Moravians (ethnic group)


Moravians (ethnic group)
This article deals with the modern national/ethnic group. For other meanings see Moravian.
Moravians
Total population
380,000 (2001)
Regions with significant populations
Czech Republic
Languages

Moravian dialects of the Czech language
Standard Czech language

Religion

Roman Catholicism, Atheism

Related ethnic groups

Czechs, Silesians, Slovaks and other Slavic peoples

Moravians (Moravané or colloquially Moraváci in Czech) are the modern West Slavic inhabitants of the historical land of Moravia, the easternmost part of the Czech Republic, which includes the Moravian Slovakia. They speak the two main groups of Moravian dialects (the Central and the Eastern) of the Czech language, the transitional Bohemian-Moravian dialect subgroup of the Czech language and standard Czech.

Moravian nationality was declared for the first time in the population census of 1991. After the Velvet Revolution a strong political movement to reinstate the Moravian-Silesian land (země Moravskoslezská in Czech, having been one of the four lands of Czechoslovakia between 1928 and 1949) was active in Moravia. Accordingly, the so far united Czech nationality was split in line with the historical division of the Czech Republic into Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia (the Czech lands). Part of the Czech speaking inhabitants of Moravia declared Moravian nationality and part of the Czech speaking inhabitants of Czech Silesia declared Silesian nationality.

1,363,000 citizens of the Czech Republic declared Moravian nationality in 1991. However, the number dropped to 380,474 in the 2001 census – many persons previously declaring themselves as Moravians declared themselves again as Czechs in this census.

For far-off historical reasons, both the Czech expression for a Czech and that for a Bohemian are the same (Čech). Then theoretically it may not be clear which category is meant. This leads some people (politicians, etc.) to address Bohemians, Moravians and sometimes even Silesians in their speeches.

Southern and central Moravia is more religious than northern part and as a whole has more worshippers than Bohemia or Czech Silesia. Because of it Moravia is a bastion of the Roman Catholic Church and the Christian democrats.

Only in the first years after the Velvet Revolution in 1989 did a few Moravian political parties seem to be able to gain some success in elections. However they lost much of their strength around the time of the Dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993 when Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.

See also

  • List of Moravians

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