2011 | 11 | 3 | 223-230
Article title

České spolky v Budapešti v období dualizmu

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Hungary was not among the primary target areas of the expansionary Czech national movement, nevertheless, a serious interest in the Czech public opinion turned towards the Hungarian relations. Hungarian culture, literature has become very popular in the Czech lands and the representatives of the Czech public life also closely followed the developments in Hungary after the Austro-Hungarian Compromise in 1867. The Czech image of Hungary was positive and, until the last decade of the century, the success of the Hungarian national movement was considered as exemplary for the similar Czech aspirations and the critical approach to the development in Hungary has become dominant only from the nineties. The Czech economic expansion mainly turned to the Cisleithanian territories of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the Balkans, but all the major Czech financial institutions were present with investments and branches also in the Hungarian part of the monarchy and major Czech industrial investments have also taken place in Hungary. The immigration trends to Hungary were consistent with the social changes of the era. Initially, in the early seventies, a significant number of Czech officials and soldiers settled in Hungary, excluding the Czech settlers established in the Military Frontier, in the Banat. After the Austro-Hungarian Compromise a greater number of Czech immigrants arrived in the mid-eighties, since then almost exclusively to the Hungarian capital, Budapest. The Czechs settled in this period were attracted to the Hungarian capital by the Hungarian economic growth; most of them were tradesmen, craftsmen and entrepreneurs, who were considered to find the possibility of the success in the developing metropolis. The other part of the Czech community in Hungary was formed by the officials of the Czech financial institutions and companies expanding towards Hungary, who moved to Budapest only for a short time. The massive immigration of the Czech industrial workers to Hungary started in the nineties of the 19th Century. The Czech workers, similarly the Czech officials, settled down in Budapest or in the suburban towns of Újpest and Kispest also only temporarily. The first Czech clubs in Budapest were born in the late sixties. The Česká beseda was the association of the wealthier, upper middle class Czech citizens and the Workers’ Club, the Českoslovanský dělnický spolek worked mainly as the association of the Czech workers and craftsmen. These two dominant associations played a significant role in the organization of the life of the Czech community in Budapest and in maintainig their relations with the homeland. At the end of the century Social Democratic Czech workers’ associations were born as well, mainly led by Czech workers, who were banned from the Cisleithanian provinces of the Monarchy and therefore moved to Budapest. The Sokol Gymnastics Club also had an important role in Budapest, as it coordinated not only the activities of the Czech clubs in the Hungarian capital, but had a great popularity also among the members of the other Slavonic communities of Budapest, mainly a large number of Slovaks, who were closely linked to the above-mentioned Czech associations, too. The Czech community in Budapest began to decrease at the beginning of the second decade of the 20th Century, mainly because of the slowdown of the Czech immigration and the assimilation. The remaining members of the Czech community in Budapest, on the model of the Czechs in Vienna, planned the establishment of a joint leadership and the foundation of a common Czech National House. World War 1st brought a large fracture in the life of the Czech community in the Hungarian capital. Only the Beseda and the Worker’s Club worked in 1918. The majority of Czechs living in Budapest chose to move back to Czechoslovakia or the assimilation to the Hungarian society.
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  • Faculty of Humanities, Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem, Szentkirályi utca 28, 2087 Piliscsaba-Klotildliget, Hungary,
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