and the Maiestas Carolina and the latter by the Rozmberk Book (13th–14th centuries), written in Czech, the law book of Ondřej of Duba (1400), also in Czech, and the law book of the scribe Jan of Brno (14th century), written in Latin. In the late 14th and early 15th centuries lively discussions of current political and legal problems were held within and outside the law faculty of the University of Prague, which had become a center for the training of experts in canon law. The best-known work on legal matters was written by Cornelius Viktorin z Všehrd at the turn of the 16th century. The law book written by Pavel Kristián of Koldfn in 1579 became the basis for standardizing urban law throughout the Czech lands in the next century. Slovakia, ruled by Hungarian feudal lords, also produced some important legal works, generally written in German, Latin, or Czech. Especially noteworthy are the first and second Bratislava law books (15th and 16th centuries), the Articuli communitatis of Košice (1604), and the law book of Žilina (15th century).

Despite the Hapsburgs’ policy of germanizing political life and forcibly imposing German law, the traditional Czech law and legal system hung on throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Eighteenth-century works calling for a national revival championed Enlightenment ideas and natural law (J. V. Monse). Earlier, J. A. Komenský (Comenius) had expounded progressive ideas concerning the state and law.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Czech legal scholars, notably M. A. Voigt and J. Veith, devoted much attention to the history of the Czech state and law. The heightened interest in Czech legal history that was kindled by the Revolution of 1848 led to the publication of major works by K. Sladkovsky, A. Štrobach, and F. L. Rieger and to the creation of a Czech legal terminology. Nevertheless, an official jurisprudence developed only in the 1860’s in connection with the emergence of Czech bourgeois legal science. The foremost legal scholars of the latter half of the century were A. Randa, E. Ott (civil law), J. Pražák (public law), A. Zucker, F. Storch (criminalistics), B. Rieger, and J. Čelakovsky (history of the state and law). A Slovak legal terminology was formulated in the late 19th century by M. Mudroft, and a Slovak bourgeois legal science emerged in the early 20th century under the guidance of E. Stodola and A. Rath.

Positivism and normativism were the dominant schools in official jurisprudence in the early 20th century. Fascist theories gained a certain influence in the 1930’s.

The establishment of people’s rule in Czechoslovakia was followed by the creation of a Marxist-Leninist legal science, but not without a struggle against bourgeois, right-opportunist, and anti-socialist views of the state and law, which became especially influential in 1968–69. Czechoslovak jurists have done outstanding work on the theory of the state and law, the constitutional development of the country, socialist popular representative institutions, international law, socialist comparative law, the methodology of legal science, and the criticism of bourgeois ideology. Important works have been published on legal history by V. Vanéček and L. Hubenák, on constitutional law by K. Laco, S. Zdobinský, and S. Matoušek, on administrative law by V. Delong, Z. Lukeš, and Z. Červený, on civil law and procedure by S. Luby, K. Čapek, and Z. Češka, on labor law by J. Bičovský, M. Kalenská, J. Kovařik, and J. Filo, on criminal law by L. Subert, J. Pješčak, and V. Solnař, and on agricultural cooperative law by J. Suchánek, V. Fábry, and J. Vysokaj.

Legal research is conducted by the Institute of State and Law of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, the Law Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the Institute of State Administration under the Presidium of the Federal Government, and the Criminology Institute under the Procurator General’s Office of the CSSR. There are law faculties at the universities in Prague, Bratislava, Brno, and Košice.

The leading law journals are Právník (since 1861), Právny obzor (since 1917), Socialistické soudnictvi (since 1961), Sprdvnipravo (since 1968), Socialistická zákonnost (since 1953), Národný výbory (since 1952), Mezinárodní vztahy (since 1966), and Biulleten’ chekhoslovatskogo prava (since 1951). Also published are the yearbooks Právnéhistorické studie (since 1955) and Právnické studie (since 1953).


LINGUISTICS. The first Czech grammars, written in Latin, appeared in the 16th century; the best known were those of B. Optát, P. Hzel, V. Filomat (1533), J. Blahoslav (1571), and M. Benešovský (1577). In the following two centuries Czech grammars were produced by B. Nudožerský, J. Drachovský (1600), V. J. Rosa (1672), P. Doležal (1746), and V. Pol (1756). The scientific study of Czech, as well as of other Slavic languages and non-Slavic languages, began in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, when J. Dobrovsky produced the first scholarly grammar of Czech, and J. Jungmann published a five-volume Czech-German dictionary. Slovak was studied by A. Bernolák and L. Štúr, who is credited with founding the Slovak literary language. In the late 19th century the neogrammarian J. Gebauer wrote the Historical Grammar of the Czech Language (1894–1929) and the Dictionary of Old Czech (unfinished). Gebauer’s ideas were further developed by V. Ertl and E. Smetánka. The linguist J. Zubatý studied the Indo-European languages, including the Baltic languages. After the establishment of the Czechoslovak republic in 1918, great strides were made in Slavic, Germanic, and Oriental philology. Using structural and functional research methods, the members of the Prague Linguistic Circle studied phonology, language culture, and the theory of literary languages and functional styles.

Highly favorable conditions for the development of linguistics have been created in the CSSR. Research in lexicology and lexicography has led to the publication of the Dictionary of the Czech Language (vols. 1–8, 1935–57), the Dictionary of Literary Czech (vols. 1–4, 1958–71), the Dictionary of the Slovak Language (vols. 1–6, 1959–68), the Great Russian-Czech Dictionary (1952–64), and the Great Russian-Slovak Dictionary (1960–70). Important work has been done on word formation (Word Formation in the Czech Language, vols. 1–2, 1962–67), morphology (The Morphology of the Slovak Language, 1966), and syntax. Transformational and generative grammar received much attention in the 1960’s. Russian philology is flourishing; a notable achievement is the Reference Grammar of the Rusian Language (vols. 1–2, 1960–61). Other research fields include the theory of literary languages and their functional ramifications (B. Havránek, A. Jedlicka, V. Barnet, J. Ružička, E. Pauliny), stylistics (K. Hausenblas, J. Mistrik), dialectology (B. Havránek), phonology (J. Vachek, E. Pauliny, A. Lamprecht),’ the history of language (M. Komárek, J. Stanislav, R. Krajčovič, K. Horálek, A. Novak), and general and comparative linguistics (K. Horálek). The English language has been studied on a high theoretical level by V. Mathesius, I. Poldauf, and J. Firbas. B. Hrozny made a vital contribution to Oriental philology.

The main linguistics centers are the Czech Language Institute (Prague), the L. Stúr Linguistics Institute (Bratislava), the special centers and institutes run by the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, and the philosophy and pedagogy faculties of universities. The principal linguistics journals are Slovo a slovesnost (since 1935), Naše řeč (since 1917), Jazykovedný časopis (since 1946), Ceskoslovenskd rusistika (since 1956), Philologica Pragensia (since 1946), Slavica Slovaca (since 1966), Archi’vorientální (since 1969), and Časopis pro moderni filologii (since 1911).


Scientific institutions. A coordinated state science program has been instituted in accordance with a 1949 law providing for the organization of research. Scientific, experimental, and design work is conducted by the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences and the Slovak Academy of Sciences, by scientific and scientific-technological organizations subordinate to ministries and other central bodies, by scientific-technological institutions run by economic production organizations, by research and experimental sectors of enterprises, and by research divisions of higher educational institutions.

The central agencies responsible for administering, planning, and coordinating research are the State Committee for Science and Technology (the coordinating agency of the federal government), the federal Ministry of Technological and Investment Development, and the republic ministries of construction and technology. General policy is set by state programs for the development of science and technology. Research is conducted in cooperation with the COMECON countries.

In 1976 the country’s research, design, and planning institutions employed 165,350 people, of whom 47,700 held advanced degrees. Some 24,000 people, including 10,400 with advanced degrees, were engaged in basic research (1974); 105,670 people, in industrial research (1976); 11,000 people, in agriculture and forestry research; 8,320 people, in public health research; 6,900 people, in construction research; and 2,520 people, in transportation and communications research. Expenditures on science amounted to more than 14.1 billion korunas in 1976.


