Československá republika (ČSR)Timeline: Axis vs Allies Resurrection (Map Game)
OTL equivalent: Czechoslovakia
1918 - Present
|Other cities||Bratislava, Brno, Ostrava, Košice, Pilsen|
|Official languages||Czech, Slovak|
|Regional Languages||Hungarian, German, Ruthenian|
|Ethnic groups||Czech · Slovak · Hungarian · German · Ruthenian|
|Religion||Roman Catholic, Protestant|
|-||President||Edvard Beneš (1938 - )|
|-||Prime Minister||Milan Hodža (1935 - )|
|-||Lower house||Chamber of Deputies|
|-||Declaration Declared||28 October 1918|
|-||Constitution Adopted||29 February 1920|
|Patron saint||Saint Adalbert of Prague, Saint Wenceslas|
The Czechoslovak Republic (Czech/Slovak: Československá republika) is an Eastern European nation that has been in existence since its formation under the Treaty of Versailles in 1918. A parliamentary republic, the six regions are: Bohemia, Moravia-Silesia, Slovakia, and Carpathian Ruthenia.
The nation is known for its democratic form of government in the autocratic Eastern European region, but maintains close ties to the German Reich, following the failed Austrian Reconquest of Czechoslovakia.
The roots of Czech nationalism go back to the 19th century, when philologists and educators, influenced by Romanticism, promoted the Czech language and pride in the Czech people. Nationalism became a mass movement in the last half of the 19th century. Taking advantage of the opportunities for limited participation in political life available under the Austrian rule, Czech leaders founded many patriotic, self-help organizations which provided a chance for many of their compatriots to participate in communal life prior to independence. The nationalist movement supported the ideas of Austroslavism and worked for a reorganized and federal Austria-Hungary, aimed to protect Czechs and Austrians from German and Russian threats
Bohemia and Moravia, under Austrian rule, were Czech-speaking industrial centres, while Slovakia, which was part of Hungary, was an undeveloped agrarian region. Conditions were much better for the development of a mass national movement in the Czech lands than in Slovakia. Nevertheless, the two regions shared a common destiny.The area that currently comprises Czechoslovakia was long a part of Austria-Hungary until the Empire collapsed at the end of World War I. The new nation was founded by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850–1937), who served as its first president from 1918 to 1935. He was succeeded by his close ally, Edvard Beneš, who has served since 1935.
During World War I small numbers of Czechs, the Czechoslovak Legions, fought with the Allies in France and Italy, while large numbers deserted to Russia, in exchange for their support for the independence of Czechoslovakia from the Austrian Empire. With the outbreak of World War I, Masaryk began working for Czech independence in union with Slovakia. Masaryk visited several Western countries and won support for his proposed state. Its independence was secured in the Treaty of Versailles.
The period between the two world wars saw the flowering of democracy in Czechoslovakia. Of all the new states established in central Europe after 1918, only Czechoslovakia has preserved a democratic government. The persistence of democracy suggests that Czechoslovakia was better prepared to maintain democracy than were other countries in the region.
Thus, despite regional disparities, its level of development was much higher than that of neighboring states. The population was generally literate, and contained fewer alienated groups. The influence of these conditions was augmented by the political values of Czechoslovakia's leaders and the policies they adopted. Under Masaryk, Czech and Slovak politicians promoted progressive social and economic conditions that served to defuse discontent.
Austro-Czechoslovak War and World War II
The government of the Czechoslovak Republic is based upon the constitution of 1920, which approved the basic features of the provisional constitution of 1918. The Czechoslovak state is a parliamentary republic, guided primarily by the National Assembly, consisting of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, whose members were to be elected on the basis of universal suffrage.
The National Assembly is responsible for legislative initiative and has supervisory control over the executive and judiciary as well. Every seven years it elects the president and confirms the cabinet appointed by him. Executive power is shared by the president and the cabinet; the latter, responsible to the National Assembly, has slighlymore power.
The constitution of 1920 provided for the central government to have a high degree of control over local government. Czechoslovakia is divided into the four "lands" (Czech: "země", Slovak: "krajiny"): Bohemia, Moravia-Silesia, Slovakia, and Carpathian Ruthenia. These lands were all given local assemblies in 1927, and in 1942 were given greater authority and autonomy.
National minorities are assured special protection; in districts where they constitute 20% of the population, members of minority groups retain full freedom to use their language in everyday life, in schools, and in matters dealing with authorities.
The operation of the Czechoslovak government is distinguished by stability, largely the result of the five well-organized political parties that are the real centers of power. Excluding a period from 1926 to 1929, when the coalition did not hold, a coalition of five Czechoslovak parties constituted the backbone of the government.
