Plzeňské sympozia

Ivan Jakubec

A Rich Network of Waterways as the ‘Panacea’ of the Cisleithanian Society?

pp. pp. 32–41 (Czech), Summary p. 41–42 (English)

The act on the construction of a network of waterways was the biggest transportation-technical
plan of Cisleithania in the 19th century. If it had been really implemented, Austria would have become a Central-European junction of inland navigation routes, an intersection between the north (the Elbe –Hamburg) and the northwest (the Oder – Szczecin), the eastern border of Galicia (the Vistula) and the south and the southeast (the Danube - the Black Sea). It would have also meant the development of technical
work. On the one hand, it would have strengthened the transportation-technical and economic cohesion of the monarchy; on the other hand, it would have certainly meant a big long-term burden for the state budgets also in the construction of the lands involved. The article has focused on the objective (and to a certain degree schematic) taxonomy of the aspects of the individual contributions of the members of the House
of Representatives and members of the House of Lords supporting or opposing the construction of canals and the canalisation of watercourses. The contributions further reflected the members' party membership, appurtenance to a land or their nationality. The debate included reasoning with presumed (expected and planned) ‘positives' as well as with presumed (expected, impending) ‘negatives' connected with the construction of waterways: chiefly economic and economic-social, transportation, technical, water-management and national positives and negatives were discussed. After all the time that has passed since then, it is impossible to support unequivocally either of the parties involved. Both viewpoints included pertinent, relevant arguments.
Key words: Bohemian Lands, Cisleithania, 19th century, waterways, Imperial Council

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