Continuity and discontinuity of the German-speaking civic elites in Moravia during the period 1900-1925 (based on the examples of Brno, Jihlava and Nový Jičín)

The essay deals with a significant issue within Czech historiography: the extent of the continuity of the elites in civic administration. The study is focused on three types of towns which represent three varying levels of development of this process. The essay assesses the obstacles for the ongoing continuation of public activity of the leading persons from the German-speaking communal elite from the time of the monarchy into the period of republican Czechoslovakia. The essay follows the efforts of the state in constituting loyal elites in the context of major demographic and urbanistic changes, a change in the electoral system which swept away the last barrier limiting the arrival of mass political parties into the sphere of local government, and also an overall generational one. The collapse of the monarchy had brought to the fore a new generation with new ideas and methods of public service. If the changes in personnel within the elite in connection with the change of régime were very obvious in those areas of communal life considerably affected by "high-level" politics, then the area of day-to-day detailed work at the level of local government was clearly not so affected by this change.