The leaders of these parties became known as the "Pětka," or The Five. The Pětka was designed a pattern of coalition politics that survived until 1938. The coalition's policy was expressed in their slogan "We have agreed that we will agree." German parties have also participated in the government from 1926 until today. Hungarian parties, however, never joined the Czechoslovak government but were not openly hostile.
The five leading political parties are:
- The Republican Party of Agricultural and Smallholder People was the principal voice for the agrarian population, representing mainly peasants with small and medium-sized farms. It combines support for progressive social legislation with a democratic outlook. This party hab been at the core of all government coalitions so far.
- The Czechoslovak Social Democratic Party is a party of moderation, which has been in favor of social democracy.
- The Czechoslovak National Socialist Party (called the Czech Socialist Party until 1926) was created when the socialists split from the Social Democratic Party. It rejected class struggle and promoted nationalism. Its membership derives primarily from the lower middle class, civil servants, military, and the intelligentsia.
- The Czechoslovak People's Party is a fusion of several Catholic parties, groups, and labor unions. The Czechoslovak People's Party espouses Christian moral principles and the social encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII.
- The Czechoslovak National Democratic Party is the center-right party of the nation. Ideologically, it is characterized by national radicalism and economic liberalism. The Czechoslovak National Democratic Party isthe party of big business, banking, and industry.
The Czechoslovak Army (Československá armáda) is the armed forces of Czechoslovakia. It was established in 1918 following Czechoslovakia's independence from Austria-Hungary.
Modelled upon Austro-Hungarian Army patterns, the army also incorporated former members of the Czechoslovak Legion that fought alongside the Entente during World War I. The Czechoslovak Army took part in the Autro-Czechoslovak War, where it successfully warded off the Austrian and Yugoslavian advances with significant foreign assistance.
The force is fairly modern by contemporary standards, with the core of the force formed by LT vz. 38 and LT vz. 35 tanks, as well as an extensive system of border fortifications to protect its national borders.
Landlocked, Czechoslovakia lacks a navy, but maintains the Czechoslovak Army Air Force (Československé letectvo). Also fairly advanced, the Army Air Force is based upon the motto that, "The Air is Our Sea." The airplane industry is an important one to the economy and to the military, with a number of manufacturers present in the nation. The Army Air Force is currently in the process of modernizing its largely-biplane air fleet with the latest in military technologies.
The Republic maintains close relations with its neighboring states. It is predisposed to look favorably unto the German nation, due to its support against the Communist Austrian State.
Its other neighbors are Hungary, Romania, and Poland. Generally, the Republic is suspicious of the USSR, which had ties to the Austrians and were rumored to have backed their invasion. At the same time, Czechoslovakia attempts to maintain some relations outside of the region, including with France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
EconomyAfter securing its freedom, Czechoslovakia had a population of over 13.5 million. It inherited 70 to 80% of all the industry of Austria-Hungary, including the porcelain and glass industries and the sugar refineries; more than 40% of all its distilleries and breweries; the Skoda Works, an important factory in Pilsen, which produced armaments, locomotives, automobiles, and machinery; and the chemical industry of northern Bohemia. Seventeen percent of all Hungarian industry that had developed in Slovakia during the late 19th century also fell to the Republic. Czechoslovakia is one of the world's 10 most industrialized states.
The Czech lands were far more industrialized than Slovakia. In Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia, more were employed in industry than agriculture or forestry combined. Slovakia had some industry, but this was primarily controlled by Czechs and Hungarians. Carpathian Ruthenia was essentially without industry.
In the agricultural sector, a program of reform introduced soon after the establishment of the republic was intended to rectify the unequal distribution of land. One-third of all agricultural land and forests belonged to a few aristocratic landowners — mostly Germans and Hungarians — and the Roman Catholic Church. The Land Control Act of 1919 called for the expropriation of all large estates to Czech and Slovak nationals. Redistribution was to proceed on a gradual basis; owners would continue in possession in the interim, and compensation was offered. The war between Austria and Czechoslovakia, which lasted only one year, had a minimal effect upon Czech industry, fortunately for the people of the nation.
Czechoslovak culture is quite diverse, with many distinct ethnic groups that have different notable features and attributes. The five primary ethnic groups are Czech, Slovak, German, Hungarian, Ruthenian, and Jewish.
Czechoslovaks, the government-recognized majority comprised of both Slovaks and Czechs, make up about 68% of the nation's population. Germans make up the second most populous group, at 20% of the population. Ruthenians are third in terms of population, and comprise 6% of the populace. Fourth are Hungarians, at 4%, followed by Jews, at 2%.
The cultures of each of these unique ethnic groups are best outlined as:
- Czechs are the largest single ethnic group, and, although statistically counted along with the Slovaks, have a unique and rich culture. ,
- Ruthenians, who primarily live in Carpathian Ruthenia