Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John D. Treadway

Second Advisor

Dr. John L. Gordon


Although many historians have studied the topic of nationalism--even interwar Czechoslovak nationalism--none has analyzed it as seen through the eyes of R. W. Seton-Watson, the foremost scholar on Central and Eastern Europe before, during, and after World War I. He possessed a unique relationship with the Slovak people, yet he underestimated the influence religiously-inspired nationalism had on the Slovak masses. This study proposes that it was diverging religious institutions, namely Protestantism and Catholicism, which determined the convictions of the Czech and Slovak intelligentsia and thus the direction of Slovak nationalism in interwar Czechoslovakia. Protestantism's Czechoslovakist national theory gave way to Catholicism's Slovakist theory. Seton-Watson recognized the role of the Protestant tradition, but he was blindsided by the degree of Catholicism's power over Slovak nationalism. The result of the shifting command of nationalist theories was the polarization of Czech and Slovak national identity, ending in the 1938 breakup of Czechoslovakia.

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