Istoriia filosofii, vols. 2–5. Moscow, 1957–61.
Marksistsko-leninskaia filosofiia i sotsiologiia v SSSR i evropeiskikh sotsialisticheskikh stranakh. Moscow, 1965.
Kapitoly z dejín slovenskej filozofie. Bratislava, 1957.
Filosofie v dějinách českého národa. Prague, 1958.
Antologiez dějín československé filozofie, vol. 1. Prague, 1963.
Prehl’ad dejín slovenskej filozofie. Bratislava, 1965.
Topical Problems of Czechoslovak Sociology. Prague, 1969.
Vanécek, V. České právnictví za kapitalismu. Prague, 1953.
Vaněček, V. Dějiny státu a práva v Československu do roku 1945. Prague, 1976.

In 1978 there were 30 daily newspapers and 1,062 magazines with a total circulation of 21 million. The oldest and most influential dailies are the Czech-language Rudé právo (since 1920, circulation 900,000), the main organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, and the Slovak-language Pravda (since 1920, circulation 330,000), published in Bratislava as the organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Slovakia. The leading trade union press organs are Prdce (since 1945, circulation 310,000), a Czech-language daily published in Prague by the Central Council of Trade Unions, and Prdca (since 1946, circulation 190,000), a Slovak-language daily published in Bratislava by the Slovak Council of Trade Unions. Two important newspapers are issued by ministries: Obrana Lidu (since 1942, circulation 200,000), a Czech-language weekly published in Prague by the Ministry of National Defense, and Zemédélské noviny (since 1945, circulation about 350,000), a Czech-language daily published in Prague by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The Czech-language daily Miada fronta (since 1945, circulation 238,000), also published in Prague, is the main press organ of the Socialist Union of Youth.

The press organs of the noncommunist political parties are Lidová demokracie (since 1945, circulation, 217,000), a Czech-language daily published in Prague by the Czechoslovak People’s Party; Svobodné slovo (since 1945, circulation 220,000), a daily Czech-language daily published in Prague by the Czechoslovak Socialist Party; and Sloboda (since 1946, circulation 6,000), a Slovak-language weekly published in Bratislava by the Slovak Freedom Party.

Among the leading magazines are the monthly Nová mysl (since 1947, circulation 40,000), the theoretical and political organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia; Vlasta (since 1947, circulation 800,000), a Czech-language weekly published in Prague by the Czech Women’s Union; and Slovenka (since 1948, circulation 205,000), a Slovak-language weekly pictorial published in Bratislava by the Slovak Women’s Union.

The Czechoslovak News Agency, founded in 1918, is located in Prague. Radio broadcasting, begun in 1923, is conducted in Czech and Slovak. Foreign broadcasts are made in Arabic, English, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, and French. Founded in 1953, the national television network consists of two systems, Program I and Program II, broadcasting from 34 television studios. Radio and television broadcasting are under the jurisdiction of Czechoslovak Radio and Czechoslovak Television, both government organizations.


In view of the ethnic, linguistic, and historical affinity of the Czechs and Slovaks and their joint age-old struggle against foreign oppression, it was inevitable that their national literatures would develop through close contact and interaction, which were to become still stronger after the establishment of the Czechoslovak republic in 1918. (For the development of Czechoslovak literature prior to 1918, see CZECH SOCIALIST REPUBLIC and SLOVAKIA: Literature.) The upswing in the country’s labor movement that took place under the impact of the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 in Russia inaugurated a new phase in Czech and Slovak literature marked by a flowering of revolutionary poetry, the exposé novel, the socialist realist novel, and antifascist literature.

Against the background of intensified class struggle, a revolutionary trend emerged in Czech and Slovak literature in the 1920’s and 1930’s, fostered by the Marxist writers and critics S. K. Neumann (1875–1947), J. Wolker (1900–24), J. Hora (1891–1945), Z. Nejedlý (1878–1962), B. Václavek (1897–1943), J. Fucik (1903–43), E. Urx (1903–42), V. Clementis (1902–52), and D. Okáli (born 1903). The press organs of the revolutionary trend were the magazines Červen (1918–21), Kmen (1917–22), and Proletkult (1922–24), all published by Neumann, and Var (1921–30), published by Nejedlý, as well as the culture section of the newspaper Rudé právo, founded in 1920. Proletarian literature was championed by Devětsil, an association of young Czech writers and artists founded in 1920, and Dav, an association of Slovak writers and critics formed in 1924.

Proletarian poetry reached a high level in the 1920’s in the collections Hour of Birth (1922) by Wolker, Red Songs (1923) by Neumann, A City in Tears (1921) by J. Sejfert (born 1901), and Sunday (1927) by L. Novomesky (1904–76); the narrative poem The Amazing Magician (1922) by V. Nezval (1900–58); and the lyric poems of Hora, K. Biebl (1898–1951), and J. Poničan (1902–78). Revolutionary prose was best represented by the novels The Good Soldier Švejk (1921–23) by J. Hašek (1883–1923), Anna the Proletarian (1928) by I. Olbracht (1882–1952), The Best of Worlds (1923) by M. Majerová (1882–1967), and The Baker Jan Marhoul (1924) by V. Vančura (1891–1942). Also important were the works of P. Jilemnický (1901–49).

Critical realism flourished in the social novels of the Czech writers A. M. Tilschová (1873–1957), B. Klička (1897–1943), and K. Nový (born 1890). In the highly original novels and plays of K. Čapek (1890–1938) a scathing critique of many aspects of bourgeois society was blended with social utopianism and satire on philistinism. The leading Slovak realists were P. Hviezdoslav (1849–1921), M. Kukučín (1860–1928), B. Timrava (1867–1951), and J. Jesenský (1874–1945). The poets J. Smrek (born 1898) and E. B. Lukáč (born 1900) and the prose writer M. Urban (born 1904) called for an aesthetic and thematic renewal of literature.

Avant-garde trends such as Czech “poetism,” expounded by K. Teige (1900–51), and idealist aesthetic theories became popular in the mid-1920’s. Despite the pronouncements of the avant-garde writers, however, their finest achievement remained faithful to the tradition of revolutionary humanism, as exemplified by the works of Nezval, Vančura, and Biebl. A tragic view of the world, associated with the memory of the victims of World War I, and a protest against the capitalist world pervaded the poetry of V. Závada (born 1905), published in the collection Requiem (1927), and the verse of F. Halas (1901–19), collected in the volume Sepia (1927).

From the early 1930’s the ideological and aesthetic polarization in literature was reinforced by the economic crisis, the mounting social conflict, and the fascist threat. The progressive intelligentsia formed a united front to combat clerical-nationalist and pro-fascist tendencies. The most promising of the young proletarian poets who joined the literary scene were J. Noha (1908–66), J. Taufer (born 1911), F. Nechvátal (born 1905), and F. Krái’ (1903–55). The socioanalytical genre was cultivated by J. Kratochvfl (1885–1945), G. Včelička (1901–66), Urban, J. Cíger Hronský (1896–1960), M. Rázus (1888–1937), and G. Vámoš (1901–56); sociorevolutionary proletarian works were produced by Jilemnický, Krái’, and Poničan; and realist satire flourished in the works of Čapek, Jesenský, and the playwright I. Stodola (1888–1977). A sense of the discrepancy between humanist ¡deals and reality engendered a neoromantic trend in Slovak prose, best exemplified in the lyrical prose of D. Chrobák (1907–51), M. Figuli (born 1909), L. Ondrejov (1901–62), and F.Svantner (1912–50).

In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s the avant-garde theory of the autonomy of art was criticized by leftist writers. In their polemics with a group of Czech surrealists founded by Nezval in 1934 and disbanded by him in 1938, the Marxist critics Václavek, Fučík, K. Konrad (1908–41), L. Štoll (born 1902), Neumann, Novomeský, and Poničan developed the aesthetics of socialist realism, drawing on the discussions of the First Congress of Soviet Writers. The Alliance, which included both Czech and Slovak revolutionary writers, was founded in 1935 upon Václavek’s initiative.

