Prager Vorträge: New Currency or Bad Money?

Popular Reactions to the Introduction of a New Czechoslovak Currency after the First World War

Date of event
11. 6. 2024, 17:00 – 11. 6. 2024, 18:30
Place of event
Collegium Carolinum, 3th floor, Valentinská 91/1, Praha 1

The currency reform of 1919, usually attributed to Alois Rašín, is regarded as a stunning success by the young state of Czechoslovakia, enabling it to escape the turmoil of inflation in Central and Eastern Europe. However, two circumstances deserve closer examination: firstly, a transitional phase began immediately after the introduction of the new currency, during which the old (Austro-Hungarian) banknotes were no longer fully valid, but were not invalid either. Moreover, the validity of a new currency depends not only on its emission as such, but on its acceptance by the public. In the Czechoslovak case, the general populace dealt with the ambiguity of transition in its
way. In particular, the question of which banknotes (and cash reserves) were still valid or legal sparked conflicts and negotiations that tell us a lot about the difference between money as an economic quantity and money as part of cultural practice.

Johannes Gleixner is a researcher at Collegium Carolinum – Research Institute for the History of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. He is interested in the history of non-religion and secularist movements in East and East Central Europe during the late 19th and early 20th century, focusing amongst others on socialist and communist freethought in Czechoslovakia and Soviet Russia. Other interests include the monetary history of Central Europe in the 20th century as well as Historical Network Analysis of letter correspondence.

Lecture series Prager Voträge are organised by Collegium Carolinum, Deutsches Historisches Institut Warschau and Leibniz Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa in cooperation with the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS and other institutions.