Slovak National Revival

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Slovak National Revival

In contrast with other European countries, in the Habsburg Monarchy the ideas of the Enlightenment were spread by a ruler-> ENLIGHTENED ABSOLUTISM.
Representatives: Maria Theresa (174-1780), Joseph II. (1780-1790)
1781- Edict of Toleration- equality for Protestants
1785- Abolition of serfdom in Hungary
The rule of these monarchs relieved social, political and national situation, which created conditions for development of the Slovak National Revival. The Slovak educated class started organizing the social movement but there was a difference of opinion about the questions of language and ethnicity right from the beginning.

The revivalists formed 2 separate groups:
CATHOLICS- supporters of the Slovak language as a written language, they believed that the Slovaks form an individual tribe of the Slavonic nation
PROTESTANTS- supporters of the Czech of the Kralická Bible (so-called Bibličtina) as a written language, they believed that the Slovaks are the part of
a Czechoslovak tribe

FIRST PHASE (1780 – 1820)

- the 1-st generation of the revivalists supported reforms of Joseph II., the source of their national pride was the Cyrilo-Methodian tradition
- 1783-1787- "Prešpurské noviny" were being published in Bratislava- the 1-st Slovak newspaper (written in Bibličtina)

- the 1-st person who tried to codify the Slovak language was JOZEF IGNÁC BAJZA
 the basis of this language was the Western Slovak dialect
 he wrote the 1-st Slovak novel called "Adventures and Experiences of Young Man René"
 he was not successful in creating a linguistic groundwork for “his” language, therefore he did not find enough followers
- the 1-st man who codified the Slovak language was ANTON BERNOLÁK (Bernolák’s written language is also known as Bernolákovčina)
 the basis of this language was the cultural Western Slovak dialect used by scholars at the University of Trnava
 the main codification work: "Philological-Critical Treatise on Slovak letters"
another linguistic work: "Slovak Grammar"
he prepared a pentalingual dictionary: "Slovak-Czech-Latin-German-Hungarian Dictionary"
 he created a well-elaborated linguistic groundwork for “his” language
- 1792- the followers of Anton Bernolák (Bernolák’s group) established the SLOVAK LEARNED SOCIETY in Trnava
 the chairman: Anton Bernolák
 the secretary: JURAJ FÁNDLY- the most productive writer of the Society
-> his works:"The Confidential Agreement between the Monk and the Devil"
"The diligent householder and the field farmer
 the main aim: to publish enlightenment and religious literature in Bernolák’s written language
- significance of Bernolák’s movement: the codification of the Slovak written language; putting together the conception of the Slovaks as an individual Slavonic tribe

- they were supporters of using Bibličtina as a written language, they advocated the idea of the Slovaks being the part of a Czechoslovak tribe
- they cooperated with the representatives of the Czech National Movement, such as JOSEF DOBROVSKÝ
- 1785- they established the SLAVONIC SOCIETY in Banská Bystrica (the initiators: Ondrej Plachý, Juraj Ribay)
- 1803- they established the DEPARTMENT OF CZECHO-SLOVAK ANGUAGE AND LITERATURE at the Evangelical Lyceum in Bratislava (the initiators:Professor Juraj Palkovič, Bohuslav Tablic)

After the defeat of Napoleon, the victorious powers (so-called Saint Alliance: Russia, Prussia & Austria) at the Congress of Vienna (1815) decided to prevent any further revolutionary and social movements in Europe. During and after the Napoleonic Wars, the authority of Russia increased, while she was the one who bore the main burden of fighting with Napoleon. Also the authority of Austria was strengthened, particularly the authority of her Chancellor Metternich, who was the main character of the Congress of Vienna. In Austria METTERNICH established tough centralist regime- the power was concentrated in the Vienna royal court, especially in the hands of the Chancellor. This evoked hostility in Hungary against Vienna and increased the efforts to detach from Austria and create an independent Hungarian State.

An integrating element of the new state was supposed to be the Magyar language, which led to violent Magyarization.

SECOND PHASE (1820 – 1835)

- the 2-nd generation of the Revivalists concentrated on the fight against Magyarization
- they saw the protection against Magyarization in developing the idea of Slavonic unity, which was even more encouraged by the reinforced international position of Russia, to which other Slavonic nations looked for liberation
- both confessional camps (the Catholics & the Protestants) reacted to this new situation by increased efforts to cooperate

- Protestant Pastor JÁN KOLÁR
 the author of the conception of Slavonic unity- he advocated the idea that all Slavs are a part of 1 Slavonic nation, which is divided into 4 tribes (Russian, Czechoslovak, Polish and Ilyrian), he believed that the Czechs and the Slovaks belong to 1 Czechoslovak tribe
 he closely cooperated with the representatives of the Czech National Movement, such as JOSEF JUNGMAN
 to achieve complete unity between the Czechs and the Slovaks he wanted to create a common language for them- he intended to do this by reforming the Czech language by adding some components from the Slovak language into it
-> this language would be inanimate, artificial, and therefore it was refused by both the representatives of the Czech National Movement as well as the representatives of the Slovak National Movement
- Historian & Linguist PAVOL JOZEF ŠAFÁRIK
 he supported Kollár’s idea of Slavonic unity
 he worked on the ethnographic and the historical research of the Slavs
 his works: "The History of the Slavonic language and literature", "Slavonic Antiques", "Slavonic Ethnography"

