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18. - 19. století

Frantisek Palacky

Czech historian, politician and writer
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Palacky is considered the father of Czech historiography. He was also one of the leading representatives of the cultural and social scenes.
He came from a family with a strong protestant tradition. In his youth he studied Latin school and later, in accordance with his father’s wishes, at an Evangelical seminary. He later forfeited the career of a preacher in lieu of that of an educator for the upper classes, primarily in Hungary. After the year 1820 he began to fully devote himself to the study of Czech history under the patronage of J. Jungmann and J. Dobrovsky.
Soon Palacky established himself in the Prague intellectual circles and became a coveted personality. After 1827, the Bohemian Estates became interested in him and wished to bestow on him the title of historiographer of Bohemia. This occupation later led to his major project “The History of the Czech Nation in

Bohemia and Moravia.”
After the year 1848 Palacky was elected into the Reichstag (parliament) where he became a supporter of the moderate alternative for Austria-Hungary (constitutional Austro-Slavism). Within the framework of strengthening national identity, he played a role in the construction of the National Theatre for which in 1868 he laid the first foundation stone. By the end of his life he distanced himself from the new generation of the Young Czech Party and his political influence weakened. His historiographical legacy however lasted for many years.
Palacky saw the evolution of Czech history as the constant clashing of the Slavonic element against the Germanic element, from which clash history marches forward. Palacky considered that the pinnacle of Czech history was the controversial Hussitism, a thought that alienated him from some of his contemporaries.


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