In the 1930’s fine collections of civic and antifascist lyric poetry were published by Neumann, Závada (The Road on Foot, 1937), Halas (Torso of Hope, 1938), Hora, Lukáč (Moloch, 1938), and Novomeský (A Saint Beyond the Outskirts, 1939). Outstanding socialist realist novels included The Untilled Field (1932) by Jilemnický, The Siren (1935) by Majerová, People at the Crossroads (1937) by M. Pujmanová (1893–1958), The Shoe Machine (1933) by T. Svatopluk (1900–72), Three Rivers (1936) by Vančura, and The Thorny Path (1934) by Krái’. Directed against fascism, Capek’s satirical philosophical novel War With the Newts (1936) and his plays The White Plague (1937) and Mother (1938) won international acclaim. On the initiative of Marxist critics and communist writers, a united cultural front was formed to combat fascism. At a writer’s congress held in 1936, Slovak writers spoke out in defense of the republic and democracy.

The Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia (1939–45) had a devastating impact on Czechoslovak literature. A number of writers, among them Vančura, Fučík, Konrad, Václavek, Kratochvfl, and Urx, perished in fascist prisons and camps. But cruel persecution did not throw the country’s progressive literary forces into disarray. The theme of antifascist resistance dominated the poetry of Halas, Neumann, Závada, and Nezval, Vančura’s literary chronicle Scenes From the History of the Czech People (vols. 1–3, 1939–40), and such underground Czech works as Fučík’s Notes From the Gallows, published in 1945. The banned poems of Jesensky, Novomesky, Smrek, and Krai’ circulated in Slovakia. The Slovak people’s resistance to the profascist regime was expressed through symbol and allegory in Poničan’s Strange Janko (1941), a heroic romantic poem about the Revolution of 1848, in Figuli’s lyrical novella The Lead Bird (1940), and in Chrobák’s lyrical novella The Dragon Returns (1943). A fervent antimilitarism marked many works by the Slovak surrealists R. Fabry (born 1915), V. Reisel (born 1919), P. Bunčák (born 1915), and J. Lenko (born 1914), as well as the poems of P. Horov (1914–1975). The wartime lyric poetry of Lukáč ahd V. Beniak (1894–1973) was imbued with a profound sense of tragedy.

After 1945 the struggle against fascism, the victory over the enemy, and gratitude to the Soviet liberators became the central theme in the poetry of F. Hrubin (1910–71), Nezval, V. Holan (born 1905), Halas, Jesensky, Král’, A. Plávka (born 1907), Ponican, and M. Lajciak (born 1926); the short stories of J. Drda (1915–70), notably his collection The Silent Barricade (1946); Jil-emnicky’s novel The Chronicle (1947); and the prose of J. Marek (born 1914), J. Bodenek (born 1911), and J. Horák (1907–74). Nevertheless, some groups of bourgeois writers and literary critics continued to cling to their views. Communist writers assailed the resuscitated conceptions of “pure art” and tried to rally the progressive cultural figures around the Communist Party, a line of action that received wide support at the First Congress of Slovak Science and Art Workers, held in 1945, and at the 1946 congress of Czech writers.

The final rout of the bourgeoisie in February 1948 ushered in a new phase in the struggle for a socialist literature that clearly demonstrated the cohesion of the progressive Czech and Slovak literary forces. The Congress of National Culture, held in April 1948, resolved to promote the socialist orientation of literature. The First Congress of Czechoslovak Writers, convened in March 1949, formed the Czechoslovak Writers’ Union, which adopted socialist realism as its program. The theory of socialist realism was elaborated by Nejedtý, Štoll, Taufer, J. Hájek (born 1919), and M. Chorváth (born 1910).

With the ascendancy of socialist realism in the 1950’s, Czechoslovak writers showed a predilection for vast epic panoramas portraying crucial moments in the country’s history. A Marxist interpretation of the historical destiny of the Czechs and Slovaks and their path to socialism was given in the last two volumes of Puj-manová’s trilogy, Playing With Fire (1948) and Life Against Death (1952), in the chronicle novels New Soldiers Will Arise (1948), The Turbulent Year 1905 (1949), and The Red Glow Over Kladno (1951) by A. Zápotocký (1884–1957), and in the novel Red Wine (1948) by F. Hečko (1905–60). The building of a new life was depicted in the novels The Offensive (1951) and The Battle (1954) by V. Řezáč (1901–56), Without a Chief (1953) by Svatopluk, The Peasant (vols. 1–2, 1955–58) by B. Říha (born 1907), Yesterday and Tomorrow (1949) by V. Mináč (born 1922), The Wooden Village (1951) by Hečko, and The Wasps’ Nest (1953) by K. Lazarová (born 1914). Nezval’s new works, notably the narrative poem Song of Peace (1950), gained world renown. Some of the best poetry of these years was written by Závada, Hrubin, J. Kainar (1917–71), J. Kostra (1910–75), Horov, V. Mihálik (born 1926), and S. Zary (born 1918).

An imperfect mastery of the theme of socialist construction sometimes resulted in a superficial and hackneyed treatment of industrial themes in prose, sloganeering in poetry, and oversimplification in criticism. From the mid-1950’s the normative anti-artistic trends were combated by writers who sought to show the full complexity and the contradictory nature of the modern historical process and contemporary developments. Especially successful in this respect were the novels Citizen Brych (1955) by J. Otčenášek (born 1924), If You Leave Me (1957) by Z. Pluhaf (born 1913), and Box for the Living (1956) by N. Fryd (1913–76) and the short-story collection Hours and Minutes (1956) by A. Bednár (born 1914). Outstanding achievements of socialist realism in Slovak literature included the trilogy A Generation (parts 1–3, 1958–61) by Mináč, the novel The Dead Don’t Sing (1961) by R. Jašik (1919–60), the lyric and narrative poems of Novomeský, and the poetry of Kainar and M. Válek (born 1927).

Nihilist tendencies grew stronger in the mid-1960’s, not infrequently turning into a rejection of socialism, and some writers succumbed to the influence of Western modernism, principally the “new novel,” the theater of the absurd, and “concrete” poetry. The literary magazines published articles propounding reactionary-modernist, neo-avant-garde, and structuralist theories. During the political crisis of 1968 the Czechoslovak Writers’ Union, whose leadership had adopted revisionist views, virtually ceased to exist as a creative organization. “An outright capitulation to bourgeois ideology . . . could be observed in the field of culture and art” (Uroki krizisnogo razvitiia, Moscow, 1971, p. 41). After the April 1969 Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, a campaign was launched to overcome the consequences of the crisis in ideology, culture, and literature. The Slovak Writers’ Union, founded in 1969, and the Czech Writers’ Union, established three years later, lent their full support to the party’s political and cultural line and set as their primary task the unification of the country’s literary forces on the basis of socialist realism.

In the early 1970’s continuity was restored with the best traditions of the preceding period. Socialist poetry has been further developed by Závada, Plávka, J. Rybák (born 1904), Taufer, I. Skála (born 1922), Mihálik, M. Florian (born 1931), M. Rúfus (born 1928), J. Mihalkovič (born 1935), and V. Hons (born 1938). Fine historical novels have been written by Říha, M. V. Kratochvfl (born 1904), J. Toman (1899–1977), V. Neff (born 1909), and H. Zelinová (born 1914). The memoir and historical essay genres are best represented by Plávka’s In Love With Life (1971) and Mináč’s Fanning the Native Hearths (1970) and J. M. Hurban’s Quarrels (1974). The antifascist theme is explored in a number of fine novellas and novels: Wildings (1973) by J. Křenek (born 1933), One Piece of Silver (1974) by Pluhař, Love the Time That Will Come (1974) by J. Papp (born 1929), The Cedar Grove (1974) by V. Švenková (born 1937), Hearths (1976) by E. Dzvoník (born 1933), and Craftsmen (1976) by V. Šikula (born 1936).

