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20. století

Formation of Czechoslovakia

A formation of the independent Czechoslovak state
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After World War I, Austria and Hungary found themselves on the side of the defeated powers. This only completed the gradual disintegration of the, then, already unstable "creature" the Austro-Hungarian Empire had become in the beginning of the 20th century. The empire was then a multi-national mix with many centrifugal national tendencies. One of such tendencies was the Czech struggle for independence.
World War I actually interrupted the Czech efforts to have their own state. The initiative towards the foundation of the new state is the brain child of Czech exiles led by T. G. Masaryk. In addition, Czech Legions were of real help to the Allied Powers, they refused to fight for the Austro-Hungarians and not that infrequently even fought against them.
In mid 1918, Masaryk acquired assurance from the representatives of the Allied Powers concerning Czech independence, this was not a small feat as opinions had shifted concerning that issue. On October 14th 1918, a general strike started as well as a premature declaration of independence in Písek to which the Austrian administration reacted by

sending in Hungarian soldiers.
On October 28th 1918, a conference in Geneva began with Karel Kramář as chairperson of the National Committee, he led the negotiations with Edvard Beneš, an important representative of the anti-Austrian international resistance movement. Both had talked about the making and the shape of the future independent Czechoslovak state. Negotiations started in Bohemia with the representatives of the Austrian administration.
At the turn of October and November, the Austrian administration resigned, and the independence of Czechoslovakia was declared. On November 13th 1918, Masaryk became the first president of the newly formed state. A forming Hungary immediately went into territorial disputes with Czechoslovakia and Slovakia witnessed repeated fights which were settled in June 1919 at the Treaty of Versailles. The treaty Delineates and guarantees the new states borders. In 1920, this process culminated in the approval of the constitution and Czechoslovakia became a recognized independent state that rapidly ranked among the top ten most developed and industrialised countries in the world.


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