Karel Baxa (June 24, 1863, Sedlčany – January 5, 1938, Prague) was a Czech politician in Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and then in Czechoslovakia. He is most known for his long term position as mayor of Prague (Primátor hlavního města Prahy).
Baxa, nephew of journalist Karel Havlíček Borovský, studied gymnasium, finishing in 1881, and continued to study law at the Charles University in Prague, finishing in 1888. Later, he worked at the courts in Tábor and Cheb and since 1891 he was an advocate in Prague. Baxa frequently defended Czech journalists during the state of emergency (1893) and was also the defendant of youth activists accused during the Omladina Trial (1893/94). He was the lawyer of the victim's family during the Hilsner Affair (1899), opposing the views of Tomáš Masaryk.
Baxa became a member of the radical movement (radikálně pokrokové hnutí), a section of the Young Czechs political party. In 1895 he vas elected into the local parliament of Bohemia, staying there until 1913. During 1901-18 Baxa was also a member of the imperial parliament in Vienna (Wiener Reichsrat).
In 1899 he co-founded, together with Alois Rašín and several others, a new patriotic political party (Státoprávně radikální strana) whose programme asked for the establishment of an independent Czech state. Baxa was leader of this party until 1908, when it split and Baxa, together with many members joined another party (Česká strana státoprávně pokroková). In 1911 he joined the Czech National Social Party (later known under different names) and stayed there until his death.
Mayor of Prague
After the creation of Czechoslovakia (1918) Baxa was named mayor of Prague (1919), since 1922 he became mayor of Greater Prague (roughly today city of Prague). He was elected three more times: in 1923, 1927 and in 1932. In 1937 he left the position because of old age. During his service as a mayor the city witnessed major development of infrastructure and of social, cultural and medicine institutions. Baxa was portrayed as initiator and supporter of this development.
Baxa had a distaste for ethnic Germans and on occasions proposed or supported limits on the use of German language in Prague.
Other important positions of Baxa were: since 1920 chairman of constitution court (předseda Ústavního soudu Československé republiky), since 1923 chairman of the board of directors of the Czech Bank (předseda správní rady České banky), during 1928-37 member of state representation of Bohemia (člen českého zemského zastupitelstva), chairman of Czech ski club.
- Otto Urban: Česká společnost 1848-1918, Prague, 1982
- František Kolář et al.: Politická elita meziválečného Československa 1918-1938, Prague, 1998 ISBN 80-901509-8-5
- Antonín Kratochvíl: Dějiny města Sedlčan; Sedlčany, Staněk, 1938
- Biography (Czech)
|Mayor of Prague
1919 – 1937