CZECHOSLOVAKIA is often represented as an artificial state, one that owes its existence to the caprice of an individual and the chances of circumstance. Strangely enough, we Czechoslovaks have unwittingly done as much to spread this erroneous idea as have our political adversaries. Such was our joy at the restoration of our independence and political liberty, and such the zeal with which we expressed our affection, gratitude, admiration, and filial devotion to our venerated leader, Thomas G. Masaryk, that even sincere people have accepted the thesis that Czechoslovakia's resurrection was a miracle, comparable to that which occurred when Prometheus caused the goddess Pallas Athene to spring from the head of Jupiter. Let us consider the reality.
If the fable of Czechoslovakia's artificial birth were not a fable, if it were true, that truth would be fatal for Czechoslovakia and -- what is more important -- tragic for Europe. A Czechoslovakia arbitrarily and miraculously created could not endure. Nor could the European order of which it is an integral part. Fortunately for both Czechoslovakia and Europe, the way in which our state was created in 1918 had nothing to do with caprice and chance. It had very different origins from the eternally virgin Pallas Athene. And its existence is justified by realities -- living realities which are an integral part of European history and the European tragedy.
Czechoslovakia is a country whose existence and character must be quite incomprehensible to anyone who is ignorant of her antecedents and her geographical situation. As the "Great Moravian Empire," she existed as a separate entity as early as the ninth century. Under Svatopluk (870-894) she lived through her first great tragedy, produced largely by her geographical situation. The Christian faith was spreading at the time, and Svatopluk's Empire was torn between the Western and Eastern Churches. He was incapable of making his choice in time, and his realm dissolved. What remained of it -- Bohemia -- was then faced with a choice between Western and Eastern
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