Karel Kramář was a Czech politician. He was a representative of the major Czech political party, the Young Czechs, in the Austrian Imperial Council from 1891 to 1915, becoming the party leader in 1897. During the First World War, Kramář was imprisoned for treason against Austria-Hungary but released under an amnesty. In 1918, he headed the Czechoslovak National Committee in Prague, which declared independence on 28 October. Kramář became the first Prime Minister of the new state but resigned over policy differences less than a year later. Although he remained a member of the National Assembly until his death in 1937, his conservative nationalism was out of tune with the main political establishment, represented by the figures of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Edvard Beneš, he was born in Vysoké nad Jizerou, near the northern border of what is now the Czech Republic, in a rich family. Kramář was educated at the Universities of Prague and Berlin and the Paris École des Sciences Politiques. In the 1880s, Kramář played a prominent role in the agitation against the fact that Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague offered instructions exclusively in German.
The issue of whatever the language of instruction at Charles-Ferdinand University would be German or Czech was an controversial one in the early 1880s, leading to frequent fights on the streets of Prague between ethnic German and ethnic Czech students. In 1882, the Emperor Franz-Josef approved breaking Charles-Ferdinand University into two independent branches, with one that offered instructions in Czech and another instructions in German, he became the leader of the Young Czech Party in Austria-Hungary and of the National Democratic Party in Czechoslovakia. In 1896, Kramář become the Austrian Minister of Finance. Like other Slavic politicians in the Dual Monarchy, Kramář disliked the Compromise of 1867 that he felt had elevated the Magyars to a position of political power that their numbers did not warrant and wanted the Austrian Empire to abandon its alliance with Germany in favor of an alliance with Russia. Kramář believed that with time and democracy in the form of universal suffrage would transform the Austrian Empire into a Slavic state as the Slavic peoples were the most numerous of the various ethnic groups in the empire.
Like many other Young Czechs, Kramář was a Russophile, seeing Russia as the world's only Slavic great power that counterbalanced the dominant ethnic Germans of the Habsburg monarchy. Kramář's wife was a Russian socialite, the daughter of a Moscow industrialist and until 1917 they owned a lavish villa in the Crimea. Kramář loved Russian literature. Tomáš Masaryk criticized Kramář for the contradiction between his push for universal suffrage and democracy in the Austrian Empire and his support of closer ties with the autocracy of Imperial Russia; the October Manifesto of 1905 was hailed by Kramář as a sign that Russia was liberalizing and would soon become a democratic power in the near-future. In 1908 in Prague, in 1909 in St. Petersburg and in 1910 in Sofia, Kramář attended Pan-Slavic congresses. Along similar pan-Slavic lines, Kramář worked for a "Slavic Bloc" in the Reichsrat that would unite all of the parties representing the Slavic peoples into one bloc against the House of Habsburg. Kramář's pro-Russian inclinations caused much tensions with the ethnic Polish and Ukrainian politicians as both the Poles and the Ukrainians preferred to be part of the Austrian Empire rather than the Russian Empire.
Kramář pushed the government to provide greater legal expression of the Czech language, for instance allowing court cases in Bohemia to be conducted in Czech rather than German and for bilingual signs in both German and Czech at Army bases in the "Czech lands" of Bohemia and Silesia. Kramář had little love for the House of Habsburg, which as the British historian R. W. Seton-Watson observed that for more than 500 years had showed nothing but "detestation" of the Czech people, but he was willing to accept that the Czechs remain part of the Austrian Empire, provided that the empire was reorganized to give greater autonomy to the "Czech lands" that consisted of the provinces of Bohemia and Silesia. A liberal nationalist with close ties to the political elite in Prague and Vienna, Kramář pursued a policy of cooperation with the Austrian state as the best means of achieving Czech national goals before the First World War as he favored closer ties between the Czechs and the Russian Empire, his commitment to this policy of cooperation with the Austrian government led him to resign his leadership of the Young Czech party in 1914 as the party drifted toward a more nationalist and oppositional stance.
