The new Czechoslovakia was richly endowed with natural resources, comprising three-quarters of the industrial capacity of the old Empire. Although she was saddled at the Paris Peace Conference with half of the Empire's debt of 20 million gold crowns, she was still far ahead of the other successor states. The Czech and German workers and peasants also had a higher level of literacy and greater urbanization than the others.1
The skilled German workers predominated in the export production of high quality glass, porcelains, and textiles, whereas the heavy industries, mines, and engineering plants were chiefly manned by Czechs. German farmers raised most of the famous Bohemian hops, and the Czechs grew the sugar beets. The mixed population in the west at Pilsen worked the famous beer emporium and the immense Škoda engineering and armaments works.
General farming on the large entailed estates of Bohemia was impeded by feudal land-holdings, which had been owned from the time of the Counter-Reformation mostly by the Austro-German nobility and Catholic institutions, deriving from the tragic annihilation of Bohemian nobles at the Battle of the White Mountain in 1620. The greater industrial complexes were owned and controlled largely by banks in Vienna. The industrial and landed wealth in the German community gave the people an aristocratic and bourgeois orientation that was singularly absent among the Czechs.
The Czechs were an unique people, virtually lacking in landed aristocrats or an upper class. The Czech middle class was emerging coincidentally with their attainment of nationhood. Owing to the lack