Contemporary ethical and social issues are raised in the novel My Boy and I (1974) by J. Kolárová (born 1919) and in the novels St. Michael (1971), The White Stallion (1975), and The Stork’s Nest (1976) by J. Kozák (born 1921). The novel Little Shepherd From the Valley (1977) by L. Fuks (born 1923) describes, in a lyrical vein, the new life in the Czechoslovak countryside after 1945. The novel The Eleventh Commandment (1975) by J. Jonáš (born 1919) deals with the socialist transformation of the Slovak village. The production theme lies at the heart of the novellas Hardships of the Plains (1975) and Salty Snow (1976) by M. Rafaj (born 1934) and the novel The Breakdown (1976) by J. Švejda (born 1950). A fresh ideological and aesthetic approach to the treatment of socialist reality distinguishes the prose of P. Jaros (born 1940), I. Habaj (born 1943), L. Ballek (born 1941), V. Klevis (born 1933), J. Navrátil (born 1939), J. Kostrhun (born 1942), and L. Stépán (born 1943). A noteworthy contribution to modern dramaturgy has been made by I. Bukovčan (1921–75), J. Solovič (born 1934), and O. Zahradnik (born 1932).

The Czechoslovak Writers’ Union was revived in December 1977.

Literary scholarship. A number of conflicting trends coexisted in literary criticism in the interwar period. While A. Novak (1880–1939) elucidated the history of Czech literature from the standpoint of official bourgeois ideology, A. Pražák (1880–1956) applied the positivist methodology and J. Mukafovsky (1891–1975) and M. Bakos (1914–72) developed the idea of literary structuralism. The general democratic trend was represented by F. X. Šalda (1867–1937), Š. Krčméry (1892–1955), and F. Votruba (1880–1953). Z. Nejedlý played a major role in the development of the Marxist school. A significant contribution to the Marxist methodology of literary scholarship and to the scholarly study of the history of Czechoslovak literature was made by the Marxist critics of the 1920’s and 1930’s, notably B. Václavek, the author of Twentieth-century Czech Literature (1935).

A general shift toward a Marxist reorientation of literary scholarship began after 1948. Novak’s theories were criticized, and Mukafovsky and Bakoš gave a critique of the idealist principles of structuralism. Among the newly founded centers of literary scholarship were the Czech and World Literature Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague and the Literature Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Bratislava. Literary scholars began working on an academic history of Czech and Slovak literature and on Czechoslovak-Soviet literary relations. Structuralist and other idealist theories were resurrected in the 1960’s. In overcoming the consequences of the crisis, the positions of Marxist aesthetics and methodology were strengthened.

Of the older generation of Marxist critics, Štoll, Taufer, V. Pekárek (born 1907), and A. Matuška (1910–75) continued to publish prolifically in the 1970’s. The leading younger Marxist critics were S. Šabouk (born 1933), V. Dostál (1930–75), H. Hrzalová (born 1929), Š. Vlašín (born 1924), and V. Rzounek (born 1921) in the Czech lands and K. Rosenbaum (born 1920), I. Kusy (born 1921), S. Šmatlák (born 1925), M. Tomčík (born 1922), and J. Števček (born 1929) in Slovakia. A valuable contribution to the elucidation of the history of Czechoslovak literature was made by A. Mráz (1904–64), J. Hrabák (born 1912), and M. Pišut (born 1908).

The main literary journals are Česká literatura (since 1953), Slovenská literatura (since 1954), Literámi mésičník (since 1972), Romboid (since 1965), and Slovenská pohl’ady (since 1884).


Petrmichl, J. Piatnadtsat’ let cheshskoi literatury (1945–1960). Moscow, 1960.
Ocherki istorii cheshskoi literatury X1X–XX vv. Moscow, 1963.
Bernshtein, I. A. Literatura sotsialisticheskoi Chekhoslovakii. Moscow, 1965.
Istoriia slovatskoi literatury. Moscow, 1970.
Markov, D. F. Genezis sotsialisticheskogo realizma (iz opyta iuzhno-slavianskikh i zapadnoslavianskikh literatur). Moscow, 1970.
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Sherlaimova, S. A. Cheshskaia poeziia XX v. 20–30-e gg. Moscow, 1973.
Novye iavleniia v literature evropeiskikh sotsialisticheskikh stran: Khudozhestvennaia proza 70-kh godov. Moscow, 1976.
Václavek, B. Ceská literatura XX stolen’. Prague, 1935.
Dejiny slovenskej literatury. Bratislava, 1962.
Tomíík, M. Slovenská literatura 20 storočia. Prague, 1966.
Buriánek, F. Ceská literatura 20 stolen’. Prague, 1968.
Stoll, L. Uměnía ideologický boj, vols. 1–2. Prague 1972.
Stoll, L. Básník a naděje. Prague, 1975.
Hrabák, J., D. Jerábek, and Z. Ticha. Právodce po dějinách české literatury. Prague, 1976.
Hrzalová, H. Spoluvylvářet skutečnost: K vývoji české socialistické kritiky a prózy v letech 1945–1975. Prague, 1976.

The architecture, fine art, and decorative applied art of Czechoslovakia have developed out of the artistic traditions of the Czech lands and Slovakia, which maintained close cultural ties from early times (seeCZECH SOCIALIST REPUBLIC and SLOVAKIA: Architecture and art). The establishment of an independent Czechoslovak state in 1918 stimulated a cultural revival in the two historical regions and contributed to their further rapprochement. In the 1920’s and 1930’s Czechoslovak art was strongly influenced by the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917, by the short-lived Hungarian and Slovak soviet republics (1919), and by the growth of the communist and labor movements. Under the bourgeois regime the development of artistic culture was marked by contradiction. Democratic and socially critical tendencies and quests for an indigenous style coexisted with borrowings from European avant-garde currents. A progressive national trend arose and matured in the struggle against modernist tendencies.

In the architecture of the 1920’s and 1930’s neoclassicism, popular for a short time, gave way to a national school of functional-ism, best represented by the buildings of J. Gočár, K. Honzik, and J. Havlíček in the Czech lands and E. Belluš in Slovakia. Along with industrial enterprises, the first housing projects were built using standard designs and industrial construction methods. A rational layout of residential ensembles was attempted at Zlin (now Gottwaldov) and in parts of Bratislava and Košice. However, housing construction was limited in the interwar period, and slums proliferated on the outskirts of cities.

The art of the 1920’s and 1930’s was characterized by a strengthening of realist and democratic tendencies. Artists of different schools portrayed the life of the people and contemporary reality employing cubist, expressionist, and fauvist techniques. In the Czech lands such an approach was typical of the painting and graphic art of V. Beneš, J. Čapek, V. Rabas, and R. Kremlicka and the sculpture of O. Gutfreund. In Slovakia it was represented by the painting and graphic art of M. Benka, M. A. Bazovský, J. Aleksy, and M. Galanda. Some artists were influenced by folk art techniques, as may be seen from the graphic art of J. Capek and J. Lada in the Czech lands and the paintings of L. Fulla in Slovakia. The national realist traditions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries retained their vigor in the landscapes of V. Rabas, V. Sedláček, and V. Novák, the engravings of M. Švabinský, the illustrations of V. Brunner and F. Kysela, and the portraits and statues of K. Kotrba, K. Pokorný, and J. Lauda, all of them Czech artists.

A critical view of society united the painters K. Holan and P. Kotik and the graphic artists V. Silovsky and J. Rambousek, who formed yet another school in the 1920’s. The Devětsil association of revolutionary artists, founded in 1920, dedicated itself to the creation of a proletarian art. The artistic aspirations of its members, however, were somewhat inconsistent. The life of the working class was depicted in the 1920’s by the Czech graphic artists V. Masšek and F. Bidlo, by the Slovak graphic artist K. Sokol, and by the Slovak painter K. Bauer.