By 1914, Kramář was drifting out of the political mainstream. When the First World War began in 1914, Kramář concluded that a victory for Germany and Austria would mark the end of the possibility of reform in the Austrian Empire and to work against the Habsburg monarchy. In the fall of 1914, Kramář advised the other Czech politicians to wait as "the Russians will do it for us alone". Kramář was referring to the Russian victories in Galicia in September 1914 that saw about 50% of the entire Austrian Army killed, wounded or captured, a crippling blow that ended whatever possibility that might had existed for Austria to be an equal partner with Germany and reduced the Austrians down to much junior partners of the Germans; the way in Austria-Hungary started to function more and more as a satellite
Edvard Beneš, sometimes anglicised to Edward Benesh, was a Czech politician and statesman, President of Czechoslovakia from 1935 to 1938 and again from 1945 to 1948. He led the Czechoslovak government-in-exile 1939 to 1945, during World War II; as President, Beneš faced two major crises. His first resignation came after the Munich Agreement and subsequent German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938, which brought his government into exile in the United Kingdom; the second came about with the 1948 communist coup, which created the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Before his time as President, Beneš was the 1st Minister of Foreign Affairs and the 4th Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia. A member of the Czechoslovak National Social Party, he was known as a skilled diplomat. Eduard Beneš was born into a peasant family in 1884 in the small town of Kožlany, Bohemia, in what was the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he was the youngest tenth child overall of Matěj Beneš and Anna Petronila. One of his siblings was the future Czechoslovak politician Vojta Beneš.
His nephew through his brother Václav was a diplomat and author. Bohuš was the father of Emilie Benes Brzezinski, an American sculptor, Václav E. Beneš, a Czech-American mathematician. Beneš spent much of his youth in the Vinohrady district of Prague, where he attended a grammar school from 1896 to 1904, his landlord's family being acquainted with his future wife Anna Vlčková, they would study French and literature together at the Sorbonne. Edvard and Anna got engaged in May 1906, married in November 1909; some time after their engagement, Anna changed her name to Hana, the name Edvard had called her by since he met her. Around the same time, Edvard Beneš changed his name, going from the original spelling "Eduard" to "Edvard", he played soccer as an amateur for Slavia Prague. After studying philosophy at Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague, Beneš left for Paris and continued his studies at the Sorbonne and at the Independent School of Political and Social Studies, he completed his first degree in Dijon, where he received his doctorate of law in 1908.
Beneš taught for three years at a business college, after his 1912 habilitation in philosophy, Beneš became a lecturer of sociology at Charles University. He was involved in scouting. During World War I, Beneš was one of the leading organizers of an independent Czechoslovakia from abroad, he organized Maffia. In September 1915, he went into exile, in Paris, he made intricate diplomatic efforts to gain recognition from France and the United Kingdom for Czechoslovak independence. From 1916 to 1918, he was a Secretary of the Czechoslovak National Council in Paris and Minister of the Interior and of Foreign Affairs in the Provisional Czechoslovak government. In May 1918, Beneš, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk and Milan Rastislav Štefánik were reported to be organizing a Czecho-Slovak army to fight for the Western Allies in France, recruited from among Czechs and Slovaks who were able to get to the front and from the large emigrant populations in the United States, said to number more than 1,500,000; the force grew into one of tens of thousands and took part in several battles, including the Battles of Zborov and Bakhmach.
From 1918 to 1935, Beneš was the longest-serving Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia. On 31 October 1918, Karel Kramář reported from Geneva to Prague: "If you saw our Dr. Beneš and his mastery of global questions...you would take off your hat and say it was marvelous!" His international stature was such that he held the post through 10 successive governments, one of which that he headed himself from 1921 to 1922. In 1919, his decision to pull demoralized Czechoslovak Legions out of the Russian Civil War was denounced by Kramář as a betrayal. Beneš served in parliament from 1920 to 1925 and from 1929 to 1935, he represented Czechoslovakia at the 1919 peace conference in Paris, which led to the Versailles Treaty. He returned to the academic world as a professor, in 1921. In the early 1920s, Beneš and his mentor President Masaryk viewed Kramář as the principal threat to Czechoslovak democracy, seeing him as a "reactionary" Czech chauvinist, opposed to their plans for Czechoslovakia as a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic state.
