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Monument to the Czechoslovak Legions of World War I, Palacky square, Prague

Czechoslovakism (Czech: Čechoslovakismus, Slovak: Čechoslovakizmus) refers to the nationalism of Czechoslovaks and Czechoslovak culture either for which Czechs and Slovaks embrace a Pan-Slavic state in which they function as constituent nations, or for which the two nations form a single West Slavic ethnic group.[1] Czechoslovakism was developed by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Beneš, based on the premise that Czechs and Slovaks are one people who had become divided due to Austro-Hungarian imperial rule and Hungarian assimilationist policies in particular.[1] Czechoslovakists note that a united Czechoslovakian people existed in the historical state of Great Moravia, where the Slavonic tribes of Bohemia, Moravia, and Slovakia were formerly embraced within Great Moravia.[2] Czechoslovakists typically emphasize secularism to break down the religious divide between Czechs and Slovaks.[1]

While the Cleveland Agreement in 1915 and the Pittsburgh Agreement on May 31, 1918 made allowance for a Czech nation and a Slovak nation, the Washington Czechoslovak declaration of independence on October 18, 1918 mentions only the one Czechoslovak nation. The published version of the Slovak Martin Declaration (October 30, 1918) mentioned "the Slovak branch of the unified Czecho-slovak nation". The original approved text of the Martin Declaration and proceedings were "lost" after the return of Milan Hodža from Budapest. The published text was claimed to be a forgery. Hodža didn't succeed with his proposed changes but had the text willfully changed in the following night.[citation needed] The change consisted in removing the Slovak demand of national self-determination.

This ideology was essential for the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918, and for the establishment of the Czechoslovak Constitution of 1920.[citation needed] Statistics from the era of the First Republic (1918–1938) mentioned Czechoslovaks rather than Czechs or Slovaks:

Nationalities of Czechoslovakia 1921[3]

total population 13,607.385
Czechoslovaks 8,759.701 64.37%
Germans 3,123.305 22.95%
Hungarians 744.621 5.47%
Ruthenians 461.449 3.39%
Jews 180.534 1.33%
Poles 75.852 0.56%
Others 23.139 0.17%
Foreigners 238.784 1.75%

Not all people agreed with the ideology (mainly Slovaks)[citation needed]. During World War II, when Czechoslovakia was occupied by the German Third Reich, the Slovak Republic was created as a client state of Nazi Germany, and Subcarpathian Ruthenia was annexed by Hungary. After World War II, Czechoslovakia was reunited, but the ideology of one nation was not fully restored.

After the 1960 Constitution of Czechoslovakia had limited the autonomy granted to Slovakia, the Constitutional Law of Federation of 1968 stated that Czechoslovakia was a federation of two national republics and introduced dual citizenship.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Motyl 2001, pp. 111.
  2. ^ Kunoši, A. (1944). The basis of Czechoslovak unity. London: A. Dakers limited.
  3. ^ Škorpila F. B.; Zeměpisný atlas pro měšťanské školy; Státní Nakladatelství; second edition; 1930; Czechoslovakia (geograpfical atlas for primary schools from 1930)