Confronted with the fascist threat, artists of various schools formed a united antifascist front. Some of the best political graphic art was produced by the Czech artists Bidlo and J. Capek. In the late 1930’s and early 1940’s a dramatic intensity and at times a heroic quality infused the antiwar compositions and pictures showing the resistance and sufferings of the people of Czechoslovakia under fascist occupation. These themes received eloquent treatment in the works of V. Sychra and V. Tittelbach in the Czech lands and of V. Hložník, J. Želibský, J. Nemčík, and C. Majernik in Slovakia. A number of artists had recourse to allegory and disguised imagery. The homeland theme took on political overtones in the landscapes and peasant scenes of the Czech artists V. Rabas, V. Rada, and B. Dvorský.

The liberation of Czechoslovakia from fascist occupation in 1945 and the establishment of a people’s democratic system opened the way for the unfettered development of the finest traditions of the democratic national culture. Large modern industrial enterprises such as the metallurgical combine in Koslce were built, as well as dams and hydroelectric power plants on the Labe, Vltava, and Orava rivers. New industrial cities, among them Miada Boleslav, Ostrava-Poruba, and Havířov, were founded. Comfortable residential quarters were built employing industrial techniques on the outskirts of Prague, Bratislava, Gottwaldov, Olomouc, Nitra, Košice, and other cities. Examples of well-designed public buildings and transportation facilities include the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry and the Federal Assembly Building in Prague, the agricultural institute and student dormitories in Nitra, and the Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising in Bratislava.

The prewar realist traditions remained strong in art in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. The works of many artists held a new, socialist message. Industrial landscapes and compositions depicting labor and the national liberation struggle were created by the Czech painters and graphic artists E. Filia, J. Brož, and V. Sedláček and by the Slovak artists V. Hložník, O. Dubay, R. Dúbravec, J. Želibský, and B. Hoffstádter. Among Czech artists, M. Švabinský revived portrait graphic art; J. Lauda, K. Lidický, and K. Hladík produced outstanding sculpture; and J. Slavíček, B. Dvorský, and F. Jiroudek excelled in landscape painting. In Slovakia, the painters J. Aleksy, M. Bazovský, and L. Fulla and the graphic artists V. Chmel and M. Čechová evoked poetic generalized scenes from the life of the people.

Monumental decorative art reached a high level in the Czech lands in V. Sychra’s mosaics, A. Zábranský’s sgraffito, and V. Tittelbach’s frescoes. There were impressive achievements in decorative applied art, notably glass-making, weaving, pottery, and medallion-making. Splendid memorial complexes commemorating the World War II victory and honoring those who died fighting against fascism were created by V. Makovský, K. Lidický, and K. Pokorný in the Czech lands and by J. Kulich, T. Bártfay, and J. Kostka in Slovakia. Fine book illustrations were produced by C. Bouda, Zábranský, A. Pele, K. Svolinský, and A. Strnadel in the Czech lands and by V. Hložník and L. Fulla in Slovakia.

From the late 1950’s a number of artists showed a growing interest in symbolic and poetic imagery and formal experimentation. The actions of antisocialist elements in the late 1960’s had a pernicious effect on the development of Czechoslovak art. Such Western modernist trends as expressionism, neocubism, surrealism, abstractionism, and op art attracted a large following. Since the early 1970’s strong efforts have been made to restore the democratic traditions of Czechoslovak art. Monuments commemorating national historical events and the liberation and revolutionary struggle have been executed by J. Kulich, T. Bártfay, and J. Kuzma in Slovakia and by M. Hana, V. Dobrovolný, J. Malejovský, and J. Simota in the Czech lands. The history of the revolution has been recorded in the canvases of the Czech artists Zábranský, K. Soucek, and R. Kolář.



Czechoslovak music is rooted in the musical traditions of the Czech lands and Slovakia, which evolved through mutual influence (seeCZECH SOCIALIST REPUBLIC and SLOVAKIA: Music). After the establishment of an independent Czechoslovak state in 1918, strong efforts were made to preserve and develop the realist traditions of the national classics, but the bourgeois leadership’s orientation toward West European culture facilitated the penetration of modernist trends into Czechoslovak music. The Society for Modern Music and the Pfitomnost Society were founded in 1920. A. Hába, a leading Czech avant-garde composer of the 1920’s and 1930’s, invented the quarter-tone and the sixth-tone systems of music.

Concurrently, the foremost composers of the older generation, notably L. Janáček, J. B. Foerster, V. Novák, and J. Suk, who were also the leading teachers, continued to develop the realist national traditions. In his scholarly publications and public activity the eminent man of letters Z. Nejedlý championed the artistic principles of the Czech classics and called for closer cultural ties with the USSR. He was a cofounder of several societies dedicated to promoting a cultural rapprochement between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. A number of progressive musicians rallied around Nejedlý, among them O. Ostrčil, V. Helfert, O. Jeremíáš, and E. Axman. As the conductor and artistic director of the opera company of the National Theater in Prague from 1923 to 1931, Ostrčil staged operas by B. Smetana, Z. Fibich, A. Dvořák, Foerster, Novák, and Janáček.

Instrumental works from the national repertoire were frequently performed by the orchestra of the Czech Philharmonic Society (founded in 1894 and directed by V. Talich from 1919 to 1931 and from 1934 to 1941), the Czech Quartet (founed 1891), the Ševčik Quartet (1900), the Prague Quartet (1920), the Ondříček Quartet (1928), the Prague Wind Quintet (1928), and the Czech Nonet (1924).

The 19th-century composers who founded professional Slovak music, namely J. L. Bella, V. Figuš-Bystrý, M. Schneider-Trnavský, and M. Moyzes, were strongly influenced by the national folk music. Their musical legacy was further developed in the 20th century by Novák and his students E. Suchoñ, J. Cikker, and A. Moyzes. Among the finest Slovak compositions of the 1930’s were Cikker’s orchestral works and Suction’s Symphony No. 2, his orchestral suite Down the Yah, his program overtures, and his cantata Psalm of the Sub-Carpathian Land. The most important of the Slovak musical performing groups and organizations that were founded in the interwar period were the Zora Chorus (1919), the Radio Instrumental Ensemble (1928), the opera company of the Slovak National Theater (1920), and the Music School, founded in 1919 and reorganized as an academy of music and drama in 1928 and as a conservatory in 1941.

Many works from the 1930’s were devoted to the revolutionary struggle of the working class, among them V. Nejediý’s Second and Third symphonies, J. Stanislav’s Song About Granada, and E. Schulhoff s cantata The Communist Manifesto. The music section of the League of Czechoslovak Friends of the Theater maintained ties with workers’ organizations and with the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The composer and conductor E. F. Burian, who founded the D-34 Theater in 1933, affirmed that art should serve the working class. Ostrcil’s opera Honza’s Kingdom (1934) developed the antifascist theme.

Patriotic works were composed during the fascist occupation in World War II. Among the most famous were O. Chlubna’s Jlří of Kunštát and Poděbrady, E. Schulhoff s Symphony of Freedom (1941), J. Stanislav’s Red Army Symphony, J. Hanuš’s opera The Flames, K. Horký’s opera Jan Hus, O. Jeremiáš’s cantata Song of the Native Land, Novak’s cantata Si. Wenceslas Triptych, and B. Martinü’s play for orchestra Memorial to Lidice (1943) and his Symphony No. 3 (1944). Many composers masked their musical ideas, using cryptograms, allegories, and citations from widely known national patriotic works, such as the Hussite songs. Performers included in their programs revolutionary and humanistic classic works. The Slovak musicians J. Cikker, J. Kresánek, and T. Andrašovan fought in the resistance movement. Among the many progressive musicians who died during the occupation were R. Karel, J. Teklý, E. Schulhoff, G. Klein, and P. Haas.