Masaryk and Beneš were doubtful of Kramář's commitment to "Western values" that they were committed to such as democracy, enlightenment and tolerance, seeing him as a romantic Pan-Slavist who looked towards the east rather than the west for ideas. Kramář much resented the way in which Masaryk groomed Beneš as his successor, noting that Masaryk put articles into the Constitution that set 45 as the age limit for senators, but 35 as the age limit for the presidency, which conveniently made Beneš eligible for the presidency; the charge of Czech chauvinism against Kramář had some substance as he proclaimed his belief that the Czechs should be the dominant people in Czechoslovakia, denounced Masaryk and Beneš for their belief that the Sudeten Germans should be equal to the Czechs, made clear his opposition to having German as one of the official languages of Czechoslovakia, views that made him abhorrent to Beneš. Between 1923 and 1927, Beneš was a member of the League of Nations Council, serving as president of its committee from 1927 to 1928.
He was a renowned and influential figure at international conferences, such as those at Genoa in 1922, Locarno in 1925, The Hague
Prague is the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic, the 14th largest city in the European Union and the historical capital of Bohemia. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of 2.6 million. The city has a temperate climate, with chilly winters. Prague has been a political and economic centre of central Europe complete with a rich history. Founded during the Romanesque and flourishing by the Gothic and Baroque eras, Prague was the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia and the main residence of several Holy Roman Emperors, most notably of Charles IV, it was an important city to its Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city played major roles in the Bohemian and Protestant Reformation, the Thirty Years' War and in 20th-century history as the capital of Czechoslovakia, during both World Wars and the post-war Communist era. Prague is home to a number of well-known cultural attractions, many of which survived the violence and destruction of 20th-century Europe.
Main attractions include Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, Old Town Square with the Prague astronomical clock, the Jewish Quarter, Petřín hill and Vyšehrad. Since 1992, the extensive historic centre of Prague has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites; the city has more than ten major museums, along with numerous theatres, galleries and other historical exhibits. An extensive modern public transportation system connects the city, it is home to a wide range of public and private schools, including Charles University in Prague, the oldest university in Central Europe. Prague is classified as an "Alpha −" global city according to GaWC studies and ranked sixth in the Tripadvisor world list of best destinations in 2016, its rich history makes it a popular tourist destination and as of 2017, the city receives more than 8.5 million international visitors annually. Prague is the fourth most visited European city after London and Rome. During the thousand years of its existence, the city grew from a settlement stretching from Prague Castle in the north to the fort of Vyšehrad in the south, becoming the capital of a modern European country, the Czech Republic, a member state of the European Union.
The region was settled as early as the Paleolithic age. A Jewish chronicler David Solomon Ganz, citing Cyriacus Spangenberg, claimed that the city was founded as Boihaem in c. 1306 BC by an ancient king, Boyya. Around the fifth and fourth century BC, a Celts tribe appeared in the area establishing settlements including an oppidum in Závist, a present-day suburb of Prague, naming the region of Bohemia, which means "home of the Boii people". In the last century BC, the Celts were driven away by Germanic tribes, leading some to place the seat of the Marcomanni king, Maroboduus, in southern Prague in the suburb now called Závist. Around the area where present-day Prague stands, the 2nd century map drawn by Ptolemaios mentioned a Germanic city called Casurgis. In the late 5th century AD, during the great Migration Period following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the Germanic tribes living in Bohemia moved westwards and in the 6th century, the Slavic tribes settled the Central Bohemian Region.
In the following three centuries, the Czech tribes built several fortified settlements in the area, most notably in the Šárka valley and Levý Hradec. The construction of what came to be known as Prague Castle began near the end of the 9th century, growing a fortified settlement that existed on the site since the year 800; the first masonry under Prague Castle dates from the year 885 at the latest. The other prominent Prague fort, the Přemyslid fort Vyšehrad, was founded in the 10th century, some 70 years than Prague Castle. Prague Castle is dominated by the cathedral, which began construction in 1344, but wasn't completed until the 20th century; the legendary origins of Prague attribute its foundation to the 8th century Czech duchess and prophetess Libuše and her husband, Přemysl, founder of the Přemyslid dynasty. Legend says that Libuše came out on a rocky cliff high above the Vltava and prophesied: "I see a great city whose glory will touch the stars." She ordered a town called Praha to be built on the site.
