Czechoslovak Social Democratic Labor Party

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Czechoslovak Social Democratic Labor Party


(CSDLP; Československá Sociáině Demokratická Strana Dělnická), a political party founded in April 1878 at a congress of Czech Social Democrats in Bfevnov, near Prague, as a branch of the Austrian Social Democratic Party. It became an independent party in 1893. Until late 1918 the party was called the Czech-Slavic Social Democratic Labor Party.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the CSDLP headed the economic and political actions of the Czech proletariat. In 1910–11 the party split into the “autonomists” and the “centralists,” the latter advocating a united trade union movement. During World War I the opportunist leaders of the autonomists took a social chauvinist stance. After the creation of a bourgeois Czechoslovak state in 1918, the party merged with the Slovak Social Democrats to form the CSDLP, led by the opportunists A. Němec and V. Tusar. (The centralists joined the CSDLP in March.) In December 1919 a revolutionary opposition crystallized within the CSDLP. Led by B. Smeral, J. Hybes, and A. Zápotocký, the Marxist left, as the opposition was called, was to become the basis of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, founded in 1921. With the exception of a brief interval from 1926 to 1929, Social Democrats held cabinet posts in all the bourgeois coalition governments of Czechoslovakia from 1919 to 1938. After the Munich Pact (1938), the leaders of the CSDLP announced that the party had disbanded.

In 1945 the CSDLP was revived under the chairmanship of Z. Fierlinger, a member of its left wing. In November 1947 leadership was seized by the right wing, which elected as chairman B. Laušman and which collaborated in the preparations for the counterrevolutionary February events of 1948. In June 1948, the CSDLP purged its ranks of reactionary elements and merged with the Communist Party on a Marxist-Leninist basis.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.