What the Heart Unites, the Sea Shall not Divide: Claiming Overseas Czechs for the Nation, 1848-1914


EES Dissertation




The dissertation presents a history of the emigration question in the Bohemian Lands from the onset of mass emigration in 1851 to the eve of the First World War. Lower-class mobility, I argue, challenged the claim of Czech liberals to national guardianship. As liberals, Czech leaders lacked a language with which to oppose the free movement of labor. As nationalists, however, they worried over the loss of Czechs hands and hearts. By analyzing contemporary works of scholarship, feuilletons, travel narratives, and popular fiction, the dissertation shows how the emigration question developed from an appeal to the emigrant’s sense of patriotism to a systematic critique of the Habsburg state and a call for “organized emigration” and overseas expansion by Czech nationalists.