Young Czechs

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Young Czechs


(Narodni Strana Svobodomyslna), a Czech bourgeois liberal party that existed from 1874 to 1918.

The Young Czech party was founded on Dec. 25, 1874, by members of the internal opposition within the Czech National Party; the latter was known thereafter as the Old Czech Party. Expressing the interests of the Czech industrial bourgeoisie and well-to-do peasantry, the Young Czechs demanded the transformation by legal means of the dual Austro-Hungarian state into a tripartite Austro-Hungarian-Czech monarchy. Autonomy for the Czech lands and bourgeois democratic liberties were also sought. Among the leaders of the Young Czechs were K. Sladkovsky, Ju. Gregr, and E. Gregr; in the early 20th century they were succeeded by J. Kaizl and K. Kramaf. The party’s official publication was the newspaper Narodni listy.

In 1891 the Young Czechs decisively defeated the Old Czechs in the Reichsrat (imperial council) elections. But by the mid-1890’s the Young Czechs had shifted from opposition to support of the Hapsburg government, which led to a decline in their political influence in the Czech lands. The new program adopted by the Young Czechs in 1907 confirmed their total abandonment of their previously stated principles. In 1918 the Young Czechs merged with a number of other bourgeois parties to form the Party of Czech State Law Democracy, which in 1919 was renamed the National Democratic Party of Czechoslovakia.


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