- Canon JURAJ PALKOVIČ (the namesake of Professor Juraj Palkovič from the Evangelical Lyceum in Bratislava)
 he translated the Bible into Bernolák’s written language
 he published Bernolák’s Dictationary
 he encouraged spreading of Bernolák’s written language- he supported the effort to translate the Bible and to publish Bernolák’s Dictionary
- the most important writer of Bernolák’s group- JÁN HOLLÝ
 his exceptional literary works proved that Bernolák’s written language is a poetic language
 his literary work strongly influenced Štúr’s generation and attracted them to the national idea, which finally resulted in accepting the conception of the Slovaks as an individual nation by the representatives of the Protestant intelligentsia
 he translated the works of Latin authors into Bernolák’s language (e.g. Anneas from Vergilius) in order to prove that Bernolákovčina is equivalent to other world languages
 the most significant national-revivalistic contribution had his historical epics: "Svatopluk", "Cirillo-Metodiada"
-> in these he described the greatness and the power of the Slovak nation with its rich history and its own culture

- the centers of the 2-nd generation of the Slovak revivalists were:
Budín- this is where MARTIN HAMULJAK (the main organizer of Bernolák’s movement since 1820’s) acted
Pešť- this is where Protestant Pastor JÁN KOLLÁR acted
-> these two played the main role in developing the cooperation between the Protestants and the Catholics
- 1826- they established the SLOVAK READERS´SOCIETY in Pešť
 the chairman: J. Kollár, the secretary: M. Hamuljak
 the Society published the almanac "Zora"
-> these supra-confessional cultural societies formed the basis for the cooperation and the unification of the confessionally defined revivalists

THIRD PHASE (1835 – 1848)

- into the forefront of the national movement got the young Slovak intelligentsia led by Ľudovít Štúr » the most important of them:

- they concentrated on the unification of the two camps of the Slovak National Revival
- they tried to improve the social position of the ordinary Slovak people, in whom they saw the basis of the national movement (they considered the feudalism a great evil, which had to be eliminated) -> they fought against ignorance and alcoholism by establishing Sunday schools, libraries and the societies of moderation
- 1829- the CZECHO-SLOVAK SOCIETYwas established at the Lyceum in BA
 the founders: Karol Štúr, Samo Chalupka
 the 1-st chairman: Professor Juraj Palkovič,
the chairman in years 1835-1837: Ľudovít Štúr
 the Society concentrated on national-revivalistic activities
 April 24, 1836- it organized a memorial trip to Devín (“the residence of the Slovak kings”)- here the Slovak nationalists swore their faithfulness to the Slovak nation and they received Slavonic names (Štúr- Velislav, Hurban and Hodža- Miloslav)
 1836- the Society published the almanac "Plody"
-1837-1840- the 2-nd centre of the national movement was the secret society SOLIDARITY
 the initiator: A. B. Vrchovský
 the main aim: to fight against feudalistic oppression
- the beginning of 1840’s- radicalization of the Magyarization movement- the main representatives: LAJOS KOSSUTH, in the evangelical church life- KAROL ZAI
- 1842- the petition against Magyarization (so-called SLOVENSKÝ PRESTOLNÝ PROSBOPIS) was handed over to the Emperor FERDINAND V. (1835-1848) by
the Slovak delegation -> this evoked the strong opposition of the Hungarian church leaders, which resulted in the dismissal of Ľ. Štúr from the post of the deputy of Professor J. Palkovič at the Ev. Lyceum in Bratislava
- July 1843- Ľ.ŠTÚR, HURBAN and HODŽA codified a new form of the Slovak written language in the Hurban’s presbytery in Hlboké
 the basis of this language was the central Slovak dialect
 the 1-st book published in this language: almanac "Nitra" (1844)
 the reasons for codifying the new language were explained by Ľ. Štúr in the work: "The Slovak Dialect or the Need of Writing in This Dialect"
 1846- Ľ: Štúr published the grammar of the new Slovak written language: "Teaching of the Slovak Language"
 against the new form of the Slovak written language was JÁN KOLLÁR- he explained it in the work: "The Voices of the Need of Unity in the Written Language for the Czechs, the Moravians and the Slovaks" (1846)
- 1844- the most important national cultural society of the Slovaks- TATRÍN was established in Liptovský Svätý Mikuláš
 the chairman: M. M. Hodža
 it supported Sunday schools, the societies of moderation, the publishing of enlightenment literature, it formed the basis of the national museum collection
- 1845- Ľ. Štúr started to publish the 1-st Slovak political newspaper: "Slovak National Newspaper" (written in Štúr’s written language)
- 1846- J. M. Hurban started to publish a literary-scientific magazine: "Slovak Views"
- 1847- Ľ. Štúr became the deputy of the town Zvolen in the Hungarian Parliament
-Štúr’s program was gradually joined by the representatives of the Bernolák’s group,such as JÁN PALÁRIK, ANDREJ RADLINSKÝ and MARTIN HATTALA
» they joined it officially at the MEETING OF TATRÍN IN ČACHTICE in 1847- at this meeting both confessional camps agreed to use Štúr’s Slovak language as an official written language -> this act completed the national unification of the Slovaks.

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