Why did Czechoslovakia remain a democracy for so long in the interwar era?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
Based on this map, it looks like, right before the 1938 Sudeten Crisis occurred, Czechoslovakia was the only democracy in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe:



All of the other countries in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe had already become dictatorships by 1938. In turn, this raises the question--why exactly did Czechoslovakia not have the same fate that all of these other countries had by 1938 and became a dictatorship just like the rest of them? Indeed, what made Czechoslovakia so unique in its neighborhood that it was able to maintain its democracy right up to the point when it completely succumbed to Nazi German military pressure in 1938-1939?

Any thoughts on this?
 
Oct 2019
72
Budapest
Hungary was not really dictatorship, just a so-called authoriter state. Horthy had less power than a modern US. president, he run a multi-party parliamental system, where the supreme power of the parliament was not questioned by anybody. Horthy always appointed the heads of the strongest party or fraction to create a government (despite he sometimes did not like (or even hate) some prime ministers. Even during war-time the power of the legal courts were so strong and independent, that Hungary was the only country in Europe, where people could sue the state, or Hungarian persecutors and legal courts started investigation and legal trials against their own army officers because of war crimes. NEither democracy did it during or after the war. ( Hungarian officers were reported sentenced and prisoned because of ethnic cleanising or Hungarian solders were prisoned because foreign victims reported their rape or robbery in Horthy's legal courts. It was an unique moral miracle in the contemporary ww2 era Europe.
 
Jan 2013
1,063
Toronto, Canada
It was not a liberal democracy, just a so-called "ethnic democracy", we can call it as "greater Czechia".
That's not entirely fair - non-Czechs did participate in government, albeit in subordinate roles. Unfortunately, European governments of the 1930s have to be judged on a steep curve.
 
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Oct 2019
72
Budapest
That's not entirely fair - non-Czechs did participate in government, albeit in subordinate roles. Unfortunately, European governments of the 1930s have to be judged on a steep curve.
It was just a state , which was founded and based on lies durib the peace conference. Benes even lobbied (together with Serb and Yugoslav leaders) to avoid any democratic referendums (the famous self-deterination idea) about the borders. No wonder that president Wilson and US. congress did not sign the Paris treatries. With a democratic referendum around 1920, would have lead to the loss around the 40% of the territory of the newly formig Czechoslovak state.
 
Jan 2013
1,063
Toronto, Canada
It was just a state , which was founded and based on lies durib the peace conference. Benes even lobbied (together with Serb and Yugoslav leaders) to avoid any democratic referendums (the famous self-deterination idea) about the borders. No wonder that president Wilson and US. congress did not sign the Paris treatries. With a democratic referendum around 1920, would have lead to the loss around the 40% of the territory of the newly formig Czechoslovak state.
Wilson did sign the Paris treaties. Congress refused to ratify because of the League of Nations - it had nothing to do with Czechoslovakia.
 
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Oct 2019
72
Budapest
Wilson did sign the Paris treaties. Congress refused to ratify because of the League of Nations - it had nothing to do with Czechoslovakia.
It had nothing to do only with Czechoslovakia. Czech Romanian and Serbian leaders refused the idea of the self-determination and referendums strictly during the peace conference. And yes, it based on lies, I can cite many of the British and French Italéian politicians, who participated in the peace Treaties, and after the treaties they learn about the details, and they come into the conclusion that they were feed up with lies , among other it was easy to lie in the conference, because the losers of the war were not present (or were not even invited to the conference like Hungary) in the negotiation part of the conference, they were just invited the defeated to sign it. No wonder that the pro-entente forming states lied practically whatever they want during the conference...
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
Wilson did sign the Paris treaties. Congress refused to ratify because of the League of Nations - it had nothing to do with Czechoslovakia.
Yes, specifically because Wilson was excessively stubborn and refused to compromise with the Senate Republicans in regards to the issue of reservations.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,239
SoCal
That's not entirely fair - non-Czechs did participate in government, albeit in subordinate roles. Unfortunately, European governments of the 1930s have to be judged on a steep curve.
Yeah, I seem to recall a Sudeten German party being welcomed into the Czechoslovak governing coalition in 1925. Also, it's worth noting that Czechs were only 51% of Czechoslovakia's total population. So, theoretically, if all of the non-Czechs in Czechoslovakia would have united forces, they could have acquired quite a lot of power and influence.
 
Dec 2017
258
Florida
This is an interesting question, perhaps it is due to the fact that Czechoslovakia was created from the resource-rich regions of Austria and Germany. Perhaps this wealth maintained a more optimistic environment when the depression rolled around in the 30s?
 
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