The region became the seat of the dukes, kings of Bohemia. Under Holy Roman Emperor Otto II the area became a bishopric in 973; until Prague was elevated to archbishopric in 1344, it was under the jurisdiction of the Archbishopric of Mainz. Prague was an important seat for trading where merchants from all of Europe settled, including many Jews, as recalled in 965 by the Hispano-Jewish merchant and traveller Ibrahim ibn Ya'qub; the Old New Synagogue of 1270 still stands in the city. Prague was once home to an important slave market. At the site of the ford in the Vltava river, King Vladislaus I had the first bridge built in 1170, the Judith Bridge, named in honour of his wife Judith of Thuringia; this bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1342, but some of the original foundation stones of that bridge remain in the river. It was named the Charles Bridge. In 1257, under King Ottokar II, Malá Strana was founded in Prague on the site of an older village in what would become the Hradčany area; this was the district of the German people, who had the right to administer the law autonomously, pursuant to Magdeburg rights.
The new district was on the bank opposite of the Staré Město, which had borough status and was bordered by a line of walls and fortifications. Prague flourished dur
Politics of the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic, in which the President is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the Government of the Czech Republic which reports to the lower house of Parliament; the Legislature is bicameral, with the Chamber of Deputies consisting of 200 members and the Senate consisting of 81 members. Both houses together make up the Parliament of the Czech Republic; the political system of the Czech Republic is a multi-party system. Since 1993, the two largest parties were Civic Democratic Party; this model changed in early 2014, with the rise of a new political party ANO 2011 which led to weakening of both major parties. The Economist Intelligence Unit has rated the Czech Republic as "flawed democracy" in 2016; the Czech political scene supports a broad spectrum of parties ranging from the Communist Party on the far left to various nationalistic parties on the far right. Czech voters returned a split verdict in the June 2002 parliamentary elections, giving Social Democrats and Communists majority, without any possibility to form a functioning government together due to Vladimír Špidla's strong anticommunism.
The results produced a ČSSD coalition government with Christian Democrats and Liberals, while Civic Democrats and Communists took place in opposition. The MP ratio was the tiniest 101:99. After many buffetings and after the catastrophic results of the June European Parliament election, 2004 Špidla resigned after a revolt in his own party and the government was reshuffled on the same basis; as the system in the Czech Republic produces weak governments there is constant talk about changing it but without much chance of pushing the reform through. An attempt to increase majority elements by tweaking the system parameters by ČSSD and ODS during their "opposition agreement" of 1998–2002 was vehemently opposed by smaller parties and blocked by the Constitutional Court as going too much against the constitution-stated proportional principle. This, led to a stalemate in the 2006 elections where both the left and the right each gained 100 seats. In March 2006, the parliament overturned a veto by President Václav Klaus, the Czech Republic became the first former communist country in Europe to grant legal recognition to same-sex partnerships.
A government formed of a coalition of the ODS, KDU-ČSL, the Green Party, led by the leader of the ODS Mirek Topolánek succeeded in winning a vote of confidence on 19 January 2007. This was thanks to two members of Miloš Melčák and Michal Pohanka, who abstained. On 23 March 2009, the government of Mirek Topolánek lost a vote of no-confidence; the President is the head of state. The President of the Czech Republic is elected by a direct vote for five years; the president is a formal head of state with limited specific powers. Appoint and recall the Prime Minister and other members of the Government and accept their resignation, recall the Government and accept its resignation. Cabinet of the Czech Republic is the supreme executive body in the Czech Republic; the Cabinet shall make its decisions as a body. The Cabinet shall consist of the Prime Minister and Ministers. Controls the state and the ministry. Publishes government decree; the Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President of the Republic who shall appoint on the Prime Minister's proposal the other members of the Cabinet and shall entrust them with the direction of individual ministries or other agencies.
