According to Abbreviationfinder, the Paris suburban treaties of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (September 10, 1919) and Trianon (June 4, 1920) confirmed that Bohemia, Moravia (Silesia), Slovakia and Carpathian -Ukraine belonged to Czechoslovakia; in addition there was the “Hultschiner Ländchen” (Hlučín), which Germany had to cede to the new state. An armed border dispute with Poland broke out in the area of Teschen (resolved in 1920). With around 20% of the former total area of the dual monarchy, Czechoslovakia was its largest successor state (around 140,000 km 2), in which in 1920 the dominant Czechs and Slovaks (9.7 million) also lived Germans (3.3 million), Hungarians (720,000), Ruthenians (410,000) and Poles (100,000). On February 29, 1920 the Provisional National Assembly (without the participation of the minority representatives) passed a republican, parliamentary-democratic constitution for Czechoslovakia based on the French model (abbreviation initially RČS); Since November 1918 the governments tried to break down the historically grown ties to Austria and Hungary by reorganizing the economic and social system (1919 including introduction of their own currency; land reform) as well as the judiciary and administrative system and thereby the internal unity of the different states to secure original parts of the country (according to the motto »de-Austria«, Masaryk). The efforts of the governments to shape the Czechs and Slovaks into a single “Czechoslovak” nation through strict centralism soon met with resistance from the Slovak autonomists. The dissatisfaction was increased by the fact that due to the previous Magyarization policy by Budapest (among other things, lack of Slovak officials), Czech forces predominated in setting up modern administrative and educational structures in Slovakia.
A broad spectrum of socio-political concepts, closely linked to nationality issues, led to a strong diversification of the party landscape. Politically dominant were v. a. the Czechoslovak Social Democratic Labor Party (founded in 1878, reorganized in 1911; chairman: Antonín Němec [* 1858, † 1926]), the Czechoslovak National Democracy (chairman: Kramář), the Czechoslovak National Socialist Party and the Agrarian Party. The supranational KP was founded in 1921. In addition to the Slovak People’s Party, the German political parties and those of the Hungarian minority represented special national interests. Despite strong tensions between these political forces, the internal political development of Czechoslovakia took place under parliamentary-democratic auspices. With the exception of two civil servants ‘cabinets (1920), there were coalition governments in which the so-called “activist” German parties (German Christian Social People’s Party), the farmers’ union and later also the social democracy (chairman: L. Czech) took part since 1926. The Slovak People’s Party (chairman: A. Hlinka) entered government in 1927. In 1935 the agrarian M. Hodža became Slovak Prime Minister for the first time.
After a decade of domestic political stability and economic prosperity, Czechoslovakia was belatedly hit by the consequences of the Great Depression. The volume of exports fell by a quarter between 1928 and 1933, and the number of unemployed rose to 920,000 in 1932/33, almost two thirds of whom were Germans. Convinced that they were being discriminated against by the Prague government, and under the influence of Hitler’s policy in Germany, the German population in Czechoslovakia helped a national rallying movement to succeed, for which the term Sudeten Germanism (Sudeten Germans) became a political bracket. The Sudeten German Home Front (SHF) founded by K. Henlein in 1933 became part of the Sudeten German Party in 1935(SdP) renamed. In the elections on May 19, 1935, the SdP received 68% of the German votes and entered the Prague parliament with 44 members.
The foreign policy of Czechoslovakia was determined by E. Beneš as Foreign Minister and from 1935 as President. To the territorial stock of v. a. To secure against Hungarian revision claims, he had laid the foundation stone for the alliance system of the Little Entente (1920/21) by means of a contract with the »SHS state« (Yugoslavia). A Polish-Czechoslovakian treaty (1921) with the obligation of mutual support was not ratified by Poland. With the Czechoslovak-French alliance (January 25, 1924), Czechoslovakia integrated itself into the European security system of France, the guarantor of the Versailles treaty system. After A. Hitler came to powerin Germany (1933), Czechoslovakia concluded an assistance pact on May 16, 1935 with the USSR (system of collective security), which had only been recognized de jure a year earlier.
The alliance system established by Beneš increasingly lost its function as a guarantor of external security in the 1930s. Instead, Czechoslovakia – v. a. since 1937 – increasingly under the pressure of the aggressive expansion policy of National Socialist Germany; In Czechoslovakia, the SdP became an instrument of Hitler’s power politics, which after Austria’s “annexation” to the German Reich (March 1938) in the “Sudeten Crisis” (April – September 1938) called for the Sudetenland to be incorporated into the German Reich. After the failure of British attempts at mediation, France and Great Britain gave up on the mediation of fascist Italy without the participation of Czechoslovakia in the Munich Agreement (September 29, 1938) the German demands for (appeasement policy); After German-Czechoslovak negotiations, Czechoslovakia had to cede the “Sudetenland” with 29,000 km 2 and around 3.4 million residents (0.7 million of them Czechs) to the German Reich. Under the influence of the Munich Agreement, Poland occupied the Olsa area in October 1938. In addition, Czechoslovakia lost southern Slovak territories and most of the Carpathian-Ukraine to Hungary in the 1st Vienna arbitration (November 2, 1938).
After the resignation of President Beneš (October 5, 1938), E. Hácha became President and R. Berán Prime Minister of the so-called Second Republic. After Slovakia – pushed by Hitler – had declared its independence on March 14, 1939 under German protection (therefore also called the “Schutzstaat”; treaty of March 23, 1938), German troops occupied the remaining Czech territory on March 15, 1939 National territory. With a “decree” Hitler established the “Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia”, which is dependent on Germany. In March / June 1939 the rest of the Carpathian Ukraine also fell to Hungary.