Historie – Otázky – Problémy

Construction of the Czechoslovak foreign service: Diplomatic elite of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1918–1920


Abstract: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague was created on 14 November 1918. Initially, the internal structure of the Ministry was not governed by any fixed rules; it adjusted to the urgency of the different areas of its tasks and responsibilities. It was only in 1919 that the personnel and organizational structure of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague was created, following mainly the model of the French and former Austro-Hungarian ministries. In order to ensure both commercial and political interests of the State, it was necessary to establish a network of representative offices abroad, which gradually turned into embassies. Before 28 October 1918, the first diplomatic representatives were appointed in the Entente powers. After the foundation of the Czechoslovak State, the Diplomatic Corps was reinforced mainly by professionals with experience acquired at the former Austro-Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other ministries, and later also by diplomats with legionary background. These persons took the chief posts in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Prague as well as at the embassies and came to form the basis of the diplomatic elite in the First Czechoslovak Republic.

Keywords: foundation of Czechoslovakia, diplomatic corps, the establishment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic elite

PhDr. Ing. Miroslav Brejcha je absolventem České zemědělské univerzity v Praze, FF UK Praha a VŠE Praha. V současné době je interním doktorandem Ústavu českých dějin FF UK v Praze (Brejcha.Miroslav@seznam.cz)