National rebirth of the Slovaks

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The National Revival of Slovaks ( slow. Slovenské národné obrodenie ) is in history, the traditional name for the time of formation of the modern Slovak nation in the Age of Enlightenment in the years 1780 to 1848 (according to some sources by 1867). The Slovakia was at that time part of the Kingdom of Hungary .

This period of Slovak history is usually divided into three generations or phases.

First phase

In the first phase (1780-1820) the Slovak intelligentsia concentrated on the establishment of national associations, which mainly published art literature, and on educational work among the population, since the Slovaks were mostly only subjects at that time.

The first history of the Slovak nation by Juraj Papánek appeared in 1780, the first Slovak newspaper, the Prešpurské noviny , in 1783.

Since the 15th century it was used in the Slovak language of many dialects composite Slovakia, besides Latin , usually a slightly slowakisiertes Czech , but also the western Slovakian and central Slovak dialects as a written language . The first attempt to codify the West Slovak dialect as the written language was made in 1763 by Romuald Hadbavný and in 1781 by Jozef Ignác Bajza . But it was not until the Catholic Anton Bernolák , who studied at the general seminary in Pressburg , that the first successful codification of a Slovak written language (the so-called Bernolák language) succeeded in 1787. It was based on the West Slovak language used by the Slovaks from the University of Tyrnau. Most Catholics used this language until 1851. In 1792 Bernolák and his followers (especially Juraj Fándly ) founded the Slovenské učené tovarišstvo association in Tyrnau with branches throughout Slovakia, which published literature in the Bernolák language.

The Slovak Protestants , who have always had close contacts with the Protestant Czech Republic , continued to use the slightly Slovakized Czech. In 1803 they founded the chair of Czech-Slavic language and literature at the Evangelical Lyceum of Pressburg under the direction of Professor Juraj Palkovič , who was often represented by his assistant professor Ľudovít Štúr since 1837 . They used the Czech language there.

Second phase

The second generation (1820–1835) had to concentrate primarily on disputes with representatives of the Magyarization (see History of Slovakia ). Cooperation with other Slavic nations was promoted as a potential protection against Magyarization.

The most important representatives of the Protestants with their slightly Slovakized Czech were the Slovaks Ján Kollár (Protestant pastor, later professor of archeology in Vienna ) and Pavol Jozef Šafárik (professor in Neusatz and Prague , one of the founders of modern Slavic studies ). Both had studied in Germany , were inspired by the emerging German nationalism, and viewed all Slavs more or less as one nation. The most important representatives of the Catholics with their Bernolák-oriented language were Alexander Rudnay ( Archbishop ), Martin Hamuljak (official of a Hungarian central authority in Pest ) and Ján Hollý (poet). The Protestants and Catholics began to come together because of the increasing threat of Magyarization in the kingdom: in 1834 the Association of Lovers of the Slovak Language and Literature was founded under the leadership of Kollár and Martin Hamuljak, which wrote both texts in the language of Bernolák and Edited texts in slightly Slovakized Czech.

Many texts that dealt with the Magyarization had to appear anonymously due to censorship abroad. In addition, the Slovak theater and Slovak dramas were created. In 1830 the first Slovak (amateur) theater was established in Liptovský Svätý Mikuláš / Liptau-St-Nikolaus.

Third phase

The third generation (1835–1848), also called Young Slovaks , finally managed to unite the various Slovak groups and to codify the current form of the written Slovak language. The younger generation was influenced by the struggle of the two Slavic nations Poles and Russians (uprising of Poles against Tsarist suzerainty from 1830 to 1831), which definitely showed that there is no such thing as a unified Slavic nation.

The center of the Young Slovaks was the aforementioned Evangelical Lyceum in Pressburg and its students. In 1829 the students - as was common in Europe at the time - founded the self-taught association (political associations were forbidden in Hungary) Czech-Slovak Society , chaired by Professor Palkovič (Ľudovít Štúr since 1835). The main members were Ľudovít Štúr, Jozef Miloslav Hurban , Michal Miloslav Hodža , Samo Chalupka and others. The company's activities included educating the Slovak population and publishing literature. 1837 was Štúr deputy professor at the Evangelical Lyceum, the Czech-Slovak Society was banned by the authorities and the radical Slovaks (including Jozef Hurban, Milan Hodža, Samo Chalupka) founded under the influence of the Viennese movement Young Europe the secret club Vzájomnosť (dt The togetherness), which had a bourgeois revolution and federalization of Hungary as its goal and was dissolved in 1840 for fear of persecution. The Štúr supporters founded evening schools, anti-alcoholism associations and credit unions to help the Slovak people in every way possible.

At the end of the 1930s, Magyarization, particularly in the Protestant area, took on violent forms. In response to this, the Štúr supporters presented two petitions (1842, 1844) to the emperor in Vienna , but without any significant success. In 1844, Štúr was recalled from the Evangelical Lyceum by the Hungarian authorities and many students left the school in protest. This is where today's Slovak national anthem Nad Tatrou sa blýska was created .

The most important achievement of the young Protestants around Ľudovít Štúr was the “scientific” realization, also resulting from their ethnological research, that the Slovaks represented an independent ethnic group from the Czechs - a realization that the Catholics had come to decades earlier . In 1843, after consultation with the most important Bernolák follower Ján Hollý, the Štúr followers codified a new written Slovak language based on the north-central Slovak dialect, which replaced the Bernolák language and the slightly Slovakized Czech and which is mainly used to this day. In 1847 the remaining Bernolák supporters also joined them, and in 1851 after initial strong protests (especially Kollárs) the older Protestant generation also joined them. In 1844 the first really Slovakian association Tatrín was founded to spread the new language .

1847-1848, on the eve of the revolution of 1848 , Ľudovít Štúr was a member of the Hungarian state parliament in Pressburg for the city of Zvolen / Altsohl. For the first time he “officially” presented some of the Slovak concerns (abolition of bondage (peasant exemption), use of the Slovak language at least in lower schools, etc.).