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Czech State and Europe in the 20th Century – Definition of Central Europe

Czech State and Europe in the 20th Century

To some extent, the position of the Czech Lands in Central Europe predetermined the ensuing geopolitical processes. Yet the Czech Lands were frequently important crossroads of political interests and conflicts. For Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary, the disintegration of Austria-Hungary and emergence of the successor states at the end of World War I symbolized fulfilment of their effort to gain independence. Simultaneously, however, the post-war arrangement of the world and Europe concealed many risks that culminated in another war (1939 ‒ 1945) and division of the continent into new political interest zones after 1945 and again at the end of the 1980s. Central Europe has always been a space where the West met the East and where the European as well as non-European structures desired to include some of the Central European countries into their power blocks. The geopolitical aspects formed and still form mutual relations between the European states where the Czech Lands still present a sensitive deciding factor in international stability.

Eva Semotanová


Political map of Europe from Otto's geographical atlas from 1924. The basemap dates from the period before 1918. The names of the states after 1918 (and after the Versailles Conference 1919-1920) are inscribed in red, even with the borders. Map Collection of the Institute of History, CAS. Map display


historians: Eva Semotanová, Tomáš Burda, Jan D. Bláha
cartographers: Jiří Krejčí, Jan D. Bláha, Pavel Seemann, Zuzana Vaňková
digital atlas: Tomáš Janata, Petra Jílková, Jiří Krejčí, Jitka Močičková, Eva Semotanová, Růžena Zimová
team of authors


Semotanová, E.: Historická geografie českých zemí. Praha 2002, 2006;

Semotanová, E. Zudová-Lešková, Z. ‒ Močičková, J. Cajthaml, J. ‒ Seemann, P. ‒ Bláha J. D. a kol.: Český historický atlas. Kapitoly z dějin 20. století. Praha 2019.