Frantisek Palacký, one of the fathers of the Czech nation

Frantisek Palacký, one of the fathers of the Czech nation

Frantisek Palacký He was one of the fathers of the Czech nation, along with Carlos IV and Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. He was not an ordinary revolutionary, but a historian who ended up in the political arena after the Revolution of 1848 and that he defended the autonomy and independence of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia in what he called the “Kingdom of the Czech Republic”.

He was born on June 14, 1798 in Hodslavice into a lower-middle-class family. His father was a school teacher, so he sent him to the Evangelical-Lutheran Lyceum in Bratislava. The young Palacký proved to have a great talent, especially for languages, since he learned up to eleven different ones.

In 1823, he moved to Prague where he surrounded himself with companies influential enough to avoid the repression that the Austrians made against Slavic nationalist students.

During his stay in the ancient European city, he met Count Sternberg, who hired him to be its archivist. Occupying this position, Palacký came into contact with many historical records that spoke of Czech national sentiment, so he began to feel a need to see this feeling fulfilled.

In 1829, he was awarded the title of Bohemian Historiographer and began work on his most important work: "The History of the Czech Nation in Bohemia and Moravia”. The publication spoke of the development of the Czech nation, as well as its extinction, and consisted of five volumes that were released to the public between 1836 and 1867. Initially, the Austrian authorities partially censored it but with the abolition of police censorship in 1848 , was able to publish a complete edition years later.

The Revolution of 1848 that struck the Austrian Empire it took Palacký into politics. The fame that preceded him as a nationalist historian helped him rise to the Reichstag and made him president of the Paneslavian Congress that was held in Prague in June 1848. At that time, the historian thought that the ideal solution to the problems of Bohemia was federalism. But after the triumph of Austrian centralism, he was in favor of the autonomy of Bohemia and defended it for the rest of his life. He realized that Czech national sentiment should not be subjugated to other cultures or other nations.

In 1861, Palacký was proclaimed a life member of the Austrian Senate but he could not exert much influence. It is true that he tried to defend the Czech cause and fight for ideals, but neither the emperor nor the rest of the deputies heeded his requests. Only during a brief period of Francisco José I did it seem that self-government could be achieved, although everything remained in vain words.

Palacký's aspiration was to create a Czech kingdom encompassing Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia. However, he could never see it fulfilled, since he died on May 26, 1876 in Prague. He left behind a large repertoire of works on Czech nationalism based on the history of Bohemia and the surrounding territories. Today he is considered one of the fathers of Czech national sentiment.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved History and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.

Video: - Otec národa František Palacký