CZECH POLITICS AND DECAY OF THE AUSTRO-HUNGARY (1917-1918)
Keywords:Habsburg Empire, World War I, nationalism, W. Wilson, T. Masaryk, emigration, Germans, Czech «activism», Entente, social-democrats
The article analyzes the development and manifestations of the Czech national movement at the final stage of the First World War in the crisis of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The reasons for the decline of the policy of Czech «activism» at the level of the Czech parliamentary representation and leading political parties have been clarified. At the same time, the growth of anti-war and anti-Austrian sentiments among the population of the Czech Republic is highlighted.
The changes in Czech-German relations caused by the attempts of German nationalists to establish German rule in the Czech Republic on the one hand and the resistance of Czech politics on the other are described. At the same time, emphasis was placed on the fluctuations of the domestic political course of the monarchy, which gradually lost its traditional role of arbiter in interethnic relations and a safeguard against political radicalism during the war. The main projects of reforming the empire, which directly concerned the Czech lands, are highlighted.
The influence of foreign policy factors that accelerated the collapse of the Habsburg Empire in this period is highlighted: changes in the attitude to the preservation of Austria-Hungary, the Entente, USA entry into the war, the Russian Revolution, the signing of the Brest-Litovsk Peace.
The aspirations of Czech and German national radicalism based on the right of nations to self-determination are analyzed. The circumstances of the approval of the concept of an independent sovereign Czechoslovak Republic as the main project of Czech state-building among emigrant circles and its popularization in the Czech lands are clarified.