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Biography of Thomas Garrigue Masaryk


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Masaryk, Thomas Garrigue. Slovak scholar and patriot, first president of the republic of Czechoslovakia. Born at Goding, Moravia, 1850. He began life as a blacksmith, later studied at Vienna and Leipzig and, in 1882, was made professor in the new Czech University at Prague. He sat in the Austrian parliament (1891-93), resigning to devote himself entirely to moral education, becoming a leader of the so-called realistic movement in philosophy, literature, and politics. Elected deputy 1907, he vigorously opposed German encroachment upon Austria, and combated Austrian aggression in the Balkans. In 1909 he exposed the forgeries upon which Austria based the forced annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the outbreak of the war in 1914, he went to Italy and then to England. Later he organized the movement for Czechoslovak independence. In 1918 he was appointed provisional president, and in 1920 was regularly elected president of Czechoslovakia. His wife was an American, and he was well known in the United States for his lectures on political economy at leading universities. Author: "Russia and Europe," "Marxian Socialism," "The Problems of Small Nations in the European Crisis," and other important works.