lex Kvíčala

Jeremy King Discussion

Dear fellow Habsburg subscribers,

Could anyone point me to the text of "lex Kvíčala," the legislation which was proposed multiple times in the Bohemian Diet (beginning in October 1884) but which never became law?

The historical literature on the Bohemian lands contains multiple references to lex Kvíčala, and I've managed to track down the text of Kvíčala's speech on Oct. 16, 1884, when he introduced the bill to the Diet for a first reading. (For example in Národní listy, Oct. 18, 1884, pp. 1-2.) But the stenographic protocols of the Bohemian Diet posted online by the legislature of today's Czech Republic cover only the speeches, not the actual legislative material. And of course, the official legal gazette for Bohemia (Landesgesetzblatt / Zemský zákonník) printed only those bills which became law. 

Both Kvíčala's speech in 1884 and a fairly recent essay by Pavel Marek--"Lex Perek a jeho osud," in Lukáš Fasora, Jiří Hanuš, and Jiří Malíř, eds., Moravské vyrovnání z roku 1905. Možnosti a limity národnostního smíru ve střední Evropě (Brno 2006, 117–128)—sketch in the content of the bill. Children were to be admitted only to a public primary school whose language of instruction (Czech or German) was known to them. Certain exceptions were to be made to the rule, if parents or guardians so requested. In communities where both languages were spoken but there existed only one public primary school using one language of instruction, a second school using the other language of the land was to be opened under certain conditions. I’m interested in the specifics, not least in order to understand better the origins of “lex Perek” of 1906 in Moravia, which consisted of a single sentence (“As a rule, only children proficient in the language of instruction may be admitted to a primary school”) and triggered many administrative and legal challenges in the final years of imperial Austria.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

Jeremy King

Professor of History

Mount Holyoke College