Frantisek Ladislav Rieger

Rieger, František Ladislav


Born Dec. 10, 1818, in Semily; died Mar. 3, 1903, in Prague. Czech political and public figure. Doctor of law (1847). Baron (from 1897). Close associate and son-in-law of F. Palacký.

Rieger was an active participant in the Czech national movement of the 1830’s and 1840’s. During the Revolution of 1848–49 in Bohemia, he was a leader of the Czech liberal bourgeoisie. Together with Palacký, he undertook publication of the Slovnik naučný (1858–74), the first encyclopedia in Czech. Rieger headed the National Party (founded c. 1860). He advocated an alliance between the Czech bourgeoisie and nobility based on a program for Bohemian autonomy within the Hapsburg Empire. After the National Party split in 1874, Rieger was a leader of the Old Czechs. He helped work out the Czech-German compromise of 1890. Defeated in the Reichsrat elections of 1891, Rieger retired from politics, although the Austrian government appointed him a member of the House of Lords.