The Meaning of Czech History

By Tomáš G. Masaryk; René Wellek et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2

The First Stirrings
of National Revival

Our so-called "revival" toward the end of the eighteenth century,
connected with the European movement of liberation / Cultural
independence and our relation to German culture / The need for
philosophic orientation: German humanist philosophy / Through
German humanism Kollár forms historic links with Reformation
/ Kollár's and Herder's philosophies of history / Development
of language / A "philological" nation

The European movement that brought about the French Revolution and resulting unrest had a profound influence on all Slavic peoples, including our own. This movement coincided with the beginning of our national revival.

Kollár grew to maturity during this crucial period. He was born in the fateful year 1793. Thus, this apostle of rationalism and humanism first saw the light of the world at the very moment when the new cult of Reason was being proclaimed in the capital of Europe. From his earliest years, Kollár breathed an atmosphere of rebirth and renewal, and he continued to mature in this direction. German philosophy provided him with intellectual tools,

____________________
From Tomáš G. Masaryk, Česká otázka: Snahy a tužby národního obrození (Prague, 1969), Chapter I.

-15-

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