Slovak Historiography and Czechoslovak History during the Years 1918–1968

Slovenská historiografia a československé dejiny v rokoch 1918–1968

Concept of the Czechoslovak history in its various modifications had without doubt great impact on the forming of the Slovak master narrative. Discussions and reflections about the existence of common Czechoslovak history builds the inseparable part in the development of Slovak historiography. Different Czechoslovakistic concepts were always a result of strictly academic, but also ideological, political, national as well as rational opinions and interests of governments, political parties, interest groups and also individuals. Between 1918 and 1968, different concepts of Slovak a Czech master narratives came through several stages of approaching, joining and separation. These processes were accompanied by discussions and academical, ideological and dogmatic justifications for and against concepts of Slovak or Czechoslovak master narratives were introduced. In given period, Czechoslovakistic tendencies in Slovak historiography arose from different reasons. Common Czechoslovak master narrative justified the birth and existence of new Czechoslovak state after 1918. Communistic ideological struggle against „bourgeois nationalism" in the 50. demanded emphasizing the brotherhood of Czechs and Slovak during their history. It was the same also during the renewed struggle against „Slovak separatism" in the 60. However, the Slovak historiography had newer voluntarily accepted Czechoslovak tendencies and event in the period of communist totality, this concept was abandoned right after the weakening of the political and ideological pressure in the second half of the 60. In conclusion, we can state that the characteristic sign of Slovak historiography since its beginning was (sometimes more or less visible) the attempt to create an independent Slovak national story which would not merge with, and would not be part of, the other master narratives. However, this process was not totally completed even during the 1918 – 1967, but even the communist dictatorship could this process only slow down but not completely suppress.