Prohlašuji, že jsem diplomovou prαci vypracoval samostatnμ s použitνm uvedenι literatury a zdrojω informacν.

 

Ve Slanιm dne 25. θervence 2003

 

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Acknowledgements

 

      I would like to thank all whose help made this work possible. I really appreciate all Czech Americans who were willing to fill out the research questionnaire. Their responses were the most important source of information for this diploma work. I would also like to thank Michal Klicpera, who created the website for the research questionnaire, and Gail Smith and Michael Holling, who helped me find the right expressions. My deepest thanks belong to my adviser, Doc. Joan De Foreest, B.A., M.A., whose advice was essential for the completion of this diploma work. Finally, I would like to dedicate the diploma work to Wilma Zajicek, who helped me a lot with the distribution of the questionnaires in the United States; and who, to my deepest regret, had passed away before this diploma work was finished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract

 

      This diploma work presents a history of Czech immigration to the United States and the contribution of Czechs to American culture. A research study was conducted to determine to what extent Czech Americans maintain a Czech identity in contemporary America. Findings show that the Czech identity is relatively well preserved in the United States. However, the Czech-American community gradually loses some of its ethnic elements because of the assimilation process. In fact, many young Czech Americans are aware of their heritage, which might be very useful in the future preservation of Czech identity in America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements   …………………………………………………………………………....ii

