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    The Czech politician and statesman Karel Kramář (1860-1937) played an important role in promoting the idea of Neo-Slavism ,  a new stage in the development of Slavonic mutuality after 1905. In Austria-Hungary, the Neo-Slavonic idea was connected with the Austro-Slavism of Palacký, and a national specific of the Czechs was found in Neo-Slavism the most signifiant expressions of Russophilia. According to the views of Karel Kramář from this period, the most important task was the federalization of Austria-Hungary and work to strenghten the political and economic role of the Slavs in it. The purpose of this policy was clear: to build a barrier against the growing threat from Germany, to which Austria-Hungary was gradually becoming a servant. According to Kramář, strengthening of the role of the Slavs in Austria-Hungary had to lead to its detachment from Germany, break up of the Triple Alliance and cooperation with Russia. „We bring the world love and peace, we do not want to knock down thrones, break up empires and states. We want only to feel ourselves to be one great whole, united by common interests, if division and hostility do not fall one after the other under the pressure from powerful, organized and planned expansion of culture and the economy“ as Kramář said at the Slavonic Congress in Prague in 1908.

    In the London magazine National Review  from October 1902, Kramář described the subjection of Austria to Reich German interests, especially the influence of Greater German propaganda. According to him, the Austrian Slavs were reliable supporters of Austrian independence and European balance. The majority of Czechs were more loyal to their Emperor than thein fellow-citizens of German nationality. Kramář expected that any expansion of Austria-Hungary into the Balkans would lead to predominance of Slavonic population in it. Therefore, he supported the armaments legislation in 1912. However, the Young Czech idea of Neo-Slavism was not shared by any of its foreign partners. Disputed on the Polish and Ukrainian questions prevented their acceptance at the congresses in Prague in 1908 and Sofia in 1910. For Serbia and the national movements in the Balkans, support for the policies of Austria-Hungary and Russia in the Balkans was unthinkable, and the quarrel between Serbia and  Bulgaria about Macedonia was a further barrier to the development of Pan-Slavism.

    Kramář’s secret project to create a Slavonic Empire headed by Russia from May 1914 originated in opposition to this conception. It is not without interest that it was worked out according to the example of the Deutsche Bundesakte. It was sent to the Russian minister of foreign affairs, and recalls more the conception of Danilevskij than Neo-Slavism. Kramář’s proposed Constitution of the Slavonic Empire assumed that the Slavonic Empire would extend from the Pacific Ocean to Šumava and contain more than 200 million inhabitants. The proposed Constitution assumed that:

    •  The Russian Empire would be extended to include Eastern Galicia, Northern Bukovina, Hungarian Ruthenia and part of the province of East Prussia with the city of Königsberg.
    •  The Polish Empire would consist of the territory of the former Polish Empire without the Government of Cholm, but with Western Galicia, the eastern part of Prussian Upper Silesia, the Province of Poznan, the Province of West Prussia with the port of Gdansk or at least the Polish and Kashubian parts of this province, the southern part of the Province of East Prussia.
    •  The Bulgarian Empire had to include Bulgaria in the form given by the peace of Bucharest, with central and southern Macedonia.
    •  The Serbian Kingdom would consist of Serbia according to the Bucharest peace treaty, but without central Macedonia. It would also have northern Albania with the port of Drač, Dalmatia, the Croatian and Slovene coast (Istria with Triest, Goricia and Gradiška), the Slovene lands (Carniola, southern Styria and the southern half of Carinthia), Croatia and Slavonia, and perharps a section of south-western and western Hungary – in relation to the remnants of Croatian population – „reaching up to the middle Danube, where Serbia would meet Bohemia“.
    •  Kingdom of Montenegro. If it did not join Serbia, it would consist of its territory from 1914 with northern Malisko, the Skadar and Zádrimí distrikt with San Giovanni di Medua.
    •  The Czech Empire. According to Kramář it had to include:

      [li]The territories of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Mark of Moravia and the western part of Austrian Silesia.[/li]
      [li]  The south-western frontier region of Prussian Silesia, where a Czech element still existed as in the County of Klodzko.[/li]
      [li]  The territory of the Sorbs or Lusatians in eastern Saxony and the Prussian districts lying to the north.[/li]
      [li]  The Slovak territories of northern Hungary with their southern frontier along the middle Danube from Bratislava to Visegrád near Budapest and then in a straight line east to the frontier of Hungarian Ruthenia and Western Galicia.[/li]

    The Czech Empire would have „15 million inhabitants with 10 million Czechoslovaks, 1.5 million Magyarized Slovaks and Germanized Czechs capable of returning to their own tribe, 3 milllion Germans and half a milion Jews.“

    According to Kramář, the whole Empire would be headed by the Emperor of All the Slavs and All Russia, Czar of Poland and Czar of the Czech Empire – the Russian Czar, who would also be King of Poland and King of Bohemia. Imperial legislation would be approved by the Duma and Imperial Council. The monarchs of the states in the federation would appoint the members of the council according to population. The states in the federation could be forced to fulfill their obligations by a decision of the majority in the Imperial Council. The Imperial Duma would consist of 300 members with perharps 175 from the Russian Empire, 40 from the Polish Empire, 30 from the Czech Empire, 30 from Serbia, 20 from Bulgaria and 5 from Montenegro. Its members would be elected by the representative bodies of the individual states in the federation, in the case of the Czech Empire by the Czech Parliament. The method of election would be left to state legislation.

    According to Kramář, imperial legislation would cover the following areas: (a) commercial treaties and customs duties, (b) weights and measures, the monetary system, (c) commercial shipping and consulates, (d) general regulations about post, telegraph and telephone services ,(e) general regulations about railways, (f) the army and navy, (g) the imperial budget, (h) authorization of imperial loans, (i) distribution of common expenditure to the states in the federation and the means of covering it.

    The whole of this Empire had to act as a single commercial and customs territory without internal customs barriers. Banknotes issued by all the states in the federation except Montenegro would circulate in its territory, and coins would be struck according to the same standard. Documents and judicial verdicts issued according to the legislation of states in the federation would be valid throughout the Empire. Teaching of Russian would be compulsory from the second class of elementary school in all non-Russian territories of the Empire. In secondary schools Russian literature would be taught in Russian. Departments of Russian, Russian history and Russian literature would be established in institutions of higher education and all students would have to attend lectures in these subjects.

    [size=8pt]Oskar Krejčí: Geopolitics of the Central European Region: The View from Prague and Bratislava; Bratislava: Veda, 2005.[/size]

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