The foundation of an independent state

The Czechoslovak state came to existence as a reflection and fulfillment of the desires as well as will of the Czech nation and nationally conscious Slovaks who longed for independence. Their expression was apparent in numerous mass actions leading to the proclamation of the Czechoslovak state in late October 1918. Its foundation was enabled also thanks to the vacuum of power, which struck central Europe at the end of the First World War and came as a consequence of the breakup of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Germany and the Russian Empire shaken by revolution.

The declaration of an independent state

The foremost task was to secure the integrity of the new state. From the very beginning, the relationships with Poland turned out tense. The main reason were the arguments about the territory of Těšínsko, which was occupied by the Czechoslovak army in late January 1919. In the summer of 1919 the relations between the Czechoslovaks and the Polish went through another crisis, because during the fights of Czechoslovak units with the Hungarian Soviet Republic the Polish hindered military transports from Bohemia to Slovakia across Těšín, and Polish units penetrated the districts of Orava and Spiš. The disputes were settled later on by a committees’ decision, which confirmed that the coal district in Karviná and the railway between Košice and Bohumín became the property of Czechoslovakia. Poland accepted the decision only as a result of being endangered by the Soviet offensive.

Fights in Tesinko

The situation in Slovakia proved even more difficult. Getting control of the Slovakian territory at the end of 1918 was not a simple task. From May until July 1919 a series of bloody fights took place, during which the Czechoslovak units in Slovakia faced a perfectly equipped Hungarian army comprised of a hundred thousand men and suffered several significant defeats. In late June 1919 the initiative gradually shifted to the Czechoslovak side. Resolution was encouraged by pressure from the States of Treaty and the advance of Rumanian army to the Hungarian interior.

Fights in Slovakia

Eventually, the end of summer 1920 bore witness to truce, which allowed to build a proper army.

The foundation of an independent state