Šlechtic a revoluce. Pohled Karla Chotka na revoluční rok 1848
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Nobleman and revolution. Count Karl Chotek’s view of the 1848 Year of Revolution
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The submitted study looks at the opinions and acts of the nobility, in particular Karl Chotek, during the 1848 Year of Revolution. Before the spring revolutionary period, the Czech nobility enjoyed an exclusive status, but the revolutionary summer changed all that. Although some noblemen had already endeavoured to reform relations with their serfs before the revolution, had founded the Union to Encourage Industry in Bohemia and declared the ability to purchase freedom for serfs, during the revolution they signed a petition to avoid sudden revolutionary change and keep their current status as political representatives of the country, and they were confronted with the Herder-inspired Czech nationalist movement. They could not find a common voice with this movement because amongst other things, their reforms arose not from the language-profiled concept of the nation as declared by the Czech nationalist movement, but rather from the Enlightenment. Although the nobility were not passive and endeavoured to play a part in political events, they remained alone in their endeavours, with even the state itself drawing away from them and abolishing serfdom on 7 September 1848 independently of their demands, and through this also abolishing the whole of the previous patrimonial administration.
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