Masaryk's Understanding of Democracy before 1914

Marie L. Neudorfl


Tomas Garrigue Masaryk's theories on democracy evolved primarily from an intimate knowledge of the social and political realities of his time, combined with relevant knowledge of the past both of Czech as well as other European nations. They reflected Masaryk's conviction that the ideal of modern democracy was most desirable for a majority of people,as well as his belief that since the French Revolution, the gradual realization of this ideal became possible in many European countries. At the same time, he was aware that the ideal of democracy was especially attractive to underprivileged entities, be they individuals or nations, and that the dominant forces in Central Europe had little sympathy for this ideal. While he did not discount German and Russian expansionist potentials and tendencies as negligible and insignificant for Central Europe, in the context of the Austro-Hungarian Empire his major concern was with the inequitable possibilities for the development of non-ruling nations as compared with those of the Austrian Germans and Magyars who constituted, in their respective domains, less than half of the population.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.