Within thirty days after its appointment, the Cabinet shall present itself to the Chamber of Deputies and shall ask it for a vote of confidence. The Parliament has two chambers; the Chamber of Deputies has 200 members, elected for a four-year term by proportional representation with a 5% election threshold. There are 14 voting districts identical to the country's administrative regions; the Chamber of Deputies, at first the Czech National Council, has the powers and responsibilities of the now defunct federal parliament of the former Czechoslovakia. The Senate has 81 members, in single-seat constituencies elected by two-round runoff voting for a six-year term, with one third renewed ever
The Hilsner Affair was a series of anti-semitic trials following an accusation of blood libel against Leopold Hilsner, a Jewish inhabitant of the town of Polná in Bohemia, Austria-Hungary in 1899 and 1900. The affair achieved widespread media publicity at the time, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk professor at Charles University in Prague got involved in the case to defend Leopold Hilsner. Anežka Hrůzová was a 19-year-old Czech Catholic girl, she worked as a seamstress in Polná, 2 miles away. On the afternoon of 29 March 1899, she left her place of employment as usual, but did not return to her home. Three days her body was found in a forest, her throat having been cut and her garments torn. Nearby was a pool of blood, some blood-stained stones, parts of her garments, a rope with which she had been either strangled to death or dragged, after the murder, to the place where the body was found; because of the little amount of blood found near the body, the fact that Anežka Hrůzová's disappearance had taken place during the Jewish holiday of Passover and population began speculating this was a case of Jewish ritual murder.
The suspicion of the sheriff was first turned against four vagrants, seen in the neighborhood of the forest on the afternoon of the day when the murder was supposed to have been committed. Among them was Leopold Hilsner, a 23-year-old Jew, a man of little intelligence, a vagrant all his life. Suspicion against him was based on the fact that he had been seen strolling in the forest where the body was found. A search of his house showed nothing suspicious, he claimed to have left the place on the afternoon of the murder long before it could have been committed. Hilsner was arrested, tried at Kutná Hora on 12–16 September, he denied all knowledge of the crime. The only physical evidence against him was a pair of trousers on which some stains were found, which chemical experts said might have been blood, while the garment was wet as if an attempt had been made to wash it. One witness against him claimed to have seen Hilsner, at a distance of 2,000 feet, in company with two strange Jews, on the day on which the murder was supposed to have been committed and on the spot where the body was found.
Another witness claimed to have seen him come from that place on the afternoon of 29 March and to have noticed that he was much agitated. Both the prosecuting attorney, the attorney for the Hrůza family, Karel Baxa, made clear suggestions of ritual murder. Testimony had proved. Still he was sentenced to death for participation in the murder, while his supposed accomplices were undiscovered and no attempt was made to bring them to justice; the prominent Czech nationalist scholar Tomáš Masaryk, professor of the Charles University in Prague, intervened on behalf of Hilsner. The supreme court ordered a new trial, to be held at Písek in order to avoid intimidation of the jury by the mob, the influence of political agitation. On 20 September 1899, a few days after the first trial, Hilsner was confronted by hostile fellow prisoners, who showed him some carpenters working in the courtyard of the jail and told him that they were constructing a gallows for him, they demanded the names of his accomplices, said he could thus obtain a commutation of his sentence.
Hilsner, named Joshua Erbmann and Solomon Wassermann as those who had assisted him. Being brought before the judge on 29 September, he declared. On 7 October, he again recanted on 20 November. For those he had accused, they were able to prove perfect alibis, one of them having been in jail on the day of the murder, while the other proved, from certificates of poorhouses in Moravia which he had visited as a beggar, that he could not have been in Polná on that day. Meanwhile, Hilsner was accused of another murder. Marie Klímová, a servant, had disappeared on 17 July 1898. A female body was found on 27 October following in the same forest as the body of Anežka Hrůzová; this body had, with great probability, been identified as the missing girl. However, decomposition was so advanced that not the fact that the girl had been murdered could be established. Hilsner, charged with this crime was tried for both murders in Písek; the witnesses at this trial became more definite in their statements. Those that at the first trial had spoken of a knife which they had seen in Hilsner's possession, now asserted distinctly that it was such a knife as was used in ritual slaughtering.
