Discourse about the benefits of the transition from monarchy to the republic for peasantry as a propaganda tool of agrarian party in Slovakia after 1918
Agrarian party was the most influential centralist party in the inter-war Slovakia. We can also describe it as the main pillar of the regime established after 1918. Thanks to its electoral results in Slovakia, this all-state party was able to become the strongest party in Czechoslovakia in 1925 which enabled agrarians to permanently hold the office of prime minister as well as to become the axis of all Czechoslovak coalition cabinets.
The main focus of the party agitation was logically aimed to win over farmer population of Slovakia for its program. Apart from other topics of campaigning, the discourse about rectification of injustices brought to peasants by the old Hungarian regime was one of the main parts of party agenda. According to Slovak agrarians, the republic was bringing to Slovak peasantry political freedoms which were best illustrated by the introduction of general suffrage for all citizens. Apart from that, the improvement of economic situation of peasantry was also in focus. The most significant role in reaching this goal should be played by the Czechoslovak agrarian reform. Politicians form the agrarian party often reminded its sympathizers and potential supporters that while the old regime mostly cared for the interests of big landowners, many of them aristocrats who did not have any sympathies for Slovak national movement, the new republic would care especially for the interests of small farmers and peasants. This party agenda was not ethnically oriented, because the party was trying to address also Magyar peasants with it, although with limited success.
The paper is going to deal with several forms of the party propaganda which was highlighting social and economic pluses of the new regime for peasants in contrast with the disadvantages of the old Hungarian regime. Chronologically it will focus on the first years of the transition from monarchy to the republic from 1918 till the second general elections in 1925.