October General Political Strike of 1918

October General Political Strike of 1918


in the Czech lands, a strike that occurred during a period when revolutionary fervor and the Czech movement for national liberation were intensified by the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia and the imminent collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

The October general strike began as a protest against the measures taken by Austrian authorities to appropriate Czech foodstuffs and transportation equipment. On October 12 an assembly of workers’ deputies and representatives of Prague labor unions, on the initiative of the Socialist Council (formed in September 1918 by representatives of the Social Democratic and National Socialist parties), called a general strike for October 14. An ad hoc committee was created to lead the strike. At the urging of representatives of the left-wing Social Democrats (B. Smeral) and National Socialists (L. Landová-Štychová), the demand for the formation of an independent Czechoslovak republic was included in the committee’s draft resolutions on workers’ meetings and demonstrations.

The general strike began in Prague on October 14 and spread to all the Czech lands. The largest demonstrations took place in the cities of Písek, Miadá Boleslav, Brandýs nad Labem, and Kralupy. In several cities strikers demanded the proclamation of a Czechoslovak socialist republic. In Bohemia the strike was suppressed on the first day. However, in Brno, Ostrava, and several other Moravian cities it lasted until October 16. The October general political strike indicated the striving of Czech workers for the creation of a Czechoslovak republic.


Šmeral, J. B. Obrazovanie Chekhoslovatskoi respubliki v 1918g. Moscow, 1967.
Řiha, O. Vliianie Oktiabr’skoi revoliutsii na Chekhoslovakiiu. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from Czech.)