The Czech Renascence of the Nineteenth Century

University of Toronto Press
Free sample

Literature and historical writing among the Czechs, as among many other nations lacking a political state, played a vital role in promoting national consciousness. This volume, written to honour the seventieth birthday of the eminent Czech historian Otakar Odložík, contains essays by outstanding scholars from Canada, Czechoslovakia, Britain, and the United States which examine significant episodes in the development of modern Czech nationalism from its origins in the late eighteenth century to the birth of an independent nation after the First World War. The main emphasis is on the middle decades of the nineteenth century, which were crucial for mapping the direction Czech nationalism was to take during the subsequent hundred years. The stand of the Czech and Slovak peoples in the crisis of August 1968 reflected the deep roots of their patriotism which developed during the nineteenth-century national renascence.

This volume contains essays on Dobrovský, the pioneer of Czech language studies, and on Palacký, the author of the first great national history, as well as on other facets of literary history which have influenced national feeling. A Prague scholar investigates the social structure of the early Czech patriotic intelligentsia and reaches conclusions which considerably modify hitherto existing views. Two contributions examine the role of the press in the emergence of Czech nationalism; the Matice Ceskà, a leading patriotic literary foundation, is the subject of one of the studies. Slovak and Lusatian Serb, German, and American reaction to the Czech national renascence is examined in a series of chapters. The political expression of Czech nationalism, first during the Year of Revolutions, 1848, and then from the late 1870s until the early years of the twentieth century, is subjected to analysis in several studies. Finally, there is a brief review of the problems associated with the Czech-Slovak background of Tomáš Masaryk, the creator of modern Czechoslovakia.

A fitting tribute to an outstanding scholar, this volume makes an important contribution to the literature in English on nineteenth-century Czech lands.

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About the author

Peter Brock (1920-2006) was a member of the Department of History at the University of Toronto. He is author of The Slovak National Awakening, and co-editor, with H. Gordon Skilling, of The Czech Renascence of the Nineteenth Century.

H. Gordon Skilling (1912-2001) studied at the University of Toronto (BA), Oxford (BA, MA), and the University of London School of Slavonic and East European Studies (PH D). He worked in Czechoslovakia from 1937 to 1939 as a commentator on North America for the Czechoslovak Radio Corporation. He taught at the universities of Manitoba and Wisconsin and at Dartmouth College and was Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto.

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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Toronto Press
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Published on
Dec 15, 1970
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Pages
358
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ISBN
9781442650879
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / Eastern
History / Social History
Political Science / Political Ideologies / Nationalism & Patriotism
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Although the act of conscientious objection entered modern consciousness most strikingly as a result of the Vietnam War, Americans have long struggled to reconcile their politics, pacifist beliefs, and compulsory military service. While conscientious objection in the twentieth century has been well documented, there has been surprisingly little study of its long history in America's early conflicts, defined as these have been by accounts of patriotism and nation-building. In fact, during the period of conscription from the late 1650s to the end of the Civil War, many North Americans refused military service on grounds of conscience. In this volume, Peter Brock, one of the foremost historians of American pacifism, seeks to remedy this oversight by presenting a rich and varied collection of documents, many drawn from obscure sources, that shed new light on American religious and military history. These include legal findings, church and meeting proceedings, appeals by nonconformists to government authorities, and illuminating excerpts from personal journals. These accounts contain many poignant, often painful, and sometimes even humorous episodes that offer glimpses into the lives of conscientious objectors of the era. One of the most striking features to emerge from these documents is the critical role of religion in the history of American pacifism. Brock finds that virtually all who refused military service in this period were inspired by religious convictions, with Quakers frequently the most ardent dissenters. In the antebellum period, however, the pacifist spectrum expanded to include nonsectarians such as the famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, founder of the New England Non-Resistance Society. A dramatic, powerful portrait of early American pacifism, Liberty and Conscience presents not only the thought and practice of the objectors themselves, but also the response of the authorities and the general public.
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