Abstract  ……………………………………………………………………………………... .iii

Table of Contents   ……………………………………………………………………………..iv

I Introduction  …………………………………………………………………………………..1

II Historical Background   ……………………………………………………………………....2

   1 Introduction  ………………………………………………………………………………..2

   2 The History of Czech Immigration to America      …………………………………………...2

      2.1 The Earliest Arrivals    …………………………………………………………………..3

      2.2 The Large Waves of Immigration    ……………………………………………………..4

         2.2.1 The First Wave of Immigration     …………………………………………………...5

            2.2.1.1 Immigration to Rural Areas    …………………………………………………...6

               2.2.1.1.1 Czech Immigration to Texas    ………………………………………………6

               2.2.1.1.2 Czech Immigration to the Eastern States of the Midwest      …………………7

            2.2.1.2 Immigration to Urban Areas    …………………………………………………..8

               2.2.1.2.1 Saint Louis  ………………………………………………………………...9

               2.2.1.2.2 New York ………………………………………………………………….9

               2.2.1.2.3 Chicago  …………………………………………………………………..10

         2.2.2 The Second Wave of Immigration    ……………………………………………….11

            2.2.2.1 Czech Immigration to Nebraska and Kansas    ………………………………...11

         2.2.3 Situation of the Czech-American Community at the End of the 19th Century         …..12

      2.3 Czech Immigration in the 20th century     ……………………………………………….13

         2.3.1 Early 20th Century Immigration     ………………………………………………….13

         2.3.2 The Role of Czech Americans in the Formation of Czechoslovakia        …………….14

         2.3.3 Situation of the Czech-American Community in the 1920s       ………………..........14

         2.3.4 Political Immigration of the 20th Century      ………………………………………..15

            2.3.4.1 Czech Immigration as the Result of Nazism and Communism        ……………...15

            2.3.4.2 Czech Immigration after the “Prague Spring”      ……………………………….16

         2.3.5 Modern Czech Immigration to the USA    …………………………………………16

   3 Famous Personalities of Czech-American Descent      ……………………………………...17

      3.1 Ray Kroc – The Founder of the McDonald’s Restaurants     …………………………...17

      3.2 James Lowell and Eugene Cernan – Lost Moon and the Last Man on the Moon       …...18

      3.3 Madeleine Korbel Albright – The Highest-ranking Woman in the U.S. History         ……18

      3.4 Miloš Forman – The Academy Award Winner        ……………………………………19

      3.5 Martina Navrαtilovα – The Greatest Woman Tennis Player of All Time        ……………19

      3.6 Other Czech Americans Who Left a Mark in the American Hall of Fame        ………….20

   4 Czech-American Cultural Institutions from Past to Present       ……………………………..22

      4.1 Czech-American Society  ……………………………………………………………..22

         4.1.1 Czech Americans and Their Relationship towards Religion        …………………….22

            4.1.1.1 Czech-American Catholics    …………………………………………………..23

            4.1.1.2 Czech-American Protestants   …………………………………………………24

            4.1.1.3 Czech-American Freethinkers   ………………………………………………..24

         4.1.2 Czech Americans and Their Relationship towards Education       …………………...25

         4.1.3 Political Attitudes of Czech Americans     ………………………………………….27

         4.1.4 Arts in the Life of Czech Americans     …………………………………………….28

            4.1.4.1 Music and Dance  ……………………………………………………………..29

            4.1.4.2 Czech-American Drama  ……………………………………………………...31

         4.1.5 Social Institutions of Czech Americans     ………………………………………….32

            4.1.5.1 Czech-American Fraternalism    ……………………………………………….32

               4.1.5.1.1 Czech-American Benevolent Organizations     ……………………………..33

               4.1.5.1.2 Czech Women’s Fraternal Organizations     ………………………………..34

               4.1.5.1.3 The American Sokol (Falcon)   ……………………………………………35

               4.1.5.1.4 Czech-American Fraternalism from Another Perspective      ……………….36

               4.1.5.1.5 Final Words on Czech-American Fraternalism      ………………………….38

            4.1.5.2 Czech-American Press  ……………………………………………………….39

            4.1.5.3 Czech-American Festivals    …………………………………………………...41

            4.1.5.4 Czech-American Weddings   ………………………………………………….42

         4.1.6 Another Important Aspects of the Lives of Czech Americans       …………………..43

            4.1.6.1 The Process of Assimilation and the Importance of Origin       ………………….43

            4.1.6.2 Preservation of Czech language and Customs     ……………………………….45

            4.1.6.3 Relationship to the Czech Republic     ………………………………………….46

   5 Conclusion  ……………………………………………………………………………….47

III Research Study: Methods  ………………………………………………………………....49

   1 Research Questionnaire  …………………………………………………………………..49

      1.1 Description of the Questionnaire     …………………………………………………….49

      1.2 Research Topics of the Questionnaire     ……………………………………………….49

      1.3 Conduct of the Research   ……………………………………………………………..50

   2 Respondents  ……………………………………………………………………………...51

      2.1 General Characteristics of the Respondents    ………………………………………….51

      2.2 Limitations of the Research    ………………………………………………………….52

      2.3 Number of Respondents and Their Basic Grouping in the Research        ………………..53

IV Results and Commentary   …………………………………………………………………54

   1 Introduction  ………………………………………………………………………………54

   2 The Maintenance of Czech Identity in Contemporary America       …………………………54

      2.1 Awareness about Ancestry  …………………………………………………………...54

      2.2 Importance of Czech Language    ……………………………………………………...56

      2.3 Czech-American Press and Websites   ………………………………………………...59

      2.4 Awareness about Czech-American Organizations     …………………………………...61

      2.5 Preservation of Czech Traditions    …………………………………………………….63

      2.6 Schooling in Czech Educational Institutions       ………………………………………...66

      2.7 Czech Ethnic Festivals and Other Cultural Events      …………………………………..67

      2.8 Significance of Being Czech American      ……………………………………………...69

      2.9 Awareness of Czech Contribution to American Society      …………………………….70

      2.10 Relationship of Czech Americans to the Czech Republic       ………………………….71

      2.11 Czech vs. American   ………………………………………………………………...74

   3 Conclusion  ……………………………………………………………………………….76

V Conclusion  …………………………………………………………………………………78

Bibliography  ………………………………………………………………………………….80

List of Tables………………………………………………………………………………...   82

List of Graphs  ………………………………………………………………………………...82

List of Pictures   ……………………………………………………………………………….83

Appendix 1 …………………………………………………………………………………...84

Appendix 2 …………………………………………………………………………………...88

Shrnutν  …………………………………………………………………………………… …..89