After the victory over fascism in 1945 and the establishment of a people’s democratic system in Czechoslovakia, composers’ associations, first Czech and then Slovak, were founded, and a new opera theater, called the May 5 Great Opera, was opened (it merged with the National Theater in 1948). In 1946 the Academy of Arts was founded, higher music schools were opened in Bratislava and Brno, and the international festival Prague Spring was inaugurated. The music of the second half of the 1940’s reflects the general revival throughout the country. A feeling of optimism pervades V. Novák’s May Symphony, J. Seidel’s cantata 1945 and his cantata triptych The Heritage of Julius Fučík, A. Očenáš’s symphonic trilogy Resurrection, and J. Cikker’s symphonic poems About Life and Morning.

The victory over bourgeois reaction in 1948 and the onset of socialist construction stimulated a flowering of democratic music. The Czechoslovak Composers’ Union was organized in 1949 through a merger of the associations of Czech and Slovak composers. The works of the 1950’s were inspired by the building of a new life and glorified free labor and peace on earth, themes that were most fully developed in cantatas and mass songs. Outstanding vocal compositions included V. Dobiás’s cantata Build Up the Motherland and You Will Strengthen Peace\ and his mass song Join our Brigade, J. Stanislav’s songs, and J. Seidel’s oratorio-cantata People, Be Vigilant’, and songs. Z. Nejediý’s speeches and articles, notably his “On True Realism and Pseudorealism” (1948) and “Learn to Speak Through Music,” were of great ideological importance because they helped to overcome the contradictions between artistic truth and a narrowly conceived populism that had manifested themselves in the works of some Czech and Slovak composers.

In the late 1940’s and in the 1950’s musical theaters in Czechoslovakia and other countries performed works by Czech and Slovak composers: P. Borkovec’s opera Paleček (1947), J. Doubrava’s ballet Don Quixote (1955), E. Suchoñ’s operas The Whirlpool (or The Whirlwind, 1949) and Svatopluk (1959), and J. Cikker’s Jánošík (1953), Beg Bajazid (1956), and Mr. Scrooge (after Dickens, 1958). Instrumental music was written by J. Řídký, who produced seven symphonies and numerous chamber works, I. Krejčí’, and Dobiáš. European music was enriched by the compositions of B. Martina, who worked in many genres and styles. Although he lived abroad for a long time, Martinu never lost touch with his homeland and made a major contribution to Czechoslovak music. In all, he composed about 400 works, including the operas Juliette (1937), The Marriage (based on Gogol’s play, written for television, 1952), Mirandolina (1954), Greek Passion (1958), and Ariadne (1958); the ballets Revolt (1925), The Judgment of Paris (1935), and The Strangler (1948); and six symphonies.

Among outstanding Czech works produced since the late 1950’s are J. Pauer’s opera Zuzana Vojířová (1959), S. Havelka’s Symphony No. 1, V. Sommer’s Vocal Symphony, V. Kalabis’ Symphony of Peace, and J. Válek’s Renaissance Symphony and Revolutionary Symphony. Important works have also been written by L. Železný, O. Flosman, J. Boháč, I. Irko, V. Felix, and J. Matěj. Fine Slovak works of this period include Cikker’s operas Resurrection (1961), A Play About Love and Death (1968), and Coriolanus (1973), T. Frešo’s opera Martin and the Sun(1972), Cikker’s Symphony 1945 (1975), and various works by Suchon, A. Očenáš, and D. Kardoš.

Since the 1950’s operatic art has been fostered by the opening of several opera theaters in Bohemia, Moravia (1954), and Slovakia. The country’s musical life has been enriched by the founding of symphony and chamber orchestras, choral groups, string quartets, including the Smetana and Janáček quartets, the Suk Trio, the ensemble of the Czechoslovak People’s Army, such song and dance ensembles as the Czechoslovak Song and Dance Ensemble and the Slovak SLUK and Lúčnica ensembles, and various amateur groups.

Czechoslovakia has produced many distinguished performing musicians, among them the conductors V. Neumann, V. Smetáček, J. Krombholc, and L. Slovák, the pianists I. Moravec and J. Pálenííek, the harpsichordist Z. Rúziíková, the organists J. Reinberger and J. Ropek, the violinists A. Plocek and J. Suk, the cellists I. Večtomov, M. Sádlo, and J. Chuchro, the female singers M. Tauberová, V. Soukupová, and G. Benjačková, and the male singers B. Blachut, I. Židek, V. Bednář, and E. Haken.

The leading music journals are the Czech-language Hudba a skola (1928–33, 1940, and since 1960), Hudební rozhledy (since 1948), and Hudební věda (since 1964) and the Slovak-language Hudobnovedné študie (since 1955), Slovenská hudba (1957–71), and Hudobný život (since 1966).


Chekhoslovatskaia muzyka. (collection of articles). Prague, 1946.
Vanický, J., J. Jiránek, and B. Karásek. O cheshskoi muzyke. Moscow, 1965. (Translated from Czech.)
Helfert, V. Geschichte der Musik in der Tschechoslovakischen Republik, 2nded. Prague, 1938.
Karásek, B. “Cesta soudobé československé hudby.” In Patnáct Prazskychjar. Prague, 1961.
Smolka, J. Česká hudba našeho století. Prague, 1961.
Jiránek, J., and B. Karásek. Tradice a současnost v české hudbé. Prague, 1964.
Československá vlastivěda, vol. 9, part 3. Prague, 1971.
See also references under SLOVAKIA and CZECH SOCIALIST REPUBLIC.

After the formation of the bourgeois Czechoslovak republic in 1918, the first ballet companies were established in Bratislava, Brno, Ostrava, and Olomouc, supplementing the company already existing in Prague, and private ballet schools were opened. The ballet repertoire began to include works by Czech composers, such as B. Martinů’s Istar (1924, National Theater in Prague) and Who Is the Most Powerful in the World? (1925, Brno ballet company) and V. Novak’s Nikotina (1930) and Signorina Gioventu (1930; both performed at the National Theater in Prague). The leading Czech dancers and choreographers of the interwar period were J. Jenčík and I. V. Psota.

Soon after the liberation of the country from the fascist German aggressors in 1945, ballet theaters were opened in Plzeň, Opava, Košice, České Budějovice, Kladno, and Ustí nad Labem. In 1946 choreography departments were formed at the conservatories in Prague, Bratislava, and Brno, and three years later a subdepartment of choreography theory and history was established at the Academy of Arts in Prague. The company attached to the National Theater in Prague was directed by S. Machov (1946–51) and the company of the Janáček Opera and Ballet Theater in Brno by Psota (1947–51).

Czechoslovak ballet is characterized by realism, precise dramatic rendering of the scenario, and highly expressive performing technique. The stylistic versatility and sophisticated stage design of postwar ballet were splendidly revealed in the productions of Z. Vostřák’s A Philosophical Story (after A. Jirásek, 1949, stage designer V. Fridrichova) and his Viktorka (based on B. Němcová’s Grandmother, 1950, stage designers Z. Rossmann and K. Kropáček), both choreographed by Machov and J. Reimoser. Among the National Theater’s finest productions were the Slavonic Dances, based on the music of A. Dvorak (1956), A. I. Khachaturian’s Spartacus (1957), A. D. Melikov’s Legend of Love (1963), and S. S. Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (1976). The theater’s leading dancers are O. Skálová, M. Kůra (appointed director of the National Theater’s company in the mid-1970’s), M. Drottnerová, M. Pešíková, and V. Harapes. The foremost choreographers are A. Landa, J. Blažek, J. Němeček (the company’s director from 1957 to 1970), and E. Gabzdyl.

The Slovak National Theater in Bratislava, another excellent company, has given memorable performances of R. M. Gliére’s The Red Poppy (1954), J. Kenessey’s The Kerchief (1955), I. F. Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (1964), and the Heroic Trilogy (1975), based on the music of various composers. The company’s soloists include G. Starostová, G. Herényiová, V. Kolárová, and J. P. Plavnik, and its principal choreographers are J. Zajko and B. Slovak, who has directed the company since 1973.