The strange Jews who were seen in company with Hilsner were more and more described. When witnesses were shown that the testimony given by them at the second trial differed from that given at the first trial, they said either that they had been intimidated by the judge or that their statements had not been recorded. Hilsner was found guilty of having murdered both Anežka Hrůzová and Marie Klímová and sentenced to death on 14 November 1900; the sentence was commuted by Emperor Franz Josef to life imprisonment on 11 June 1901 but requests to renew the trial were turned down. Shortly before the end of World War I Hilsner was pardoned by Emperor Karl, he spent the rest of his life in Velké Meziříčí, Vienna. His conviction was never annulled, no one else was charged with the murders. Although the case was never solved, Hilsner's innocen
In politics, centrism—the centre or the center —is a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society to either the left or the right. Centre-left and centre-right politics both involve a general association with centrism combined with leaning somewhat to their respective sides of the spectrum. Various political ideologies, such as Christian democracy, can be classified as centrist. There have been centrists in both sides of politics, who serve alongside the various factions within the Liberal and Labor parties. In addition, there are a number of smaller groups that have formed in response to the bipartisan system who uphold centrist ideals. South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon had launched his own centrist political party called the Nick Xenophon Team in 2014, renamed Centre Alliance in 2018; the traditional centrist party of Flanders was the People's Union which embraced social liberalism and aimed to represent Dutch-speaking Belgians who felt culturally suppressed by Francophones.
The New Flemish Alliance is the largest and since 2009 the only extant successor of that party. It is, however composed of the right wing of the former People's Union, has adopted a more liberal conservative ideology in recent years. Among French speaking Belgians the Humanist Democratic Centre is a centre-right or centre party as it is less conservative than its Flemish counterpart, Christian Democratic & Flemish. Another party in the centre of the political spectrum is the liberal Reformist Movement. Brazilian politics have lots of centrist political parties and one of the greatest examples is the Brazilian Democratic Movement, the largest political party in Brazil; the Brazilian Social Democracy Party is another example of centrist party in Brazilian politics, though it was supported by right-wing political parties from 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 elections. Throughout modern history Canadian governments at the federal level have governed from a moderate, centrist political position. Canada has been dominated by the Liberal Party of Canada who have traditionally positioned themselves as being more moderate and centrist than the center-right Conservative Party of Canada and the more left-wing New Democratic Party, putting them somewhere between the center and center-left.
In the late 1970s, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau claimed that his Liberal Party of Canada adhered to the "radical center". Far-right and far-left politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society. Croatian People's Party - Liberal Democrats and People's Party - Reformists may be considered as centrist parties. Agrarian Croatian Peasant Party during last years became moderate and centrist, having been centre-right in the past; the Czech Republic has a number of prominent centrist parties, including the syncretic populist movement ANO 2011, the civil libertarian Czech Pirate Party, the long-standing Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party and the localist party Mayors and Independents. France has a tradition of parties that call themselves "centriste", though the actual parties vary over time: when a new political issue emerges and a new political party breaks into the mainstream, the old centre-left party may be de facto pushed rightwards, but unable to consider itself a party of the right, it will embrace being the new centre: this process occurred with the Orléanism, Moderate Républicanism, Radical Republicanism and Radical-Socialism.
The most notable centrist party is La République en marche!, founded by Emmanuel Macron. Another party is the Democratic Movement of François Bayrou, founded in 2007. However, the centrist parties oppose the left-wing parties such as Socialists and Left Front, it support the centre-right Gaullist parties and have joined several coalitions governed by Presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy. Zentrismus is a term only known to experts, as it is confused with Zentralismus, so the usual term in German for the political centre/centrism is politische Mitte; the German party with the most purely centrist nature among German parties to have had current or historical parliamentary representations was most the social-liberal German Democratic Party of the Weimar Republic. There existed during the Weimar Republic a Zentrum, a party of German Catholics founded in 1870, it was called Centre Party not for being a proper centrist party, but because it united left-wing and right-wing Catholics, because it was the first German party to be a Volkspartei and because his elected representatives sat between the liberals and the conservatives.
However, it was distinctly right-wing conservative in that it was not neutral on religious issues, being markedly against more liberal and modernist positions. The main successor of Zentrum after the return of democracy to West Germany in 1945, the Christian Democratic Union, has throughout its history alternated between describing itself as right-wing or centrist and sitting on the right-wing; the representatives of the Social Democ
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, sometimes anglicised to Thomas Masaryk, was a Czechoslovak politician, statesman and philosopher. Until 1914 he advocated reforming the Austro-Hungarian monarchy into a federal state. With the help of the Allied Powers, he succeeded in gaining the independence of a Czechoslovak republic as World War I ended in 1918, he founded Czechoslovakia and served as its first President, so is called the "President Liberator". Masaryk was born to a poor working-class family in the predominantly Catholic city of Hodonín, Moravia Another tradition claims the nearby Slovak village of Kopčany, the home of his father, as his birthplace, he subsequently grew up in the village of Čejkovice, in South Moravia, before he moved to Brno to study. His father Jozef Masárik, born in Kopčany in Slovakia, was a carter and the steward and coachman at the Imperial Estate of nearby Hodonín. Tomáš's mother, Teresie Masaryková, was a Moravian of Slavic origin but German education, she worked as a cook at the Estate where she met Masárik, they married on 15 August 1849.
