Josef Kaizl

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Josef Kaizl
Josef Kaizl 1886.png
Josef Kaizl (by Jan Vilímek 1886)
Imperial Minister of Finance
In office
Member of the Imperial Council
In office
In office
Personal details
Born (1854-06-18)June 18, 1854
Volyně, Kingdom of Bohemia
Died August 19, 1901(1901-08-19) (aged 47)
Political party Old Czech Party
Czech Realist Party
Young Czech Party
Occupation Professor, Politician, Economist

Josef Kaizl (10 June 1854 Volhynia [1] - 19 August 1901 Myslkovice) was a well known Czech professor, economist, and politician in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He was a member of the Imperial Council, and acted as finance minister between 1898 and 1899.

Early Life and Education[edit]

Born into the family of Eduard Cech Kaizl, Controller of Inland Revenue, and a German speaking mother. He was the oldest of seven siblings.

Schooling began in a German-language school in Rumburk. After transferring schools he was sent to his aunt in Prague. He studied German and later Czech during parochial school at the Church of Our Lady Victorious. In 1863 he began his high school studies there.

He studied law at the Charles University in Prague (1871-1875), while in between the years 1874-1875 he underwent mandatory military service in the military supply corps. in Prague. He later went on to study economics at the University of Strasbourg (1877).

In 1879 he started as an assistant professor in economics at Charles University. He lectured both in Czech and German. Josef Kaizl, alongside Albin Braf, was later appointed as the first Czech economist of Charles University. In 1888 he became a full professor. [2]

Political Activities and the Realists[edit]

In the Imperial Council elections of 1885 he won a seat representing the Old Czechs. The party, however, broke opinions and he announced his resignation from the Council in 1887.

After 1887, he collaborated closely with Tomas Masaryk on expanding the Realist philosophical movement.

Young Czech politician[edit]

In 1890 alongside other realists (including Masaryk) he joined the Young Czechs. In the same year he returned to the Imperial Council. Unlike Masaryk, Kaizl became a longstanding fixture within the Young Czech party. Kaizl played a critical role in becoming a moderating force against radicalism in the Young Czech party. In 1894 he helped prepare, alongside Karel Kramář, the Nymburská Resolution. This resolution called for "constructive opposition" against "false radicalism" found in the Young Czech party. [3]

Finance Minister[edit]

Starting in 1898 Josef Kaizl became the finance minister of the Austrian government under the Count Thun government, this would be the highest political position a Czech would ever hold in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Under his ministership he became a proponent of the thesis that the best guarantee for a secure Czech nation would be a strong and equitable Austria. Kaizl completed regular negotiation of financial transactions between both halves of the Austria-Hungarian dual monarchy. During his ministership he appointed several qualified Czech officials,[4] who later came in use for the establishment of the new Czechoslovakian Ministry of Finance in 1918. Kaizl also made significant contributions towards the establishment of the Brno University of Technology.

Later Life and Death[edit]

Kaizl would remain the de facto head of the Young Czechs, and repeatedly acted as a moderating element. Kaizl would defend his seat in parliament and the Vienna Imperial Council until his death, where he would then be replaced by the deputy chair Franz Fiedler. He died unexpectedly at the age of 47 in his summer residence at Myslkovice. His body was embalmed and place in Prague’s Vysehrad. [5] Kaizl’s tomb is adorned with a statue crafted by Czech sculptor Bohumil Kafka.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Matriční záznam o narození a křtu
  2. ^ kol. aut.: Kdo byl kdo v našich dějinách. Praha : Libri, 1993. ISBN 80-901579-0-4. S. 143. (česky)
  3. ^
  4. ^ Österreichisches Biographisches Lexikon 1815-1950. Bd. 3 . Wien: [sn], 2003-2011. Available online. ISBN 978-3-7001-3213-4 . Chapter Kaizl, Joseph (1854-1901), Politiker und Nationalökonom, p. 185. (in German)
  5. ^