Frantisek Palacky

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Palacký, František


Born June 14, 1798, in Hodslavice, Moravia; died May 26, 1876, in Prague. Czech historian and philosopher. Cultural figure and leader of the Czech national movement in the 19th century. Son of a teacher.

In 1818, Palacký and P. J. Ŝafařík published the Principles of Czech Poetry, the manifesto of the Awakeners, showing the need for a revival of national culture and learning. His works on the philosophy of aesthetics— Short History of Aesthetics (1823) and The Study of the Beautiful (1827)—were the first philosophical works of the period of the national renaissance to be published in Czech. Palacký helped reorganize the Czech National Museum, which became an important center of the country’s scientific and cultural life, and was one of the founders of the Matice Česka, established in 1831. He founded the first Czech scientific journal, Časopis společnosti vlastenského museum v Čechách, in 1827 and served as its editor until 1838. He published numerous sources on the history, literature, and art of medieval Bohemia, including Czech chronicles. In the 1840’s he began publishing the multivolume collections of sources Archiv český and Fontes rerum Bohemicarum.

Palacký wrote numerous works on the history of Bohemia. His main work, the History of the Czech Nation in Bohemia and Moravia, covers Czech history from the earliest times to 1526. He considered the Hussite movement to be the most important period in Czech history, regarding it as a struggle for freedom and legal rights, a striving for new social relations, and the Czech people’s contribution to humanity’s progressive development. His History played an important role in the development of Czech culture and the national liberation movement.

During the 1840’s, Palacký was a leader of the Czech bourgeois national liberal movement. During the Revolution of 1848–49, he proposed a detailed program of Austroslavism and presided over the Slavic Congress in Prague (1848). From the late 1840’s to the early 1860’s, he was a deputy to the Austrian Reichsrat and the Czech Diet. From the 1860’s he was one of the ideological leaders of the conservative wing of the Czech bourgeoisie, known as the Old Czech Party.


Déjiny národu českého v Cechách a v Moravě, vols. 1–6. Prague, 1939.


Udal’tsov, I. I. “K kharakteristike politicheskoi deiatel’nosti F. Palatskogo.” Voprosy istorii, 1950, no. 10.
Jetmarová, M. František Palacký. Prague, 1961.


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