The Situation with Regard to Language and Nationality in the Teschen (Cieszyn/Těšín) Region before 1880
- Číslo 1 
Source PeriodicalPrager wirtschafts- und sozialhistorische Mitteilungen - Prague Economic and Social History Papers, 2016, 23, 1, 7-21
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
Habsburg Monarchy , Teschen region, Nationality, Census
The Teschen region experienced complex and throughout its historical development variable ethnical structure. At the beginning of the 19th century, Silesians were still considered to be a single nation, which had been divided as a result of the Habsburgs’ defeat in the Silesian Wars. Language was not considered a criterion for national identity. At first the Czech and Polish communities worked together in the national political fight against Germans, but from 1880s onwards the Czech-Polish rivalry with strong manifestations of animosity prevailed. The tensions escalated during the censuses in 1880, 1890, 1900 and 1910 when respondents declared one or another language of daily use (Umgangssprache). Thousands of immigrants especially from Galicia but also from Bohemian and Moravian midland streamed into the industrial parts of Teschen region. The battle to “recruit” these migrants was a characteristic feature of the nationalist agitation in the censuses.