After grammar school in Brno and Vienna, from 1865 to 1872, Masaryk attended the University of Vienna, where he was a student of Franz Brentano. He received his Ph. D. at the University of Vienna in 1876 and completed his habilitation thesis at the same university in 1879, entitled Der Selbstmord als sociale Massenerscheinung der modernen Civilisation. Between 1876 and 1879, he studied in Leipzig with Wilhelm Wundt and Edmund Husserl. On 15 March 1878, he married Charlotte Garrigue in Brooklyn, they lived in Vienna until 1881. In 1882, he was appointed Professor of Philosophy in the Czech part of Charles University of Prague; the following year he founded a magazine devoted to Czech culture and science. Athenaeum issued in October 15, 1883, he challenged the validity of the epic poems Rukopisy královedvorský a zelenohorský dating from the early Middle Ages and providing a false nationalistic basis of Czech chauvinism to which he was continuously opposed. Further enraging Czech sentiment, he fought against the old superstition of Jewish blood libel during the Hilsner Trial of 1899.
Masaryk served in the Reichsrat from 1891 to 1893 in the Young Czech Party and again from 1907 to 1914 in the Realist Party, which he had founded in 1900, but he did not yet campaign for the independence of Czechs and Slovaks from Austria-Hungary. In 1909, he helped Hinko Hinković in Vienna in the defense during the fabricated trial against members of the Croato-Serb Coalition and others, who were sentenced to more than 150 years, with a number of death penalties; when the First World War broke out in 1914, Masaryk concluded that the best course was to seek an independent country for Czechs and Slovaks, outside Austria-Hungary. He went into exile with his daughter, Olga, in December 1914, to Rome to Geneva and to London via Paris in 1915, the Russian Empire in May 1917 and the United States via Vladivostok and Tokyo in April 1918. From Geneva onwards, he started organizing Czechs and Slovaks living outside Austria-Hungary in Switzerland, England and the United States, establishing the contacts that would prove crucial for Czechoslovak independence.
He gave lectures and wrote numerous articles and official memoranda supporting the Czechoslovak cause. In Russia, he was pivotal in establishing Czechoslovak Legions as an effective fighting force on the side of the Allies in World War I. During the war, he held a Serbian passport. In 1915, he was one of the first members of staff of the new School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of University College London, where the Student Society and Senior Common Room are named after him, he became Professor of Slavic Research at King's College in London, lecturing on "the problem of small nations". During the war, Masaryk's intelligence network of Czech revolutionaries provided important and critical intelligence to the Allies. Masaryk's European network worked with an American counterespionage network of nearly 80 members, headed by E. V. Voska, who, as Habsburg subjects were presumed to be German supporters but were involved in spying on German and Austrian diplomats. Among other things, the intelligence from these networks was critical in uncovering the Hindu-German Conspiracy in San Francisco.
T. G. Masaryk started teaching at London University in October 1915. There, he published "Racial Problems in Hungary" in which he expressed thoughts on Czechoslovak's independence. In 1916, Masaryk went to France to convince the French government of the necessity of dismantling Austria-Hungary. After the February Revolution in 1917, he proceeded to Russia to help organize Slavic resistance to the Austrians, the Czechoslovak Legion. On 5 August 1914, the Russian High Command authorized the formation of a battalion, recruited from Czechs and Slovaks in Russia; the unit was attached to the Russian Third Army. From its start, Masaryk desired to grow the Družina from a battalion into a formidable military formation. To do so, however, he recognized that they would need to recruit from Czech and Slovak prisoners of war in Russian camps. In late 1914, Russian military authorities permitted the Družina to enlist Czech and Slovak POWs from the Austro-Hungarian Army, but the order