The history of social democracy in Slovakia is full of splits and mergers, which resulted from the twists and turns of politics in Central and Eastern Europe. The historical roots of social democracy in Slovakia are rather weak because party competition has been dominated by issues aligned with the position of the Slovak nation in the common state. Slovak social democrats were either part of Hungarian or Czech parties. The first independent social democratic party in Slovakia was founded in 1905, and it lasted less than one year before reuniting with the Hungarian Social Democratic Party. After the formation of the First Czechoslovak Republic (1918–38), Slovak social democrats merged with the Czech party and founded the Czechoslovak Social Democratic Labor Party (ČSDSD), with the Slovak branch enjoying partial autonomy. Slovakia’s leading members of the social democratic party supported the unitary state and the idea of one — Czechoslovak — nation, and neglected appeals for Slovak identity and autonomy. The party leaders truly believed that Slovaks fully depended on the help of the Czechs, mainly due to their economic and cultural backwardness. The party called for some special measures to be implemented in Slovakia to promote development (lower taxes, revival of industry and improvement of the educational system), but it consistently received weaker electoral support than its counterpart in the Czech lands given the dominance of the nationally oriented Hlinka’s Slovak People’s Party (HSL’S), and the relatively high popularity of the Agrarian Party and the Communist Party. After the Second World War, social democracy was renewed in the form of the Czechoslovak Social Democracy (ČSSD), and after the communist takeover it joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ). During the communist regime, the former leaders of ČSSD, mostly Czechs, carried on the party’s activities in exile.


Trade Union Communist Party Coalition Government Party Leader Social Democracy 
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© Darina Malová 2013

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