“Regulating Prostitution and Controlling Venereal Disease in the Bohemian Lands at the End of the ‘Long’ Nineteenth Century”
- Číslo 2 
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
SourcePrager wirtschafts- und sozialhistorische Mitteilungen - Prague Economic and Social History Papers, 2014, 20, 2, 7-25
Habsburg Monarchy, Bohemian Lands, Social History, Veneral Disease, Prostitution
This article analyzes the regulation of prostitution and attempts to control venereal disease in the Bohemian Lands at the end of the “long” nineteenth century, a time when arguments over prostitution raged among abolitionists, feminists, members of the bourgeois women’s movement, neo-regulationists, and others who debated whether prostitution should be tolerated, legalized, or abolished. Between 1899 and 1910, trafficking in women and “venereal peril”, issues intimately associated with prostitution, were internationalized. Attitudes toward prostitution varied among Habsburg-police and bureaucrats, but there was broad support for confining prostitutes in closed bordellos. The discussion highlighted the contrast between the ineffectiveness of regulation in the large and increasingly anonymous metropolises in Habsburg Central Europe, like Prague and Vienna, where the vice squads were allegedly rife with corruption, and the efficacy of regulation in small-to-medium-sized towns and cities.