The repertoire of the Janáček Opera and Ballet Theater in Brno has included Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (1938), Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances (1951), Z. Křížek’s Ballad of a Sailor (1961), and J. Hanuš’ Othello (1974). The company’s leading dancers are V. Vágnerová, K. Gracerová, and J. Bařinková; Némeíek has served as its director since 1974. The New Ballet of Prague, which gave performances from 1964 to 1970 under the direction of the choreographer L. Ogoun and P. Smok, introduced new dance forms and means of expression. The company toured the USSR from 1965 to 1969 and in 1970.


Schmidová, L. Československý balet. Prague, 1962.

The Czechoslovak theater has developed the theatrical traditions of the Czech lands and Slovakia (seeCZECH SOCIALIST REPUBLIC and SLOVAKIA: Theater). After the establishment of a bourgeois state in 1918, the theater reflected the various periods of the country’s bitter class struggle. In addition to the National Theater and Vinohrady Theater in Prague and the National Theater in Brno and Plzeft, the country now had several new major theaters: the Municipal Theater in Brno (1919), the Slovak National Theater in Bratislava (1920), and the Municipal Theater in Olomouc (1920). Amateur drama groups sprang up throughout the country. The communist critics J. Fučík, M. Majerová, K. Konrád, B. Václavek, and Z. Nejedlý made a vital contribution to public life and the theater. Progressive directors staged antibourgeois plays preaching humanitarian values and progress.

The National Theater in Prague gave outstanding performances of K. Čapek’s The Insect Comedy (1922) and The White Plague (1937), F. X. Šalda’s The Child (1930), and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1924), Hamlet (1930), and Julius Caesar (1936). The Vinohrady Theater staged plays by F. Wedekind, J. Hubert, and P. Claudel, as well as E. Verhaeren’s Dawn (1920), A. Dvořák’s The Hussites (1920), K. Čapek’s The Macro-poulos Secret (1922 and 1927), and Goethe’s Faust (1932). One of the most successful of the new professional and semiprofessional revolutionary theaters was the Liberated Theater, organized in 1925. Its director, J. Honzl, staged antibourgeois political reviews written and performed by the actors J. Voskovec and J. Werich, with music provided by the composer J. Ježek. At the D-34 Theater, a revolutionary theater founded in 1933, E. F. Burian sought to popularize the principles of the proletarian theater and to learn from the experience of the Soviet theater. An acting style emerged that combined subtle psychological portrayal with close attention to external characterization. Its most gifted exponents were V. Vydra, Z. Baldová, J. Průcha, L. Dostálová, O. Scheinpflugová, and Ž. Štěpánek.

A Slovak school of acting arose in the 1920’s under the guidance of J. Borodáč, A. Bagar, and O. Borodáčová-Orszaghová. The Czech stage directors V. Šulc and J. Jamnictý were instrumental in developing a Slovak school of directing. Among the finest productions of the Slovak National Theater in the 1930’s were J. G. Tajovský’s Confusion, J. Palárik’s An Adventure at the Harvest Home, J. Záborsky’s The Foundling, P. Hviezdoslav’s Herod and Herodias, and M. Gorky’s Lower Depths.

The development of Czech directing owed much to the young newcomers J. Frejka and O. Stibor. The art of stage design was also perfected, becoming an important element in the productions of V. Hoffmann, F. Troester, F. Kysela, and F. Zelenka. During the fascist occupation (1939–45) the country’s theater companies lost many members, and the repertoire was strictly censored. The progressive men and women of the theater resisted fascism, founding semiprofessional studios, of which Honzl’s Theatricum for 99 was the best known. In its productions of F. Schiller’s Wilhelm Tell and P. Zvon’s A Dance Over Crying, the Slovak National Theater conveyed the people’s protest against the fascist regime. The Chamber Theater in Martin, founded in 1944, became a frontline theater after the outbreak of the Slovak national uprising in August 1944; the next year it was renamed the Theater of the Slovak National Uprising.

After the liberation of Czechoslovakia from fascist occupation, Czech and Slovak theaters participated in the creation of a socialist culture. Private theaters were abolished, a theater law was enacted in 1948, and new performing groups were founded for the ideological and political education of the working people, among them the Realist Theater (later named in honor of Z. Nejedlý) in Prague, the Workers’ Theater in Gottwaldov, and the Disk theater workshop. The D-34 Theater staged the first play on the theme of labor, V. Káña’s Grinder Karhan’s Worker Team (1949), and the S. K. Neumann Theater’s production of M. Stehlfk’s Village Love for the first time brought to the stage the acute class struggle in the country. The Union of Creative Theater Workers, founded in 1957, functioned with interruptions until 1972, when it was reorganized as the Union of Creative Theater, Cinema, and Television Workers.

The fine realistic performances of the middle generation of Czech actors and actresses, notably J. Petrovická, J. Švorcová, V. Matulová, J. Větrovec, V. Vejražka, M. Růzek, V. Vlas-ková, and B. Holišová, demonstrate their mastery of the traditions of the Czech acting school developed by the distinguished stage veterans Průcha, Štépánek, Dostálová, L. Pešek, B. Záhorsky, V. Šmeral, K. Höger, J. Dohnal, S. Amortová, F. Smolik, and J. Kurandová. A major contribution to the art of directing has been made by K. Palouš, M. Macháček, and Z. Mika. In addition to the older theater companies, there are a number of highly successful theaters of miniatures: the Zábradlí (Balustrade), Semafor, Činoherní Klub, and Rococo, all founded in Prague in the late 1950’s, and Na Provázku (On the Rope, Brno) and Epsilon (Liberec), both established in the 1970’s. Czechoslovak stage design has achieved a high reputation through the work of J. Svoboda, V. Šimáček, and Z. Kolář.

The Slovak National Theater, now one of the country’s leading companies, has had a strong impact on the development of the artistic culture of the CSSR. Other major Slovak theaters include the New Stage and the Poetic Stage in Bratislava, the Tajovský Theater in Banská Bystrica and Zvolen, the State Theater in Košice, and the Záborský Theater in Prešov. The most popular of the theaters serving national minorities are the Ukrainian National Theater in Prešov and the Hungarian Regional Theater in Komárno. The foremost Slovak stage directors are J. Budský, P. Haspra, P. Mikulik, and T. Rakovský L. Vychodil, the principal stage designer of the Slovak National Theater, is credited with founding a national school of stage design. The work of the stage designers M. Hlozek and V. Suchánek has also won acclaim. The leading Slovak performers are O. Borodáčová-Orszaghová, M. Prechovska, M. Královičová, N. Hejna, Z. Grúberová, V. Strnisková, B. Turzonová, E. Vášaryová, and M. Huba.

Among the finest productions of the 1970’s were V. V. Vishnevskii’s An Optimistic Tragedy (Drama Theater, Ostrava), J. Solovič’s Meridian and O. Zahradnik’s Solo for a Striking Clock (both at the Slovak National Theater, Bratislava), A. Mrštík and V. Mrštik’s Maryša, I. M. Dvoretskii’s The Stranger, M. Gorky’s Smug Citizens, V. Nezval’s Lovers From a Kiosk (all at the National Theater, Prague), and N. Jirsíková’s May (Burian Theater, Prague).

Theater artists are trained at the Academy of Arts in Prague and at the Higher Theatrical School in Bratislava. The principal theater magazines are the Slovak Slovenské divadlo (since 1953) and the Czech Amaterska scena (since 1955). The weekly Scena, founded in 1976, focuses on current developments in the Czech theater, cinema, and television.


