Svaz českých měst a bytová politika na začátku 20. století
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CZECH TOWNS LEAGUE AND HOUSING POLICY ON THE BEGINNING OF 20TH CENTURY
In the second half of the 19th century, the Czech municipal government system was already well developed and was experiencing the 'golden age' of municipal autonomy. At the same time, however, Czech towns had to face the problem of 'urbanization', especially in Prague and Brno. Czech towns had to cope with urgent urban problems, such as housing, sanitation, or redevelopment. The Czech Town League, which was established in 1907 in Prague, was an organization of more than 100 municipalities for the promotion of Czech municipal autonomy. It also played an important role in the solution of these problems and strongly influenced social policy in general as an integral part of its activity. In the League, many social reformers were discussing the housing problem, especially at the 4th Congress held in Prague in October, 1911. At that congress, social reformers of town bureaucracy and self-help cooperatives required intervention of municipalities in the social and housing problems. But Czech municipalities, in general, couldn't deal with such problems yet, except for some cases. The discussion showed the achievements and shortcomings of Czech municipal autonomy in the era of Habsburg Empire. In order to assess the tasks of the League properly, it is necessary to compare Czech and German municipalities in the Czech Lands, because the Czech Town League was intended for the 'Czech nation' in the country. Those attempts of the League constituted the first stage of social politics in the Czech Lands, and the League also contributed to the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic.
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