Czechoslovakia: The Velvet Revolution and Beyond

By Robin H. E. Shepherd | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction
1
see Carol Skalnik Leff, The Czech and Slovak Republics — Nation Versus State ( Oxford, Westview Press, 1998).
2
The second wave of coupon privatisation was delayed slightly.

Chapter 1
1
This point has been well made by George Schopflin. One of the most important differences between the western countries and the absolutisms of the East including Russia was the extent of the separation of powers between church and state — its near absence in the East and its developing strength in the West. The western political consciousness split in tandem with this separation. When westerners looked up to those in power they saw at least the beginnings of distinct sources of authority. Subjects of the Czarist autocracy, which was fully integrated with the orthodox church, were held in thrall to just one. Division implied arbitration, doubt and eventually impartial judgement. Holism implied single-minded obedience. This perhaps goes some way to explaining the development of the rule of law and the rise of liberalism in the West and its conspicuous absence in the East.
2
It was precisely the inability of successive Czechoslovak governments of widely varying descriptions to achieve this aim that did in fact seal the country's fate seven decades later.
3
T. G. Masaryk, Spisy, vol. 2 ( Prague: n.p., 1934), p. 78, cited in Leff, p. 26.
4
Early agreement by some Slovak parties to the unitary state may have been encouraged by the brief invasion of Slovakia by Béla Kun's Soviet regime in 1919. Revolutionary or not, the Hungarian masters were back. This was bound to have promoted a sense of panic. Conversely, when, with the help of Czech soldiers, Kun's government had been comprehensively defeated and the nature of the post-war settlement became clearer, autonomy minded demands could be more safely made.
5
The point was reinforced by the common practice abroad of adjectivalising the country's name simply to Czech. The eastern Slovak town of Košice was thus frequently referred to as the Czech town of Košice. This practice could only excite national sensitivity.
6
The party was legal until Munich. In contrast with many other countries in the region it could therefore agitate more or less freely. When Czechs and Slovaks encountered communist propaganda after the war, they were not hearing such ideas for the first time.

-179-

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Czechoslovakia: The Velvet Revolution and Beyond
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Tables viii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Building the State 9
  • 2 - The Communists Take Power 21
  • 3 - Havel — Power to the Powerless 39
  • 4 - Politics After Communism 55
  • 5 - The Economy — Capitalism Without Property 75
  • 6 - Civilising Society 103
  • 7 - The Velvet Divorce 127
  • 8 - Surviving Mečiar 149
  • Conclusion — Prospects for the Eu 171
  • Notes 179
  • Bibliography 195
  • Index 199
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