Solntseva, L. P. “Teatr Chekhii i Slovakii.” In Istoriia zarubezhnogo teatra, part 2. Moscow, 1972.
Solntseva, L. P. “Cheshskü i slovatskii teatr.” In Istoriia zapadno evropeiskogo teatra, vol. 6. Moscow, 1976.
Kapitoly z deji’n slovénského divadla od najstaršich čias po realizmus. Bratislava, 1967.
Déjiny šeského divadla, vols. 1–3. Prague, 1968–77.
Circus. Having come into being at the turn of the 20th century, the professional Czechoslovak circus was developed in the inter-war period by the troupes of E. Beránek, Š. Slezák, and K. Kludský, the son of A. V. Kludský, who founded a circus dynasty. In 1951 private circuses were nationalized. The Circus Center, founded in Prague in 1961, has two arenas and various auxiliary buildings for preparing new and perfecting old numbers. In addition, there are three tent circuses: the Prague, the International, and the Umberto.
The most famous of the older circus performers were the animal trainer L. Berousek-Berozini and the Knox tightrope walkers and jugglers. The star attractions of the 1960’s and 1970’s were the Vallo figure cyclists, the animal trainers J. Valašek, K. Malek, R. Crgak, and A. Šupka, the Bremlov jugglers, the clowns Bedalek, Vencin and Wiki, and I. Löfflör, the jumper Jeniček, and the aerialist M. Richterova.


Milets, B. “Tsirk v Chekhoslovakii.” Sovetskii tsirk, 1958, no. 6 (9).
Kludský, K. Život v manéži. Prague, 1970.

The first film showing took place in Prague in 1896, and documentaries and short acted films were made from 1898. Although the regular production of films had begun before World War I, the first permanent film studio was founded only after the establishment of the independent bourgeois Czechoslovak republic in 1918. The studio produced drawing-room melodramas, adventure and detective films, and comedies in the style of American films, mystical and fantasy dramas influenced by German expressionism, and pseudofolk comedies collectively known as the Kondelík Series (for example, Father Kondelík and the Bridegroom Vejvara, 1926).

Attempts to develop an indigenous cinematic art were discernible in the historical films Czech Sky (1918, directed by J. A. Palouá) and Through Thorns to Glory (1919, directed by R. F. Branald), in such screen adaptations of national literary classics as The Good Soldier Švejk (based on J. Hašek’s novel, 1926, directed by K. Lamač) and The Mountain Village (after B. Němcová, 1928, directed by M. Krñanský), and in the exposé films The Battalion (1927, directed by P. Prazsky), Such Is Life (1929, directed by K. Junghans), and The Gallows-bird (1930, directed by K. Anton). During the silent film era the leading film directors were Anton, M. Frič, S. Innemann, Krñanský, Lamač, G. Machatý, V. Kubásek, and J. Rovenský, and famous film stars included V. Burian, R. Deyl (senior), E. Fiala, F. Futurista, K. Hasler, A. Ondráková, J. Struna, and E. Štěpánek.

The first sound film, When the Strings Are Weeping, made by the German film director F. Feher, was released in 1930. Innovative techniques and an unusual treatment of the plot marked such films as Before the Final Exam (1932, directed by V. Vančura and Innemann), The Inspector-General (1933, a screen adaptation of Gogol’s play directed by Frič, with V. Burian as Khlestakov and J. Marvan as the Mayor), and Ecstasy (1933, directed by Machaty). At the Second International Film Festival, held in Venice in 1934, the Czechoslovak films were awarded the Venice Prize for the best directing. The writers V. Nezval, K. Čapek, and I. Olbracht did much to strengthen the progressive trend in filmmaking. The year 1936 saw the release of the first joint Czech-Slovak film, Jánosík (directed by Frič), and of the lyrical film The River (directed by Rovensky). Among the talented new directors who emerged in the 1930’s were V. Borsky, M. Cikán, and O. Vávra. The first Slovak film, Jánošík, was made in 1921 by J. Siakel and F. Horlivý, who drew heavily on folk legends. K. Plicka made documentaries about Slovakia. One of Europe’s largest film studios, releasing some 40 films annually before the war, was founded in 1933 at Barrandov near Prague.

During the fascist occupation German films were imported on a large scale. Nevertheless, Czechoslovak film-makers were able to produce several patriotic films: Grandmother (1940, based on Němcová’s novella, directed by F. Čap), Lawyer for the Poor (1940, directed by V. Slavínský), and Romance of May (1942, directed by Vávra).

The Czechoslovak motion-picture industry was nationalized after the establishment of the people’s democratic system in 1945. Besides recreating heroic episodes from the country’s history, as K. Steklý did in The Siren, based on M. Majerová’s novel, film directors made motion pictures about the radical changes taking place in society and about the collectivization and class struggle in the countryside. These themes were explored in J. Krejčík’s Frona (1954), Vávra’s The Offensive (1952), and J. Mach’s Native Land (1954).

In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s Czechoslovak cinematographers, eschewing stereotyping and a simplistic approach to the dialectically complex processes involved in the development of the new society and the new socialist personality, tried to portray the new life in all its diversity and complexity and to give meaning to the events of World War II. The finest of these films were J. Sequins’ Escape From the Shadows (1958), V. Gajer’s Rabbits in the Tall Grass (1962), A. Kachlík’s June Days (1961), I. Novák’s Green Horizons (1962), and Z. Brynych’s Transport From Paradise (1962). Comedies ranged from satirical films tinged by the grotesque and fantasy to comedies of manners. Among the directors who excelled in this genre were O. Lipský, B. Zeman, V. Vorlíček, Z. Podskalský, and Mach. A number of outstanding cinematographers made their debut in the 1960’s, notably Š. Uher, V. Chytilová, J. Jireš, and J. Menzel.

The complex ideological and political struggle that gripped the CSSR in the late 1960’s also manifested itself in the production of a number of clearly antisocialist films. The efforts to strengthen the socialist positions in cinematography yielded positive results in the early 1970’s. The finest traditions of socialist film art were developed in K. Kachyňa’s I’m Jumping the Puddles Again (1970), V. Cech’s The Key (1971), J. Jireš’s And Give My Love to the Swallows (1972), J. Sequins’ Chronicle of a Hot Summer (1973), and Vávra’s Days of Betrayal (1974), Sokolovo (1974), and The Liberation of Prague (1976). Other excellent films of the 1970’s were Lipský’s Three Men on the Road (1973), Steklý’s Hippopotamus (1974), J. Balík’s Lovers of the Year One (1973), and Kachlík’s The Twenty-ninth (1975). Many of these films deal with current social issues and the complex spiritual development of the contemporary hero.

The best Slovak films of the 1970’s were M. Holly’s The Copper Tower (1970), J. Režucha’s Perfectly Honest Fellows (1972), and Š. Uher’s A Great Night and a Great Day (1975). The animators J. Trnka, K. Zeman, and H. Týrlova have made an international contribution to the development of the cartoon film.

The leading film stars are J. Marvan, F. Smolík, J. Bek, E. Kačírková, R. Hrušinský, J. Abrhám, V. Brodský, R. Růžek, M. Vášáryová, V. Fialová, F. Filipovský, V. Menšík, J. Króner, Š. Kvietik, and J. Sovaḱ.

In 1976 there were six film studios in the country: Barrandov Film and Bratislava Koliba, both producing feature films, the Children’s Film Studio in Gottwaldov, the Short Film Studio in Prague, the Newsreel Studio, and the Studio of the Czechoslovak People’s Army. Sixty-eight feature films were released in 1976. Personnel are trained by the motion picture and television departments of the Prague Academy of Arts, founded in 1946. Research is conducted at the Czechoslovak Film Institute, which has a museum and a film library.

International film festivals were held in Mariánské Lázné from 1946 to 1949; in 1950 they were transferred to Karlovy Vary, where they have been held every two years since 1958. Children’s film festivals were initiated in 1948.

The leading film magazines are Film a doba (Prague, since 1955), Kino (Prague, since 1946), and Film a divadvo (Bratislava, since 1959).


Komarov, S. Chekhoslovatskoe kino. Moscow, 1961.



a former republic in central Europe: formed after the defeat of Austria-Hungary (1918) as a nation of Czechs in Bohemia and Moravia and Slovaks in Slovakia; occupied by Germany from 1939 until its liberation by the Soviet Union in 1945; became a people's republic under the Communists in 1948; invaded by Warsaw Pact troops in 1968, ending Dubcek's attempt to liberalize communism; in 1989 popular unrest led to the resignation of the politburo and the formation of a non-Communist government. It consisted of two federal republics, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, which became independent in 1993.
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