The Czechmate Diary…


Little bit of history…Czechs in America (Part IV) June 13, 2007

Filed under: Czech-American history — Tanja @ 1:14 am

Czechs in America In 1920s 2/3 of Czech Americans lived in the big cities. The first three decades of the 20th century are also known as the Golden Age of the Czech American culture where an average American recognized and respected the Czech-American economy, culture, as well as the public and civic achievements. This time is also characterized by diminishing number of Czech-speaking Americans, the Czech quarters were disappearing as they were moving into the suburbs. This assimilation led to reduced number of Americans claiming Czech descent to only 200,000 in 1930!    The next wave of immigration was brought by the fear of Nazism, WWII and Communism. But the influx of Czech immigrants was still far smaller than what happened in 1850’s-1920’s period (the Big Immigration Wave). What is also interesting is that the earlier immigrants of the big wave were mostly blue-collar workers and peasants, where as those who arrived after 1933 were well educated and most of them already knew some English. These Czechs also assimilated much faster than the earlier immigrants. To prevent this constant assimilation, the Society for Arts and Sciences (SVU; Spolecnost pro vedu a umeni) was created in 1958 to connect these members of Czech intelligence in the US.                 The last major wave of immigrants to America happened after the “Prague Spring” in 1968, where the Soviet army occupation halted any democratic reforms in Czechoslovakia (more on Prague Spring go to Most of these immigrants also participated in the political life during this time. Although very active, these people did not really enrich the traditional Czech-American societies or SVU. These 1970’s and 1980’s immigrants called themselves the “members of exile” and became quite disunified with the older wave of immigrants.Source:


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