Economic Nationalism in the Sudetenland, 1918–1938

Catherine Albrecht

in Czechoslovakia in a Nationalist and Fascist Europe, 1918–1948

Published by British Academy

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263914
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734359 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Economic Nationalism in the Sudetenland, 1918–1938

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Industrialisation had created a segmented social structure among Germans in north and west Bohemia. The most important industrial sectors in the Sudetenland exhibited a bimodal distribution of firms, with a large number of small producers and a few large producers, each of which employed roughly an equal proportion of workers. Economic nationalism among German Bohemians was motivated primarily by the need to defend their status against Czech competition. This chapter explores how the advent of Czechoslovakia affected the long-standing economic competition between Czechs and Germans in Bohemia, which had a major ideological dimension. Already before 1918, it had yielded protectionist associations on both sides. The Czech ones now went on the offensive, pressing for national values to be implemented in the economic domain, especially through nostrification of those of the country's assets held in ‘foreign’ hands and through preference to Czech suppliers in such sectors as military contracts. Their formerly dominant German equivalents were forced onto the defensive, while the Czechoslovak government tried to manoeuvre between the two.

Keywords: Bohemia; economic nationalism; Germans; competition; Czechoslovakia; industrialisation; Czechs; Sudetenland; protectionist associations

Chapter.  9524 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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